Welcome to the Women of Color Empowerment Institute

Register Now for the 2016 Empowerment Conference


We are pleased to announce the Sixth Annual Women of Color Empowerment Conference. The conference will focus on educating and motivating dynamic Women of Color to lead more effectively.

This conference will take place on Saturday, September 10, 2016 at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale, Florida from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.. The North Broward County Chapter of the Links, Inc.; the Broward County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Zeta Rho Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., would like to invite you to be a part of this event.

We hope you will join us for this tremendous opportunity to promote, encourage and cultivate women leaders of color.

Date: Saturday, September 10, 2015

Time: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Location: Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort
321 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd. Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304 [map]



Don't miss this year's dynamic speakers.


Sponsorship Opportunities Available

Partner With Us!

Download Sponsor Packet


Women of Color Empowerment Conference 2015 from AyanDace Productions.

Become A Member of the Women of Color Empowerment Institute, Inc.

Download the Membership Application

Do you support the mission and goals of the institute?

Become a member.

Thanks to our Charter Members!

These members have made a financial commitment to ensure that women of color can be successful in every field of endeavor through the provision of information and resources to help remove barriers, access opportunities and replicate successes.

Shirley Baker / K. Crawford, Esq. / Renee Davis Prude / Eileen G. Davis-Jerome / Kathy Eggleston / Rhoda Glasco Foderingham, Esq. / Rosalyn Frazier / Belvit Jordan / Cassandra E. Joseph / Sophia A. Lopez / Burnadette Norris-Weeks, Esq. / Michelle Austin Pamies, Esq. / Andrea Pelt-Thornton / Easter Wilcher / Vickie Frazier-Williams / Nancy Allen / Donna Rice Berry / Marilyn Jones / Charlotte Lovely / Brenda Powe / Lynn Solomon / Tina Teague


Empowerment Conference FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Select a question below.

What does the conference registration fee include?
Registration includes access to all sessions and the closing reception and book signing with Judge Hatchett starting at 4:00 PM on September 19th. Registration does not include the Friday evening Jazz Concert with Joey Sommerville at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts or the Sunday morning Spirit of Sisterhood Breakfast.
Why do I see different prices for various conference events?
Tickets can be purchased for three (3) separate events. The Friday, September 18, 2015 concert will start at 7:30 PM and the tickets are $75.00. Doors open at 6:30 PM for the fun. The cost of the Women of Color Empowerment Conference is $75.00 and tickets can only be purchased online at southfloridawomenofcolor.com. The Spirit of Sisterhood Breakfast is $40.00 and reservations can be made by calling (954) 768-9770. Seating is limited for the breakfast.
Who is eligible to register for the reduced concert rates?
In order to be eligible for special discount rates for any WOCEI event you must be a Charter member of the institute.
Can men attend conference events?
We love our men! We encourage men to join us for our Friday evening jazz concert at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, September 18, 2015. For Charter members and the planning committee, our announced retreat weekend is open to men, other than one pre-scheduled special business meeting.
May I transfer my registration if I can no longer attend the jazz concert or conference?
If you register but are unable to attend the conference, you can transfer your registration to another individual by calling (954) 768-9770. We will need written confirmation from you of the name of the person to whom the transfer should be made. Transfers will not be accommodated after September 17, 2015.
Can children under the age of 18 attend?
The Women of Color Empowerment Institute, Inc., is starting a mentorship program. We are planning to host an event that will allow girls, under the age of 18, to meet with some of our special guests prior to the Friday evening Jazz concert. If you have a name of a young lady that you would like considered for this opportunity, please provide the name, parent’s name, address, telephone number and your relationship with the teen. Due to the fact that the conference is generally sold out weeks prior, we will be focusing on our target audience of women leaders for conference attendance.
How soon should I register for the conference?
We encourage you to register online for the conference as soon as possible. Space is limited and the conference has sold out each year for the past four years well prior to the conference date. Due to C-Span airing at the 2014 conference, the conference is expected to attract leaders from throughout the United States. Register early!
Are there any lodging accommodations for this conference?
Hotel accommodations are available at a fabulous beach hotel at a special discounted rate of $179.00 per night. Please check back on or April 17, 2015 for exact hotel details. The hotel is a high-end hotel where accommodations normally run in excess of $300 per night. Don’t miss an opportunity to hang out and enjoy this fabulous property at a low rate. For those who reserve as a part of the hotel block, information for the Sisterhood Suite and rap session will be provided.
How do I become a sponsor?
You can become a sponsor by downloading the online sponsorship form. There are many opportunities for sponsorship, including but not limited to: Charter membership; magazine sponsorships; jazz concert; luncheon sponsorship, book signing sponsorship as well as other sisterhood activities.
Who should I contact if I have additional questions?
If you have additional questions regarding registration, please contact Ken Koonce at (954) 768-9770 or click here to send us a message.
Download Conference FAQ

Download a copy of the Women of Color Empowerment Conference FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Professional Mentorship Leadership Program

Application for the Professional Mentorship Leadership Program!

WOCEI is accepting applications for entry into its leadership program for young professionals (under the age of 40) who have leadership aspirations in all sectors, including, academia, community service organizations, civic associations, law, health care and government. Up to ten (10) of these individuals will be selected this year to join the program.

Click Here



Our 2015 Speakers

Our speaker lineup is phenomenal. This year, we have a team of A-list leaders and game-changers ready to help us broaden our perspectives, tune our skills and enhance our lives.

Paulette Brown


Paulette Brown, a labor and employment law partner and chief diversity officer with the Morristown, N.J., office of Locke Lord Edwards, is president-elect of the American Bar Association. Brown has held a variety of leadership positions within the ABA. She has been a member of the ABA House of Delegates since 1997 [read more]

Judge Glenda Hatchett


A graduate of Mt. Holyoke College and Emory University School of Law, where she was an Earl Warren Scholar, Hatchett completed a prestigious federal clerkship in the United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia. She then spent nearly 10 years at Delta Air Lines, where she was the airline’s highest-ranking  [read more]  

Gina Paige


In 2003, Gina Paige co-founded African Ancestry, Inc. and in doing so, pioneered a new way of tracing African lineages using genetics, and a new marketplace for people of African descent looking to more accurately and reliably trace their roots.  Paige travels the world helping people demystify where they’re from... [read more]  

Dr. Lanalee Araba Sam


Dr. Lanalee Araba Sam is the Director of Gynecologic Robotic Surgery at West Boca Medical Center, and the Medical Director of Elite Obstetrics & Gynecology. She is also the Director of Women’s Health Services at Florida Medical Center, the President of the American Association of Concierge Obstetrics & Gynecology... [read more]  

Dr. Edwina Hamilton Bell


Dr. Hamilton Bell is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice. She is the CEO/President of Bell Psychological Services, Inc. located in Broward County, Florida. She is also one of the partners of Positive Solutions Psychological Services, PLLC, a joint venture between Bell Psychological Services and Life Solutions Psychological Services. [read more]  

Irika Sargent


Irika Sargent is an Emmy Award-winning journalist.  She co-anchors the station’s weekday early evening and 11 p.m. newscasts with Rick Folbaum. Sargent came to CBS4 from KPRC, the NBC affiliate in Houston, Texas, where she worked as an anchor and reporter for three years. [read more]  

Marie Waugh


Marie C. Waugh serves as senior vice president of human resources for United Water, a subsidiary of SUEZ ENVIRONMENT NORTH AMERICA. In this position, she is responsible for overseeing the company’s nationwide human resources strategies and programs. [read more]  

Felecia Hatcher


Felecia Hatcher is an author and a social entrepreneur who has been honored by the White House as a 2014 Champion of Change for STEM Access & Diversity. She was recognized as a Black Enterprise Innovator of the Week and has been in featured Essence Magazine and other national magazines. [read more]  

Gloria Romero Roses


Gloria Romero Roses, born in Bogotá, Colombia, has lived in Florida since 1979. She is a real estate professional with over 25 years’ experience in real estate management and development. She is a passionate advocate for reducing recidivism within our juvenile and adult justice systems. [read more]  

Donise Brown


Donise E. Brown is a Director-Corporate Counsel for Starbucks Corporation. As Director Corporate Counsel for the Company’s Legal & Corporate Affairs Department (L&CA), Donise is responsible for providing legal support for all of Starbucks’ real estate matters in the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and Florida Regions. [read more]  

Pamela Goodman


Pamela Goodman currently serves as President of the Florida State League of Women Voters.  Educated at the University of Iowa in journalism and business, Goodman spent her professional career in retailing, rising to President/CEO of Limited Express, with $1.5 billion in revenue and over 850 stores nationwide. [read more]  

Richard J. Rimler


Richard J. Rimler, DPM is one of the only doctors in the country with formal training in the area of holistic podiatric medicine. Dr. Rimler grew up in Spring Valley, NY. He received his undergraduate degree in 1982 from Emory University. He received his graduate degree from New York College of Podiatric Medicine in 1986. [read more]  

Miguel Southwell


Miguel Southwell was named aviation general manager of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in May 2014. He has more than two decades of aviation management experience. At Hartsfield-Jackson, Mr. Southwell managed the conclusion of the Airport’s food and beverage concessions expansion... [read more]  

Juliet Murphy Roulhac


Juliet Murphy Roulhac is the Regional Manager for External Affairs for Florida Power & Light Company, a Fortune 200 company which is the largest electric utility in the state, and one of the largest electric utility providers of clean energy in the country. Ms. Roulhac manages governmental and community relations... [read more]

David Duckenfield


David A. Duckenfield joined the Bureau of Public Affairs as a Deputy Assistant Secretary in May 2014. In this role, Duckenfield manages the Bureau’s Office of Public Liaison and Domestic Outreach as well as its Intergovernmental Affairs unit and the U.S. Diplomacy Center. [read more]

Pia Nargundkar


Pia Nargundkar is an Associate at Anzalone Liszt Grove Research. As a political pollster, Pia has provided messaging and targeting guidance to campaigns up and down the ballot, from President to State House, and all across the country, from Hawaii to Virginia. [read more]

Judge Tanya Brinkley


Judge Brinkley was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she obtained her Bachelors of Business Administration in Finance in 1991. She was a Council on Legal Education (CLEO) fellow at Georgetown University School of Law in 1992. [read more]

2015 WOCEC Sponsors

Thank you to our partner and sponsor organizations.










News and Updates

Get the latest scoop on the WOCEC

Meet Our Team of Conference Coordinators

Conference coordinators, planners, movers & shakers

Planning a great conference takes a lot of hard work by some dedicated people.  These movers and shakers have turned over every stone to ensure the South Florida Women of Color Empowerment Conference is both a great time and beneficial to all who attend.

Burnadette Norris-Weeks


Attorney, business woman and community leader. Weeks is a principal at Fort Lauderdale-based civil and governmental law firm Austin Pamies Norris Weeks, LLC. (read more at Sun-Sentinel)

Kathy Eggleston

Event Coordinator

A 25-year, award-winning executive, Kathy's focus is corporate communication and philanthropy. She is co-founder of Avenue of the Arts Executive Suites. She can be reached at at (954) 522-2290 or via email. [read more]

Michelle Austin Pamies

WOCEC Co-Chair

Michelle Austin is a member of Austin Pamies Norris Weeks, LLC. Her practice involves providing legal counsel to business clients and representing them in their corporate and commercial transactions and related litigation. (read more)

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