Welcome to the Women of Color Empowerment Institute

Our mission is to enhance and expand leadership by women of color.

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 5 p.m.

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

    • Reception and Concert
      (Friday, 9/9 at 6:30pm)

      — Miki Howard, Avery Sunshine and the Alan Paul Band — REGISTER NOW! $75.00 per individual ticket; $500.00 for VIP table of 4 with special gifts and adult beverages.
    • Empowerment Conference
      (Saturday, 9/10 from 8:00am – 5:00pm)

      — SOLD OUT!
    • Sisterhood Breakfast
      (Sunday, 9/11 at 8:30am)

      — $50.00 per ticket.

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.

If having problems registering for the conference or concert, please call 954-768-9770.

Partner Organizations:

The Links, Incorporated (North Broward County, FL Chapter and Fort Lauderdale, FL Chapter) • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated (Broward County Alumnae Chapter) • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (Zeta Rho Omega Chapter) • HOT 105 FM.

An Evening to Remember Benefit Concert

featuring Miki Howard, Avery Sunshine & the Allen Paul Band

Join us for “An Evening to Remember,” our 2nd Annual Benefit Concert featuring Miki Howard, Avery Sunshine & the Allen Paul Band.

Date: Friday, September 9, 2016

Time: Doors Open at 6:30 PM / Concert Starts at 7:30 PM

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

General Admission — $75
Table of 4 — $500



Don't miss this amazing concert.

2016 Empowerment Conference Commercial from AyanDace Productions.

Women of Color Empowerment Conference 2015 from AyanDace Productions.

Vendor Opportunities Available

Partner With Us!

Download Vendor Application


Our 2016 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.

Blanche Williams


The power of possibilities has fueled the multi-faceted career of Blanche A. Williams, MS, former National XM Satellite Radio Talk Show Host, President/CEO of Greatness By Design, LLC, Author, Founder of the National Black Women’s Town Hall (NBWTH), Palm Beach State College Adjunct Professor... [read more]

Cathy Hughes


Cathy Hughes is a dynamic, media pioneer who demonstrates the power of one – one woman, one vision, one company - Radio One. As Founder and Chairperson of Radio One, Inc., the largest African-American owned and operated, broadcast company in the nation, Hughes’ unprecedented career... [read more]

Jocelyn Miller-Carter


Jocelyn Carter-Miller is President of TechEdVentures and SoulTranSync, which specialize in the development and marketing of high performance educational and self-empowerment programming. Priviously, Jocelyn was Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Office Depot, Inc. [read more]

Bentina Terry


Bentina C. Terry is Vice President – Customer Service and Sales for Gulf Power Company, a Southern Company subsidiary headquartered in Pensacola, Florida. In this role, Terry is responsible for the company’s marketing, customer service and community and economic development organizations. [read more]

Dr. Anique Bryan


Dr. Anique Bryan is Family Physician who specializes in the care of Acute and Chronic illnesses with a special interest in Women’s Health and has practiced medicine in Miami for the past 20 years. Dr. Bryan completed her primary and secondary education in her family’s country of origin: Trinidad and Tobago. [read more]

Dr. Linell King


Amazon best-selling author, physician, international speaker, health recovery, and weight loss specialist Dr. Linell King believes the solution to preventing illness is empowering each of us to take responsibility for our own health. A renowned internist featured on ABC, NBC, and FOX, Dr. King received his medical degree...  [read more]

Dr. Susan MacManus


Dr. Susan A. MacManus is a Distinguished University Professor at USF in the Department of Government and International Affairs. She directs the annual USF-Nielsen Sunshine State Survey—the state’s most extensive annual public policy survey of adult Floridians (sunshinestatesurvey.com). [read more]

Simone Arnold


Simone Arnold is a vice president of operations for Payments Acceptance at First Data Corporation (FDC) based in Coral Springs, Florida.  In this role, Simone leads a hybrid team with operational oversight for American Express and Discover Payment Network Acceptance relationships processing $47 billion... [read more]  

Osamudia James


Professor Osamudia James received a B.A cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 2001, a J.D. cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center in 2004, and an LL.M. from the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she served as a William H. Hastie Fellow from 2006 to 2008. [read more]  

Debra Owens


Deborah Owens is a financial expert, author and former financial executive who is on a mission to teach people how to turn their income into wealth.  She can be seen nationally on TVOne’s News One Now Program as “America’s Wealth Coach.” [read more]  

Rebecca Roussell


Rebecca K. Roussell is Senior Director of Nielsen’s Diverse Intelligence Series, which is part of Nielsen’s Thought Leadership group under its Global Marketing Communications umbrella. In this role, she is responsible for managing and creating the annual Diverse Intelligence Series reports...  [read more]  

Robbin Simmons


Robbin Simmons returned to WSVN to co-anchor the weekend editions of 7 NEWS at 5, 6, & 10PM. Robbin was an anchor/reporter at WDIV-TV in Detroit since 2004. Prior to WDIV, Robbin spent three years at WSVN as a general assignment reporter and was quickly promoted to Saturday morning weekend anchor. [read more]  

Dr. Kathryn DePalo


Kathryn DePalo received her Ph.D. in political science from Florida International University in 2006. Her book, The Failure of Term Limits in Florida was published in 2015 from the University Press of Florida and examines the effects of term limits on Florida’s state legislature. She also holds a Master of Arts degree... [read more]  

Evett Simmons


Evett L. Simmons is a shareholder and Chief Diversity Officer of Greenspoon Marder, a full-service law firm with nearly 200 lawyers with offices in Florida, Nevada, New York, Colorado, and California. She primarily concentrates her practice in the areas of probate and guardianship administration, Wills, Trust and Elder Law. [read more]  

Judge Michelle Childs


Judge Childs was appointed to the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina in August 2010.   She holds a B.S. in Management from the University of South Florida Honors College, a J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law, a Masters in Personnel and Employment Relations... [read more]  

Bob Swindell


Bob Swindell was named President and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance in November 2009.  He joined the Alliance as the Senior Vice President of Business Development in 2003. Bob and his team market and promote Broward County as a highly desirable location to do business... [read more]  

Eugene Pettis


Eugene K. Pettis, co-founder of Haliczer Pettis & Schwamm, leads a trial practice representing an impressive list of corporate, public sector and individual clients in civil trial matters. He has over 30 years of experience handling a range of complex cases for defendants and plaintiffs in the areas of medical malpractice... [read more]  

Robyn Fern Perlman


Robyn Fern Perlman is a principal partner of CoreStrategies for Nonprofits Inc. The company is a full service consulting firm specializing in all aspects of philanthropy and social investment. Perlman has traveled and trained large numbers of organization leaders both nationally and abroad. [read more]  

Jim Kane


Kane is the founder and chief pollster of the independent political research and survey organization, The Florida Voter.  Established in 1994, The Florida Voter provides independent political research exclusively on Florida elections and demographics. Kane, a graduate of George Washington University’s political science program... [read more]  

Marie Waugh


Marie C. Waugh serves as senior vice president of human resources and environmental, health and safety for SUEZ in North America. In this position, she is responsible for overseeing the company’s North American human resources and environmental, health and safety strategies and programs. [read more]  

Howard Saltz


Howard Saltz was named Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Sun Sentinel Media Group in March, 2016.  In this new role, he’s responsible for content in all products, in all formats, in a platform-agnostic newsroom.  He’s also responsible for the day-to-day business of the company, including overseeing Directors from each division. [read more]  

Shiree Woody


Shiree Woody is a News Management Executive and Multimedia Specialist, Women's Conference Facilitator, Spiritual Life Coach and Meditation Leader. Shiree manages the ABC 7 News Team at WZVN, Waterman Broadcasting in Fort Myers, Florida. She oversees news coverage, executes strategic vision and focuses on growing the ABC 7 Get More brand. [read more]  

Sponsorship Opportunities Available

Partner With Us!

Download Sponsor Packet


Empowerment Conference FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Select a question below.

What does the Saturday conference registration fee include?
Registration for Saturday includes access to all sessions on September 10, 2016 and the closing reception starting at 4:00 PM on that day.
What events are a part of the 3-day WOC conference?
Tickets can be purchased for three (3) separate events. The Women of Color Empowerment Conference programming day is Saturday, September 10, 2016. Tickets for this event are $100.00 per person and the day starts at 8:00 AM. Tickets can only be purchased online at www.southfloridawomenofcolor.com.

Tickets for our Friday, September 9, 2016, reception/benefit concert can be purchased online at southfloridawomenofcolor.com. The concert will take place at the host hotel and feature singers Miki Howard and Avery Sunshine. Doors will open at 6:30 PM for the evening reception. The smooth sounds of the Allen Paul Band will kick off the fun starting at 7:30 PM. Individual tickets are $75.00. Tables of four, including a bottle of wine, pictures with artists, special gifts and more are $500.00. This event will support a great cause and will be an evening to remember!

On Sunday, September 11, 2016, the Spirit of Sisterhood Breakfast will take place at the host hotel. This is always an inspirational gathering and great time to connect with sisters from near and far. Tickets are $50.00 for non-members of the Women of Color Empowerment Institute, Inc., and $40.00 for members. Reservations can be made by calling (954) 768-9770. Seating is limited for this delicious hot breakfast overlooking the beautiful Fort Lauderdale beach.

Can men attend conference events?
We love our men! We encourage men to join us for our Friday evening Reception and Concert to take place at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, 321 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304. Doors open at 6:30 PM. Of course, men who are representatives of sponsoring organizations are welcomed to attend all conference activities.
May I transfer my registration if I can no longer attend the concert, conference or breakfast?
If you register but are unable to attend the conference, you may transfer your registration to another individual by calling the contact number below. 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 7, 2016.
Can children under the age of 18 attend?
The Women of Color Empowerment Institute, Inc., will invite ten (10) girls, under the age of 18, to meet with some of our special guests and assist at the conference. 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 it has sold out each year for the past five years several weeks prior to the conference date. You should register online at www.southfloridawomenofcolor.com. If there is a problem registering, our staff can try to assist you by telephone at the contact number below. Try to register online before calling. Registration is easy.
Are there any lodging accommodations for this conference?
Hotel accommodations are available at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, 321 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304 at a special discounted rate of $129.00 per night. Please register using the WOCEII block. A personalized site has been established just for our group for a few days before and after the conference. You can make your reservation 24/7 using the toll free #888-627-7108 and simply mentioning the WOCEII group. You can also register by inserting the following link into your browser: https://www.starwoodmeeting.com/Book/WOCEII.

Don’t miss an opportunity to “hang out” and enjoy this fabulous property. A “Sisterhood” Suite will be available on Saturday night for those guests reserving under the hotel room block.

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: Women Lead Magazine; Friday Reception/Concert Sponsorship; Saturday Conference Luncheon Sponsorship; Saturday Reception Sponsorship; Sisterhood Breakfast Sponsorship; Friend and Listings Sponsorships.
Where will the conference activities take place?
All conference activities will take place this year at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, 321 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. You will need to be pay prior to the conference in order to join us for any of the conference events.
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 send a message via our contact form – click here.
Download Conference FAQ

Download a copy of the Women of Color Empowerment Conference FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

2016 WOCEC Sponsors

Thank you to our partner and sponsor organizations.








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.

Nancy Allen / Shirley Baker / Donna Rice Berry / Lorna E. Brown-Burton / Anique Bryan / Toni Cave /Traci Cloyd / Lisa K. Crawford / Terri Crook / Eileen G. Davis-Jerome / Kathy Eggleston/ Chetachi Egwu / Yolanda English / Sonia W. Eutsey / JoeAnn Fletcher / Rhoda Glasco Foderingham / Vickie Frazier-Williams/ Dione Gordon / Bacardi Jackson / Carolyn Jones / Marilyn Jones /Belvit Jordan / Lanetta Jordan/ Cassandra E. Joseph / Kerline Jules / Sophia A. Lopez / Charlotte Lovely / Cynthia Martin / Delores Y. McKinley /Michelle Moore McNeil / Shirlyon McWhorter / Chantal Meo / Stefanie C. Moon / Burnadette Norris-Weeks/ Julie Owens / Michelle Austin Pamies / Andrea Pelt-Thornton / Sheila L. Pettis / Brenda Powe / Renee Davis Prude / Erica Ricketts / Brenda Rivers / Lynn Solomon / Tina Teague / Gloria Romero Roses / Ebony Daniels Sanon / Dinah Stephenson/ Easter Wilcher


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



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