Encore Years

AARP Michigan ‘Sisters and Friends’ virtual event aims to lift voices of African American women across MI

Encore Years

Grand Rapids, Mich. (WOTV)-There is no better time than right now to lift the voices of African American women in Michigan to help create their own national and state agenda for this year’s vital elections.

Polling data has consistently shown that African American women 50 and older will play a huge role in deciding the 2020 elections. Also, Michigan is considered a key battleground state in the races for President and U.S. Senate.

A record number of Black women are running for the U.S. Congress this year.

So the timing for AARP Michigan’s MI Sisters and Friends: Conversations that Count could not be greater. The virtual event scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  will create a 2020-2024 health and wealth agenda for older African American women in Michigan.

The agenda will be shared with state and federal elected officials, and progress will be reviewed annually.

“As politicians fight over our battleground state this year, we’re fighting to lift the voices of African American women across Michigan. National and state leaders need to hear what we need from them,” said Paula D. Cunningham, State Director of AARP Michigan.  

Register for this free event

Please note, the event is open to anyone to attend.


Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, an anthropologist, educator, museum director and college president will deliver opening remarks, as will Cunningham of AARP Michigan. Dr. Cole also will facilitate a conversation with the audience on creating the agenda.

Edna Kane Williams, AARP Senior Vice President of Multicultural Markets & Engagement, will lead a discussion of polling data and how to improve African American women’s issues related to health and wealth.

Panelists include:

Health/Personal Caregiving: Regina Belle (singer, songwriter, actress); Jacky Chisholm Clark (American gospel singer, Clark Sisters); and Martha Reeves (of Martha and the Vandellas). The panel will be facilitated by First Lady Crisette Ellis of Greater Grace Temple in Detroit.

Wealth/Economic Impact: Gail Perry Mason, a respected authority in the financial industry and best-selling author; Dr. Marilyn French Hubbard, author and founder of the National Association of Black Women Entrepreneurs; and Sandra Gaddy, CEO of the New Women’s Resource Center. The panel will be facilitated by Ronda Walker, Channel 4 journalist.

“I invite everyone to join our celebrity panel to help us create a health and wealth agenda that can guide our elected leaders to better serve Michigan women 50 and older,” Cunningham said.

(Sponsored by AARP Michigan)

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