Mimosa flowed. Tea poured. Conversation (and warm hugs) were in plentiful supply at the most recent Women Up event held in Chicago at theWit.  The brunch brought together Black movers and shakers from all over Chicago, plus featured a keynote by Seaway Bank and Trust Co. Chairman Veranda Dickens, who runs one of the nation’s largest Black-owned banks.

Johnson Publishing Company executives, including Chairman Linda Johnson Rice and Chief Operating Officer/President of Digital Cheryl Mayberry McKissack, took to the podium to offer words of encouragement and personal reflections on what “women up” has meant to them both personally and professionally.   Vice President and Head of Digital Editorial Kyra Kyles shared how her mother and sister taught her the true meaning of supporting other Black women, plus she schooled the crowd on the fact that Black women “invented #squadgoals.” (Sorry, Taylor Swift.)

Pastor Neichelle Guidry blessed the food with a moving prayer. Networking and new friend-making started before the program and continued and long after it ended , even spilling into the lobby of the swanky, modern hotel in the Chicago Loop.  #Blackgirlmagic was in the air.

The concept– which stems from a women empowerment series created by EBONY Editor-in-Chief Kierna Mayo and Senior Editor, Jamilah Lemieux— truly resonated with the crowd of influencers and emerging leaders.  But don’t take our word for it; watch our video of this amazing event.



Check out more photos from the flagship New York and Chicago events.