Empowering women, uniting in sisterhood

Published 3:35 am Saturday, March 17, 2018

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


A woman quick with a smile and uplifting words has inspired to bring women together.

Mary Ekene, of Orange, writes a weekly editorial column for The Orange Leader. One week she experienced first hand the negativity women have towards each other.

“I see it everyday,” Ekene said. “African American women will talk sisterhood but be the first to cut down another woman.

As an actress, a single mom and working fulltime, Ekene knows the struggles women face today.

“I go to work to work and come home,” Ekene said. “All my life I have enjoyed dressing up, doing my hair and make-up.”

Ekene wants to see black women become examples and give back to their communities in a positive way. It was then she started planning the Women Empowering Women convention and formed the organization Black Women Unite (BWU). She is in the process of filing for a 501(c) for the newly found group.

Ekene shared how Barbara Jordon was a role model for many females.

Jordan was the first African American representative to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas. Jordon Served as “Governor for a Day” while president pro-tempore of the Texas Senate in 1972, becoming the first African-American woman to serve as chief executive of any state in the union.

She also became a professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. In August 1994, President Bill Clinton awarded Ms. Jordan the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor according to her biography.

“We need to bring back that it is cool to be fully clothed and educated,” Ekene said.

Black Women Unite will hold Women Empowering Women convention from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. at LaQuinta Inns and Suites located at 108 Texas Ave. in Bridge City. Keynote speakers are Ta-Tanisha Pollard, Tiffany Overstreet, Michelle Cole, Kimberly Harvey-Jordan. Guest performer is Ingrea Aberra. $5 donation is requested with all proceeds to benefit the seed community.