The Powerhouses Behind The Virtual 2020 Pennsylvania Conference for Women

I had the pleasure of covering the 2020 Pennsylvania Conference for Women virtually last week for BELLA. They had excellent Keynote speakers as well as informative breakout sessions. Suze Orman, a financial guru, gave everyone excellent money-saving tips that can help everyone amidst the chaos we are experiencing in our world today. There was a networking chat for people to communicate and various vendors we were able to ask questions and learn from on an array of different topics.

Actress Viola Davis is calling upon women to “have each other’s backs because if we don’t move forward together, we don’t move forward.”

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Davis was one of a power-packed lineup speaking this week at the virtual Pennsylvania Conference for Women, part of the nation’s largest network of women’s conferences.

Urging women to summon their own strength and that of earlier generations, Davis called this a time to create a world in which all girls and women can thrive. “We have to own our past, and we have to own our present, and we have to imagine our future,” she said. “We now have to become the change that we want to see in the world.”

More than 10,000 people participated in the 17th Annual Conference, which in prior years has drawn thousands of attendees to the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

In addition to Davis, this year’s event also featured keynote speakers Tara Westover, historian and best-selling author of Educated, and Iyanla Vanzant, Emmy Award-winning life coach and author.

Westover addressed the fallout of a contentious national election that has laid bare deep divisions in our nation.

“What we’ve forgotten is the difference between ignorance and humility,” said Westover, who earned a PhD after growing up with parents who did not believe in government institutions including schools. “It’s going to have to be something that we think more deliberately about, which is how to develop positive relationships with people that think differently than you so that you can influence them, but also so they can influence you.”

Vanzant, a celebrated speaker with the No. 1 reality show on the Oprah Winfrey Network, meanwhile, spoke about using the pause caused by the pandemic as a time for change. She urged women to “embrace the spirit of peaceful change, knowing that all change is preceded by chaos, that things must be torn down before they can be built up.”

“We must be willing to be renewed, refreshed, reborn in a new way, in our minds, in our hearts, in our lives,” she said.

The nonpartisan, nonprofit Pennsylvania Conference for Women also featured unique offerings to help women during these challenging times. The event included sessions on mental health and finances, as well as interactive features for networking, women-owned businesses, and resume coaching.


Twitter: @PennWomen

Facebook: Pennsylvania Conference for Women

Instagram: @pennwomen


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