The Wakanda Forever Summit, with the theme “Celebrating Women Extraordinary X,” brought together 100 women across diverse industries to network and discuss how to create the next generation of extraordinary women. The event also highlighted the importance of stepping up efforts to eliminate societal strains of inequality and gender bias.
“Let’s recommit our energies to achieving true and irreversible gender inequality because we all benefit when women have the opportunity to lead and to rise for all by showcasing women’s innovation like Period Genie,” stated Chaste Inegbedion, Principal Product Manager, Sanicle said..
“The Period Passport Book, the Period Genie game, and the Period Genie animated short film are just a few of Sanicle’s creative initiatives and campaigns that aim to inform, raise awareness, and, most importantly, create opportunities for respectful conversations about a young girl’s transition from menarche to menopause,” he added.
The virtual event was hosted by Anitra Parish of the National Women’s Political Caucus and Faith Okereke opened and closed the virtual summit with a music performance.
“Storytelling allows us to truly recount scenes from our own lives and share experiences with others across generations, weaving a tapestry of strength and frailty, ease and boldness, and timidity together. Our words really shape the way our experiences are heard and how they can transform various parts of our lives, whether it’s the arts, education, science, medicine, or personal things in our lives that really help us chart our path forward as a society and as communities,” said Hawa Taylor-Kamara Diallo, from the UN Department of Global Communications.
“It is only with women and girls at the centre of our efforts that we have the best chance to succeed in addressing our current and pressing global challenges, from the climate emergency to gender-based violence, political divisions, and a sustainable recovery from this global pandemic. The SDGs reflect the commitment made by member states in this region over the past forty years, thanks to the efforts and sacrifices of women activists and feminist movements,” she added.
Adrian Ogan, Sales Manager at Cinergy, said, “Achieving all-round, sustained development in society requires achieving parity in every stratum of every organisation, be it in government or private. Women and men both make valuable contributions that bear the distinct imprints of gender characteristics and tendencies. The point of impact investing is to use money and investment capital for positive social results.”
“I grew up in a house full of women, and I am one of five girls. My parents split up, and I went to live with my dad for a while. I was not going to talk to him about my period. He was not going to talk to me about it except to get me pads when I needed them. Over the last few years, there has been more focus on menstruation. Our plant-based organic period box, curated by Sanicle, is an excellent solution for that time of the month that is kind to the planet and people and includes items that help with symptoms girls and women experience during menstruation. In addition, this care box helps girls understand the benefits of plant-based period products and addresses specific period-related concerns such as painful, heavy, or irregular periods and self-care techniques,” said Roxanne Stewart, CEO of Sanicle.
One panel, featuring Pamela D. Marshall, Zaakirah Muhammad, Lia Miller, Funmi Eko, and Adedayo Fashanu, discussed the longevity of legacy through storytelling.
“Now that these [social media] platforms are allowing voices from all over the globe to tell our stories and bring our magic forward, as Wakanda represents, we are able to not worry about whether or not somebody else is telling our stories; we’re telling our stories today,” Zaakirah Muhammad, CEO of Phocused Media Group, one of the media panelists, said.
The entrepreneurship panelists, Tameca Johnson, Chi Ilochi, Shatora Adrell, Lisa Love of Tanoshi, and Anie Akpe of African Women in Tech, said “entrepreneurship is key in all of our lives. It helps us not only create opportunities for ourselves, but for others.”
Impact Investment panelists Patience Gitau, Adrian Ogans, Isoken Ibie, and Shawna Curran added that “women of colour, and in particular black women, know that coming into the industry is one thing, but being able to stay and thrive there is something different.”
Tech Jobs/Remote Working panelists Shakira Monet Johnson, Nicole Evans, Amanda Peterson, Ruth Jeremiah, and Danielle Smith pointed that, “If you want to transfer into tech, don’t overlook those staffing agencies; having a network of people around you who will pour into you can help validate your position.”
Desiree Frieson was virtually present in a closing keynote that chronicled the stories of women who have shaped societies. She shared, “We learn from Wakanda that when the community is strong, you can move even farther, and so hopefully everyone is seeking to learn how they can develop their skill sets professionally and personally by leaning into new sources and new challenges.”
The event wrapped with a HeforShe panel with Chaste Inegbedion, Yeves Perez of Workbnb, David Tollette of Typros, Chibueze Okereke, Olanrewaju Adewole, Stephen Oguntoyinbo, and Wantoe Wantoe from the UN. Some takeaways include. Be as strategic as possible; look for small aspects of your business that can be used to form partnerships; and “women hold everything together, and as men, we have to be of service to women at all times.”
Special virtual guests included Audreya Williams of Tulsa Service Year, Kye Harris of Build in Tulsa, and Ashley Daugherty of Victory Tulsa, as well as video messages from Tre Baker of Tulsa Techstars and Justin Harlan of Tulsa Remote.