The power of empowering others

Appreciating the Beauty of the Total Person

On Saturday, August 11, 2018, the Saint Paul RiverCentre was filled with community members looking to celebrate exceptional people who  uplift,  encourage  and  empower women of color.  Last year's keynote speaker was Dr. Reatha Clark King. Dr. King is an African American administrator, educator, scientist, and philanthropist. She has transcended significant barriers to becoming one of the nation's first African-American women to receive a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Chicago. Her early work in thermochemistry aided NASA's space program. Her many public accomplishments include serving as president of Metropolitan State University where she had a significant impact and as president and executive director of the General Mills Foundation, where she oversaw its philanthropy and citizen programs. She served on numerous boards of several Fortune 500 Companies where she provided leadership in ethics and business. She has served on the board of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and as a trustee of Clark Atlanta University. She is a life trustee of the University of Chicago and the recipient of 14 honorary degrees in addition to many other awards. She was one of the Humphrey School's Hill Fellows in 2004 and continues to participate in the School's Leadership and Management area and on the Humphrey School of Public Affairs Advisory Council.

After hearing from our phenomenal speaker we recognized our 2018 Ambassadors of Beauty Award finalists: Stefanie G. Asante-Totimeh, Jasmine Boudah, Nicole Foster, Monica Habia, and TraNeicia Sylvester. These women were selected from numerous nominations that were submitted by members of the Twin Cities community and have proven to go above and beyond in their work with women and girls of color. This is an exceptional group of women who uplift, encourage and empower others while striving to change society’s definition of "beautiful" for women of color.  While some honorees foster beauty by improving self-esteem through esthetics and some work to eliminate health disparities among women of color, others promote awareness or motivate. Nonetheless, all of these "Ambassadors of Beauty" give to help women of color understand that beauty begins within, is a lifestyle and is spread by helping others embrace their own God given uniqueness.