Top Political Strategist Donna Brazile is Premier Speaker at 2009 Spelman College Leadership and Woman of Color Conference

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Thought leaders discuss President Barack Obama's first 100 days and government, society, and individual roles in building communities for change

President Barack Obama has urged all Americans to participate in a new era of service and community involvement in the United States

Donna Brazile, renowned political pundit, syndicated columnist and author of "Cooking with Grease," will headline the discussion on President Obama's first 100 days in office at the Spelman College Leadership and Women of Color Conference, May 14 in Atlanta.

The 2009 conference, themed "Building a Community for Change," held May 13 and 14, will assemble a diverse group of thought leaders to address the issue of community engagement during a time of financial adversity. Brazile will provide the keynote address during the "Women, Change, Analysis and Action" session that will examine President Barack Obama's policies affecting change. Jamal Simmons, political strategist and media consultant will also discuss civic responsibility.

"President Barack Obama has urged all Americans to participate in a new era of service and community involvement in the United States," said Jane E. Smith, Ed.D., executive director, LEADS at Spelman College. "Leadership and civic engagement are proven methods to help realize the goals of building stronger and more productive communities. This conference will help attendees develop the strategies necessary to facilitate and lead positive change in their workplaces and neighborhoods."

Through workshops, forums and facilitated discussion, the conference will address critical questions such as:

  • How do we build collaborative, durable and diverse communities -- within, across and outside of our organizations and institutions -- that survive during crisis and thrive during calm?
  • What are the leadership skills and emotional competencies of those who will conduct this vital work of change?
  • How can women acquire and apply the skills necessary to sustain ourselves and our communities during this period of unprecedented job loss and economic distress?

Spelman will also recognize individuals and organizations that have helped shape and enhance the role of past, current and future generations of leaders at its signature event, the "Legacy of Leadership Awards" dinner on May 13. This year's honorees include five organizations that focus on economic issues:

  • Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia
  • Atlanta Business League
  • Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Georgia Women's Business Council
  • Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce

For additional information on registration, schedules and speakers, visit

Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a prestigious, highly selective, liberal arts college that prepares women to change the world. Located in Atlanta, Ga., this historically black college boasts a 79 percent graduation rate, and outstanding alumnae such as Children's Defense Fund Founder Marian Wright Edelman; former U.S. Foreign Service Director General Ruth Davis; authors Tina McElroy Ansa and Pearl Cleage; and actress LaTanya Richardson. More than 83 percent of the full-time faculty members have Ph.D.s or other terminal degrees, and the average faculty to student ratio is 12:1. More than 2,100 students attend Spelman. For more information, visit

LEADS at Spelman College
LEADS at Spelman College builds on the legacy of the private, historically Black institution by creating and teaching a leadership model based on the historic influences, experiences and achievements of Black women worldwide. Through a variety of campus-based student initiatives, community and public programs, LEADS supports Spelman women's choice to change the world by preparing them to be effective global leaders. For more information, visit

Media Contacts:
Terrilyn Simmons

Tracey Bowen
404 983-3727


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