The Women’s Business Development Center Kicks Off ‘Raising Up the Vote’ Initiative with Virtual Event featuring Senator Tammy Duckworth and Congresswoman Gwen Moore

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To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, the Women’s Business Development Center encourages and inspires equitable civil engagement for all genders and races with an initiative kickoff event followed by a series of events, podcasts, and social media conversations

Fair and equitable public policy is critical for securing and maintaining economic self-sufficiency for women, minorities, and other underserved communities.

The Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) launched their new civic engagement initiative, Raising Up the Vote, on August 26th, the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. The campaign kicked off with a three-part virtual event sponsored by Target which discussed the intersection of gender and racial equality.

“As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment, we still have more work to do to ensure that voices of all women, especially women of color, and all diverse community members are heard and represented,” said Emilia DiMenco, President and CEO of the Women’s Business Development Center. “Fair and equitable public policy is critical for securing and maintaining economic self-sufficiency for women, minorities, and other underserved communities.”

“The Intersection of Gender & Racial Equality” virtual event included a conversation with U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D – Ill.) moderated by Melody Spann Cooper, Chairman of Midway Broadcasting Corporation. This was followed by two expert-packed panels discussing a variety of topics from the history of voting rights and the importance of economic self-sufficiency to examining how white women and other allies can offer support to women of color. A recording of the no-cost webinar will be available online to those who missed the virtual event.

“From flying helicopters overseas to passing bills in the Senate, I’ve spent my entire life in male-dominated fields, but I’ve learned the good that arises from bringing different perspectives into the conversation,” said Senator Duckworth. “It was an honor to join Women’s Business Development Center to celebrate 100 years of the 19th Amendment and discuss the legislative priorities that impact the lives of women of color. It’s so much more than just equal pay, paid family leave, and childcare – healthcare is a woman’s issue, the economy is a woman’s issue and national security is a woman’s issue.”

“Raising Up the Vote is a terrifically powerful initiative. I am honored to be a part of this movement and participate in the launch event alongside such influential and inspirational women and men,” said Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-Wis.-04), who was a panelist during the August 26th discussion. “It is essential that all women come together and empower one another to engage in the upcoming democratic election, as well as the elections that follow.”

"As citizens of the United States, we all have a responsibility to participate in the democratic process of voting and ensure that our voices are represented in the public policy arena,” added DiMenco. “We greatly appreciate Senator Duckworth's and Congresswoman Moore’s leadership and support for this important initiative."

Raising Up the Vote will continue to facilitate conversations among influential women and men in business and government through other virtual events, weekly podcasts, and interactive discussions on gender and racial diversity on the WBDC’s social channels.

The WBDC will launch their podcast series, Make Your Mark, on September 21, and will cover topics ranging from wealth creation for women to equity in education. Former United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, Cargill Vice President of North America Government Relations Kathryn Graves Unger, University of Minnesota President Joan T.A. Gabel, and Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation Senior Vice President of Community Impact Pahoua Yang Hoffman will be a few of the podcast guests.

“With the Raising Up the Vote initiative, the Women’s Business Development Center is bringing together a diverse and powerful group of women and men to have important conversations regarding race and civil engagement,” said Gabel. “From elected officials to business owners, these discussions are necessary for us all to have as we reflect on the past and prepare for a future where women continue to break down the barriers set before them.”

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The Women’s Business Development Center

The Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) is a 501(c)(3) nationally recognized leader in the field of women’s economic development. The organization was founded in 1986 to provide programs and services to support and accelerate women’s business ownership and strengthen the impact of women on the economy by creating jobs, fueling economic growth, and building strong communities. Learn more at http://www.wbdc.org.

Raising Up the Vote

Launched in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, Raising Up the Vote is an initiative from the Women’s Business Development Center focused on driving a future of fair and equitable public policy by encouraging women, minorities, and all underrepresented groups to be involved within the public policy arena.
Join the WBDC in raising up the vote by attending events, listening to our podcast series, and contributing to our social media conversations. Learn more at http://www.wbdc.org/raising-up-the-vote-movement.

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Britt Logan DiGiulio
Hawthorne Strategy Group
+1 (612) 636-2455
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