Single Mothers Empowerment Conference set for this weekend
by Jennifer Cohron
Jul 17, 2014 | 1408 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A wealth of information will be made available to women at the Single Mothers Empowerment Conference being held Saturday at The Bridge in Birmingham.

Budgeting, home repairs, Attention Deficit Disorder and entrepreneurship are a few of the topics that will be covered.

The theme is “Revive and Refresh: Renewing the Lives of Single Parent Women and their Children.”

The conference is open to single mothers of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds as well as grandmothers who have again accepted the responsibility of raising a child.

ABC 33/40 news anchor Linda Mays, who is serving as the event spokesperson, said it is an opportunity for single mothers to be encouraged and informed.

“Being a mother is a God-given gift, the greatest gift that mothers can embrace. Being a single mother is no less of an honor, but it comes with many challenges that can be met with resources, with knowledge, with support and with motivation,” Mays said.

Registration for the event is $25, which includes lunch. Childcare will be provided.

The keynote speaker is Susan L. Taylor, founder and CEO of National CARES Mentoring Movement and editor-in-chief emeritus of Essence Magazine. Taylor was a struggling single mother while rising through the ranks from freelance fashion and beauty editor to editor-in-chief at Essence Magazine in the 1970s.

A panel of experts will be leading breakout sessions throughout the day.

Chris Zeigler Dendy, an internationally-recognized Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder consultant, will discuss healthy parenting with a focus on ADD and ADHD.

Nicole Adama of Family Sunshine Center, a family violence program, will teach women how to meet their family’s financial needs while also saving for the future.

Sireka Melton, vice president of BB&T, will be leading a separate session on money management.

Shellie Layne of At Home LLC will help women boost their self-confidence so they can tackle common home repairs.

Licensed marriage and family therapist Vivian Smith Carter will share tips for developing healthy relationships.

Gayle Lantz, CEO of WorkMatters Inc. and author of “Take the Bull By the Horns: The Busy Leader’s Guide to Growing Your Business and Yourself,” will provide women with tools to help them advance in the workplace.

Dr. Angela Martin will lead a session on health and wellness that will address questions about discipline, parental dating behavior, career priorities, immunizations and more.

The event will also include a panel discussion and a silent art auction.

Mays, who has been a single mother of twins since 1998, calls the conference “a God-given assignment” that she has been working on for several years.

Her desire is to connect women with the resources that they need so that the challenges they face and the goals they have set for themselves and their children can be met.

“I would hope that it would be a new beginning for many single moms because they have taken the time for them. They have said, ‘I am important enough to stop and refuel,’” Mays said.

The first step is to move beyond the stigma of single motherhood that weighs so heavily on many women.

“The aim of this conference is to help them release the stigma so that they won’t hold themselves down or back from their goals and dreams. Once their children see that model, they too will go after their goals and dreams,” Mays said.

Mays presented her vision to representatives of the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Office of Women’s Health in December.

The conference is a collaboration of OWH and ABC 33/40 as well as The Exchange Club Child Abuse Prevention Center.

The Single Mothers Empowerment Conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Bridge, which is located on the campus of Faith Chapel Christian Center at 100 Lexington Street in Birmingham.

For more information, visit www.singlemothersempowerment.org.