Chattanooga Mayor’s Council for Women holds quarterly luncheon 

Carol Berz, seated on left, and members of the City of Chattanooga Mayor's Council for Women (MCW) pose at last Thursday’s quarterly MCW luncheon at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center.

Thursday at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center.

The primary focus of the event was to kick off registration for the 2023 Annual Statewide Women’s Policy Conference, which will take place at the Westin Chattanooga on Feb. 2-3.

According to Steering Committee member Beverly McKeldin, the mission of the City of Chattanooga Mayor’s Council for Women “is to bring together women from across the state of Tennessee to learn about current legislation affecting women’s lives, and to inspire new policy initiatives that will impact their future and their family’s future.”

McKeldin said those attending the upcoming Women’s Policy Conference will get a chance to collaborate with national experts on the importance of–and further education and involvement in–policies and legislation concerning justice for women; economic self-sufficiency and political engagement; and healthcare and the access to care.

Confirmed conference speakers include: Dr. Jaquelyn Campbell, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing; Dr. Jeannine Carpenter, Chattanooga Area Food Bank; Kimberly Ellis, director of the San Francisco Dept. on the Status of Women; Laurel Graefe, vice president and regional executive at the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; TV personality Judge Glenda Hatchett; “Sonic Essence: Empowerment Thru the Arts” and Dr. Eve Valera, Harvard Medical School. 

McKeldin also released information on the Mayor’s Council for Women’s 2nd Annual Boutique Holiday Extravaganza, which is set for 6 p.m. on Dec. 7, at the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Justice Center, 5705 Uptain Rd. The free event will feature food and door prizes. 

The Mayor’s Council for Women was first announced by Mayor Andy Berke at his 2015 State of the City Address. The Council was tasked by Mayor Berke with making policy recommendations about issues affecting women within Chattanooga and across the region.

Mayor Berke named state Rep. JoAnne Favors and Chattanooga City Council Chair Dr. Carol Berz as co-chairs for the inaugural Council. Rep. Favors and Dr. Berz established a framework for the development of the Council to allow women from all walks of life and professions to participate. 

The Council consists of six committees organized around broad categories–economic opportunity, education, health, history, justice and leadership. Each committee has at least two organizers and approximately a dozen members.

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