Seven Elizabeth City Leaders Provide Insight at Phenomenal Woman Conference
Seven women leaders were the featured panelists during the Phenomenal Woman Conference held on the ECSU campus Wednesday, March 4. The panelists are, back row left to right: Mayor Bettie J. Parker, Dr. Catherine Edmonds, the Honorable Janice M. Cole; front row left to right: Jan King Robinson, Chancellor Karrie G. Dixon, Provost Farrah J. Ward, and J.C. Sawyer Asst. Principal Dena’ Banks.
The Elizabeth City State University Student Government Association (SGA) and the Prevention, Awareness, and Cultural Education (PACE) Center hosted a Phenomenal Woman Conference on Wednesday, March 4 in honor of Women’s History Month.
The event was a student-led forum that allowed students and community members to get advice from seven outstanding figures who have been acknowledged for their leadership roles in law and education in Elizabeth City.
The panel featured ECSU Chancellor Karrie G. Dixon, ECSU Board of Trustees Chair Jan King Robinson, ECSU Provost Farrah J. Ward, City of Elizabeth City Mayor Bettie J. Parker, the Honorable Janice M. Cole, Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools Superintendent Catherine Edmonds, and ECPPS J.C. Sawyer Elementary School Assistant Principal Dena’ Banks.
The event opened with a spoken word by Makayla Wright, followed by the introduction of the panel by emcee Courtney Hancock, host of WRVS’ The Juice. Ms. Hancock asked the panelists questions about their goals, challenges they have faced, individuals who have inspired them, self-care and work-life balance.
“I am honored to be sitting here with such distinguished women who have done and accomplished so much in their lives as they think about and reflect on the journey they have taken,” Chancellor Dixon said as she welcomed guests to campus.
When talking about finding her goal, Chancellor Dixon recommended “when you finally find out what that goal is that you want to aspire to do and or aspire to be, speak it loudly, speak it to everyone you come in contact with, because you never know who is connected to who and how they can help you get to where you want to be.”
In addition to talking about self-care, ECSU Board of Trustees Chair Jan King Robinson talked about life-long learning.
“What you have just heard from these speakers, they are students,” Ms. Robinson said. “They are always looking, analyzing, and seeing what is going on. Be very thoughtful about your environments and get to know the people you are around the table with.”
Provost Farrah J. Ward shared her thoughts on something she feels passionately about, the work-life balance. “I have a five-year-old son, so I am dealing with it in real time,” Provost Ward said.
“When you are in this stage of your life, it is like juggling where you have some balls that are plastic and some balls that are glass. Your objective is to not let any of the glass balls fall,” Provost Ward said. “Anything that has to do with my family is number one, so that is a glass ball. But sometimes your family is the plastic ball and your work is the glass ball, like today as I am here with you and not picking my son up from school.
“As women, we do have to make that balance. It is possible; you just have to make sure you know at all times which ball is plastic and which one is glass.”