March 2020

Columbus Urban League recognizes achievements by black women, pushes others to continue leadership

Via NBC4

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — It’s the end of Black History Month, and for the first time ever, the Columbus Urban League held a brunch Saturday morning, celebrating the contributions of some trailblazing women in central Ohio.

NBC4’s Darlene Hill served as the moderator and spent some time in the company of some amazing women who are leaving a legacy.

It is all about sisterhood and honoring our own — ladies who are blazing trails right here in Columbus.

Those like Stephanie Hightower, who laid a path for others to follow.

Hightower is celebrating ten years as president and CEO of the Columbus Urban League and said there’s a lot of work that still needs to be done.

“When you have high unemployment rates, when you have high infant mortality rates for African American babies being as high as it is, when you have eviction rates,” she said.

The other honorees stand with Hightower and the drive for change, making sure that while they work hard, they’re connecting with others to make sure it’s not as hard to get a seat in the “c-suite” in politics and community service, media, and in law.

Yvette McGee Brown was the first black woman who earned a seat as a justice on the Ohio Supreme Court in 2011.

“For a state as rich and diverse as Ohio, that seemed sad to me, but the fact that I was able to make that trail and be part of Ohio’s history is very humbling for me,” she said.

Brenda Drake, the first lady of Ohio State University, was an attorney in San Francisco before her husband became president at OSU.

Drake said mentors have a critical job to perform.

“What’s really, really important is to set an example for young women who are coming behind us and who might sometimes get discouraged and start thinking, ‘Is it worth it,’ and ‘what’s the point?’” Drake said. “There is a point, and what you’re doing makes a difference, Keep doing it for the next generation watching.”

Watch on NBC4 website

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