March was a busy month for the women in Baton Rouge, Louisiana as March 13th-20th was Women’s Empowerment Week here in Southeast Louisiana. Since March is Women’s History month, Sistars of Empowerment Inc has chosen a specific week for the past for years (usually the last week of the month) to host daily women empowerment events ranging from business to health and wellness to entertainment.
This year’s events included the following:
Women’s Wellness Program (Speakers: Nadia Francois, Dr. Bridgette Williams, MD, and Effie Robertson, RN)
Women in Business Empowerment Panel (Speakers: Nadia Francois, Effie Robertson, RN, Petula Sankarsignh, and Chastity Sonier)
Little Black Dress Soiree (Hostess: Kearn Cherry, Speakers: Sandy Sanders, and Nadia Francois)
Women’s Empowerment Brunch (Hostess: Nadia Francois, Speakers: Dr. Feleshia Young, Kearn Cherry, June Lyle, and Darlene Reese)
Empowered Divas Awards (Hostess: Tiffany Dickerson)
Sistars of Empowerment Inc also hosted virtual-themed days for each day of the week for those who may not participate in the physical events, and most of the events were streamed live so people could also watch from home.
While I was unable to attend most of the events, I did attend the Empowered Divas Awards, which were held at Any Occasion Hall here in Baton Rouge. As stated above, the diva herself, Tiffany Dickerson, was the hostess of the award show that nominees and guests could attend in person or watch online. Several ladies who were being honored are not located in Louisiana, so they, of course, watched the livesteam. The ceremony also recognized women who were virtually honored during the previous year due to the pandemic.
Although this was my second time being honored for my work with SwagHer Magazine and our efforts to empower women, I enjoyed it as much as I did the first time in 2018. I felt proud to be recognized by my peers and so many women that I’d worked with. When I met many of them, like Dana Ayo of HD Bling and Tiffany Dickerson, they were just starting out. Tiffany actually hosted our first I’m a Diva Awards in 2012 or 2013. I have a bomb interview with Sharonda Parker of PPG Store, who was also an honoree. And, of course, I’ve worked with Nadia many times over the years.
Because SwagHer Magazine was a media partner for the week, right before Women’s Empowerment Week kicked off, I sat down with Nadia on a Facebook live to discuss the week’s festivities and how everyone could participate. You can watch it below, but here are a few takeaways.
Sistars of Empowerment is a social organization with a mission to give back and uplift women and girls
They have received a proclamation from Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston-Broome in recognition of their citywide events
Funds raised from the events Sistars of Empowerment Inc hosted go towards their scholarship fund for former participants of the Mr and Miss Empowerment Pageant that the organization also hosts.
The nonprofit organization also gathered supplies and packed bags for women in a local Baton Rouge domestic violence shelter. While they could not meet with the women personally, they would be able to drop them off. The organization also encouraged others to pack gently-used bags at home and share them with women in their communities.
To learn more about Sistars of Empowerment, click here.
Photography by Bobby Mayo.
Also, here’s a reel of me and my award.
Francheska “Fancy” Felder is a quiet Southern, media mogul in the making. In 2010, she launched SwagHer Magazine, an empowerment and lifestyle publication for the progressive Black community.
Fancy’s passion for all things creative combined with her love for writing, Black culture, and business guided her to also offer her public relations, creative, and branding services, making the magazine more of a media boutique having its own subscription clients as well as advertisers, hence why the name changed to SwagHer Magazine & Media.
SwagHer Magazine uses positive media and storytelling to create new narratives and mindsets around Black people, their communities, and the businesses and organizations they lead. Fancy executes campaigns for Black women-led businesses, coaches, authors, and girl bosses so that they receive more visibility and establish themselves as an authority.
The Mississippi native is also one half of Theories & Thoughts Podcast, a discussion-driven show that tackles Black issues and taboo subjects with a kitchen table talk feel, which she hosts with Arnya T.M. Davis. The two also co-produce and host Theories & Thoughts Deep Dive, a millennial talk show.
The former teen mom graduated from Southwest Mississippi Community College with her associate’s in marketing management and studied mass communications with a focus in public relations from Southern University A&M College.