Professor, Alums Honored as Women Leaders

Professor, Alums Honored as Women Leaders

On Wednesday, May 9, 2018, women leaders from 10 different industries in the Charleston area will gather for a candid discussion about how they got where they are, the challenges they’ve faced, and their ideas for career growth. The YWCA of Greater Charleston started the conference What Women Bring (WWB) in accordance of its mission to eliminate racism and empower women.

Starting at 11 a.m. at the Charleston Area Convention Center, WWB will host a luncheon honoring women across the community. WCBD News 2 anchor Octavia Mitchell will emcee the event.

Notably, three of the participants in the WWB conference are connected to the College of Charleston.

Reaves and Caldwell. (Photo by Reese Moore)

Professor Patricia Williams Lessane, executive director of the College’s Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture and co-principal investigator for the Race and Social Justice Initiative, will be recognized at the event. Lessane says she was honored to be chosen by the YWCA, noting her first job out of graduate school was with the organization.

“I’m happy to be part of an organization that honors women,” she says, “and to borrow from the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs’ slogan, we are ‘lifting as we climb.’ I think it’s important to be here.”

CofC alumni Johnny Caldwell ’08 and Taneka Reaves ’11 have made a name for themselves as the foremost experts on Lowcountry libations as the Cocktail Bandits. They’ve also worked tirelessly to fight for the inclusion of women and minorities in the food and beverage world.

“Representation really matters in every industry,” says Caldwell. Both women will be honored on Wednesday.

To be a part of the conversation, purchase a ticket online for the Wednesday, May 9, luncheon.

Feature photo of Patricia Williams Lessane by Leslie Ryann McKellar.