Hundreds of women are expected to attend the 5th Annual Miami Beach Women’s Conference, which will take place on Friday, March 22, 2013 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
Mayor Matti Herrera Bower founded the event five years ago, after taking office as Miami Beach’s first female mayor. She decided she wanted to create an event in conjunction with Women’s History Month that would enable women to look back at how far they had come, take stock of themselves today, and inspire young women to become female leaders in the future.
“It’s a wonderful conference. It is a conference in which women can come and learn from each other, and men can also come and learn about what women leaders have achieved. They can see how hard women have to work to achieve success, how different we are when we do have positions of leadership, and how similar we are as well,” Bower has said.
The all-day event is held at the Miami Beach Convention Center, and includes a free breakfast followed by the conference’s signature event, “Lunch in the Garden,” which showcases an array of South Florida’s most acclaimed chefs, caterers and entertainment purveyors. State Sen. Gwen Margolis will also be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
The morning program will include the Speaker’s Panel, led off by nationally known feminist Patricia Ireland, the former head of the National Organization for Women (NOW), human rights leader Elizabeth Schwartz and health specialist Jersey Garcia.
Ireland served as the longest tenured president of NOW from 1992-2001. During this time, Ireland helped move the organization to the forefront of the political scene and build a strong and effective women’s movement. She played a pivotal role in making 1992, the “Year of the Woman,” a campaign that provided feminist candidates with organizers and trained volunteer campaign workers to canvass by telephone and door-to-door to get voters to the polls. She continues her work today as a labor lawyer in Miami, representing unions and employees.
Attorney Elizabeth Schwartz will represent where women are today. She serves as president of the Miami Beach Bar Association and is the Chair of the City of Miami Beach’s Human Rights Committee. In addition, she also chairs the Gay and Lesbian Lawyers Association of South Florida and a member of the National Family Law Advisory Council of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and she serves as the parliamentarian of the Great Miami Jewish Federation’s Women’s Philanthropy, and is on the advisory board of Next@19th: Moving Jewish Culture Forward.
The third speaker, Jersey Garcia, represents the future of women’s rights. She has served as a Peace Corps volunteer and in collaboration with the Honduran Ministry of Health organized and implemented various health campaigns. She has contributed in building to the sustainability of health service delivery in Guyana, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Peru, Guatemala and Trinidad. Currently she is senior Community Health Specialist of the Health Council of South Florida and is responsible for strategic planning and resource development.
The conference is free. The cost of the luncheon is $30 prepaid or $35 at the door. There will also be a silent auction.
Checks should be made out to Women’s Exhibit and mailed to Women’s Exhibit, 3101 Indian Creek Drive, Suite 104 Miami Beach, 33140. More information: www.womensexhibit.org.