Annual Women's Conference to "Represent Unity" Despite Political Divisiveness

The Annual California Women’s Conference (CWC), hosted by the Women Network, will soon bring to Long Beach a long list of inspiring thought leaders, including Forbes Riley, Chalene Johnson, Winn Claybaugh, Dr. Shefali Tsabary, as well as Mayor Robert Garcia, to speak during the two-day event on Wednesday, May 10 and Thursday, May 11.

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The Women Network will also present Carmen Perez and Tamika Mallory, Women’s March on Washington co-chairs, Gladys Knight, and several others, with its Five To Thrive Award, while the INSPIRIQUE Circle of Life Awards will posthumously honor Maya Angelou and Leah Spielberg Adler.

“What I find particularly special about this year is that despite the political, religious and emotional divisiveness in the world at the moment, the individuals working on and attending this event represent unity among women,” Michelle Patterson, CWC’s CEO and Women Network’s founder, told the Post. “Everyone involved – CWC staff, partners, sponsors, attendees – is top-notch. They are collaborative, curious, diverse and supportive of each other. We’re executing every initiative through the lens: women are better together. It’s such an inspiring environment to be in.”

When Patterson was 12 years old, she interviewed California Governor George Deukmejian, the creator of the conference, for a middle school assignment. He told her afterward, “That’s the best interview I have ever had.” Patterson said that comment made her feel “10 feet tall, like I was meant to be there and that I belonged. For an awkward kid dealing with scoliosis, that moment changed me.”

Fast forward nearly 30 years later, through Patterson’s life working on political campaigns, serving in senior corporate positions, starting a family and running her own business, when the governor called and asked her to consider leading the CWC.

“I immediately felt drawn to take it on, and I’m so glad I did,” Patterson said.

What Patterson hopes attendees are able to take away from the two-day event includes encouragement, confidence and that “while we feel the pressure to ‘do it all,’ we don’t have to and no one really can. However, if we work together and support each other, amazing things can happen.”

“I also hope they walk away with helpful tools that enable them to navigate life’s challenges, as well as a renewed spark for their professional endeavors, self-love for themselves and strengthened tolerance of others,” Patterson continued.

Nicole Roberts-Jones, a best-selling author and career and lifestyle expert, will speak on the Redefining Success panel during the conference, covering how she “redefined her own success” and how she is able to assist others through her company, Fierce Factor Lab. You can hear her speak on Wednesday, May 10 at 11:55AM on the Connect Stage.

“One of the things I have learned as a CEO, is that your business can never and will never outgrow you,” Roberts-Jones said in a statement. “By bringing women together at the California Women’s Conference to empower and inspire, my goal is to create a space, as I do through my company, for women to become the highest and best version of who they were created to be.”

The Women Network is a global community for women offering tools and resources to empower women to live their best lives, spotlight achievements from women around the world, and support women leaders.

To purchase tickets, starting at $149 for general admission, and to learn more about Women Network’s efforts leading up to the California Women’s Conference, visit the website here.

Editor's Note: Don King will no longer be presenting the INSPIRIQUE Circle of Life Awards, as was previously written.

The Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center is located at 300 East Ocean Boulevard.



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