Women celebrate empowerment expo

RALEIGH The event is meant to be entertaining, but this year the financial crisis is putting a new spin on the festivities.

It's one thing to hear R and B Superstar Mary J Blige share her troubled past with 20,000 men and women. But for poet Ayesha Atkinson, sitting in on one of the seminars means a lot.

Atkinson is just one of thousands at the 14th annual Women's Empowerment Expo --an event geared toward educating and entertaining African American women from all walks of life.

"Today gave me the opportunity to make contacts with people who are already doing what I want to do," Atkinson said.

The expo had at least eight seminars on Saturday geared toward finances.

"For me it was very important and I know because of unemployment rates increasing, it's really important and I know there were a lot of performances going on but it's kind of like you choose," Atkinson said.

For the 20,000 in attendance, getting help with finances, health and fashion is something that keeps them coming back year after year.

"You just think about what all the speakers and what everybody said and just try to apply that to your life and try to be empowered," attendee Rochelle Briscoe said.

The event is sponsored by the radio one stations in the Triangle.

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