Young Black Women’s Society of Boston focuses on leadership development

Kassmin Williams | 4/23/2014, 10:54 a.m. | Updated on 4/23/2014, 10:54 a.m.
When Alicia Canady founded the Young Black Women’s Society of Boston along with four of her friends, it was because ...
This year marks the third annual Next Generation Women of Color Summit, which aims to encourage leadership in girls and women. Courtesy of YBWS

Those leadership opportunities have been invaluable for some members.

April Watson has held roles as treasurer and vice-chair of finance and is now co-executive director for YBWS.

“When I started I just really wanted a way to have a positive impact on the city I had come from. I knew [YBWS] had done a lot of community service work and initially that’s what intrigued me about the organization,” Watson said. “But what has kept me in for the past three to four years was the potential for growth and the potential to learn from the past leadership in the organization.”

For the past three years, the group has hosted the Next Generation Women of Color Summit for women of all ages and high school-aged girls.

This year’s event is on May 3 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Simmons College. The summit’s theme focuses on the idea of “having it all,” Canady said.

“It’s really about how you define what you’re “all” is, what you’re success is, and what happiness is to you,” Canady said. “We want our speakers throughout the day to use the opportunity to define what they see as “having it all” and for our attendees to walk away at least thinking about how they define “having it all” so they know how it drives the decisions they make — whether it’s in their personal or professional lives.”

Natasha Eubanks, creator of celebrity blog site, theybf.com, is the keynote speaker.

Attendees will participate in three breakout sessions. Two of the sessions will focus on defining each individual’s motivation and pursuing a career centered on passion.

The third breakout session will focus on how some nonprofits are ensuring the urban community “has it all.”

The nonprofit organizations involved in the discussion are the Boston Foundation, New England Blacks in Philanthropy and Big Sister.

The summit will close with a roundtable modeled after daytime talk show “The View.” The roundtable will feature care.com founder Donna Levin. The group will speak about the idea of “having it all” and how their views of it have changed.