PEMBROKE — The third annual Women’s Empowerment Summit will be held at UNC Pembroke’s Office for Regional Initiatives on March 8.
This year’s event, titled “Women and the Law: Same Game, Different Rules,” will feature a mix of speakers and networking opportunities.
The keynote speaker is Ola Lewis, senior resident Superior Court judge for the 13B Judicial District. The day-long event begins at 9:30 a.m. and will wrap up at 4 p.m. The cost is $45 per person. A table of five is $200. Lunch is included.
The Office for Regional Initiatives is located at 115 Livermore Drive in the COMtech business park.
Mary Beth Locklear, director of the Office for Regional Initiatives, said the goal is to provide a platform for women of all ages and backgrounds to connect with peers and become informed on timely issues that are valuable to today’s women.
“We look forward to this event every year,” Locklear said. “It brings women together from all backgrounds and enhances their quality of life. The messages delivered throughout the day truly make an impact on the audience, thus our communities, and that’s powerful.”
Lewis has 27 years of legal experience. She has served in her current role since 2003. She previously served as a District Dourt judge and assistant district attorney for Bladen, Brunswick and Columbus counties.
A native of Boiling Springs Lake, Lewis in 1993 became was the youngest District Dourt judge in North Carolina. She was the first female African American District Court judge and one of only two female African American Superior Court judges in the state.
Lewis has presided over many complex civil and criminal cases across the state, including capital homicide cases. She has earned several special recognitions and honors including the “Old North State Award,” a prominent state award given by the governor.
A breakout session exploring equality in the workplace will be led by Rosalynde Fenner, a retired special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration. Antoinette Hurtt, a detective with the Hope Mills Police Department, will present a session titled “Respect Yourself, Protect Yourself.”
There will also be a Q & A panel featuring Shelena Smith, clerk of Superior Court in Robeson County; Brandi Bullock, managing attorney of Jones Bullock in Laurinburg; Jennifer Fincher, a real estate attorney in Fayetteville; and Candace Harke, managing attorney of Legal Aid of North Carolina in Pembroke.
“There are moments in our lives that change everything,” said Dr. Cammie Hunt, associate vice chancellor for Engaged Outreach. “The UNCP Women’s Empowerment Summit began as a vision of women supporting each other, of women learning together, of women uplifting others and the ripple effect of that could be felt far beyond our little world.
“Over the past few years, it has been a catalyst for growth, change and possibility for women,” Hunt said.
To register for the event, call 910.775.4000 or visit uncp.edu/rc.