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Housing Authority to host first ever Women’s Empowerment Conference at the Boutwell

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Felicia Huntley, Interim Resident Services Administrator, decorates a housing authority bus Tuesday afternoon as teams prepare to visit multiple public housing communities to promote the Women's Empowerment Conference. (Darryl Washington, HABD photo)

By Joseph D. Bryant

Housing Authority of the Birmingham District

Felicia Huntley, Interim Resident Services Administrator, decorates a housing authority bus Tuesday afternoon as teams prepare to visit multiple public housing communities to promote the Women's Empowerment Conference. (Darryl Washington, HABD photo)
Felicia Huntley, Interim Resident Services Administrator, decorates a housing authority bus Tuesday afternoon as teams prepare to visit multiple public housing communities to promote the Women’s Empowerment Conference. (Darryl Washington, HABD photo)

Employees of the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District this week organized mini parades at six locations around the city to promote its first Women’s Empowerment Conference.

Women from around the state will gather in Birmingham for the two-day Summit at Boutwell Auditorium which begins Thursday at 9 a.m. and concludes Firday. The free event is open to the general public.

The conference will include information from experts discussing financial literacy, career advancement, homeownership, domestic violence awareness and other important issues. There will also be panel discussions from women who share their personal journey of self-improvement.  Job recruiters will also be at Boutwell to discuss opportunities.

The mini parades were designed to spread the word and invite residents to attend.

“We want to get everyone excited about this event,” said HABD President/CEO Michael Lundy. “The focus is to work with the families here, particularly the women who lead the majority of our households. This conference is a grass-roots effort that began with the residents themselves. This is the definition of empowerment and self-determination.”

Activities took place at Kimbrough Homes, North Birmingham Homes, Collegeville Center, Morton Simpson Village and Marks Village and Cooper Green Homes.

The mini-parade included a bus complete with streamers. The caravan was led by Tim Wormley, Collegeville community center coordinator, that cruised through Collegeville Center and North Birmingham Homes. He honked the horn as the team made its way down the street and employees jumped out to greet perplexed and amused onlookers.

Whitney Mullen, community center coordinator at North Birmingham Homes, was among those who passed out candy and gave children to take back home.

“Make sure your mama gets this, ok?” told the young boys gathered around her.

The conference was initiated by the HABD Council Presidents Advisory Board, the umbrella group of resident leaders.

“This is the first time our residents have come together to present this event. We want to give women the tools they need to uplift themselves and their families,” said advisory board President Bertha Davis. “The residents are working hard to make this an event that will change lives and improve our communities. This is a grass root effort.”