Clarksville attorney, youth advocate Dr. Merriel Bullock-Neal was the keynote speaker at the May 31st Women Empowerment Luncheon at the Clarksville Country Club. The luncheon theme was ‘Breaking the Glass Ceiling.” Dr. Neal is a candidate for Juvenile Court Judge in the Montgomery County August Elections.
Women attending the luncheon ranged from newly vetted business entrepreneurs to seasoned business owners, young heads of households to grandmothers celebrating seeing their youngest graduate college, stay-at-home mothers to cancer survivors, to new college graduates.
Guests were asked to declare one individual achievement as part of the “I’m Not Bragging If Its The Truth” introduction icebreaker exercise. Following the luncheon meal, a tribute was given honoring Maya Angelou. Festivities included a quiz on the life of Maya Angelou and several rounds of a women empowerment bingo game.
Dr. Bullock-Neal made note that today, Montgomery County has no female judges at all. In addition, there are no ethnic minority judges either. Contrast these facts with the reality of the diversity of the population of Montgomery County and a disparity becomes obvious. She reminded the attendees that family obligations do not impede men from seeking high level employment or promotions. Yet that reasoning is used against women in the workplace. Being a homemaker is a fulltime job and, she added, can be just as stressful as any management level employment outside the home. Her credentials exceed those of any previous holder of the juvenile court judgeship. She has a B.A., Masters and Ph.D in the fields of special education, child psychology, and family counseling. She earned her law degree specializing in special education/special needs law. She has served as Guardian ad litem for youth and as Solicitor ad litem for families. She maintains her licensure as a school psychologist and special educator.
Joining Dr. Bullock-Neal at the speaker’s podium were Ms Lovely Morgan, addressing the importance of social media in today’s business world. Seeing past the obstacles of adversity was discussed for its importance in allowing one’s self to get underway in gaining empowerment. Laying a foundation based on sound planning and forethought as opposed to just charging ahead helps ensure a more likely successful outcome for the new business entrepreneur. Sharing and networking with fellow business owners can yield incalculable benefits. In business as in life, one must never stop learning. Continuing education and updating life skills is crucial to success in business and personal living.
Ms Rashida Leverett suggested several books which she has found useful in striking out on her own as a business professional and empowered woman. Women often find insight in these readings about how to give themselves permission to ‘think outside of the box’ and see new horizons. She also had a display of books in the vendors station.
Vendors on hand included a jewelry designer/producer, a real estate sales broker, personal life coach, a published author and bookseller.
[Photos by Turner McCullough Jr./JazzWaves Imaging]