Young professional women and their more seasoned counterparts are to gather in Pikesville, Maryland on April 12 and 13 for the tenth installment of the annual “Heal a Woman to Heal a Nation” Conference (HWHN) for spiritual healing, life support and personal growth.
Attendance at the conference, coined “Life in 4G,” a reference to the latest generation of internet and cellphone technology, has grown over the decade as the event has become a hub for sisterhood and self-empowerment in Maryland.
The organizers of the gathering, to be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Pikesville, are marking the 10th year of the program by honoring, with a “Queens That Rock” award, citing the achievements of 10 women for charitable work, entrepreneurship and mentoring.
“We believe when you bring women together they can change the world,” said Mothyna James, one of the co-founders of Heal a Woman to Heal a Nation. “We create a platform for women to live their dreams, do community service and provide mentorship and leadership.”
Awardees include women’s organizations that help heal victims of sexual abuse, assault and rape such as Rising Phoenix Baltimore, authors such as Marcia Gethers and Ni’cola Mitchell, social workers, advocates, entrepreneurs and a slew of other dynamic women.
Co-founders James, Miss Morgan State University at the time of inception, and Monokia Tyson Nance led the first Heal a Woman to Heal as a pampering day. The pair said they did not envision HWHN’s success at the national level as a national non-profit vehicle for women and young girls.
“Initially it was supposed to help build a community of change between young women starting their careers and women in the community,” said Tyson Nance. “I would never have thought my life would be the way it is now 10 years ago. When we started this I was a sophomore at Morgan.”
Each year, the conference has carried a variety of themes including “Essentially Me,” “The Spirit of Woman,” and “Own Your Own Legacy” all pushing education, mental and physical health, economic and self empowerment.
This year’s conference will feature two keynote speakers, Nicole Roberts Jones and Dee Marshall. Roberts Jones is a speaker, author and empowerment coach and Marshall is a speaker and lifestyle expert. The conference, which costs about $100 to attend for the weekend, also includes six breakout sessions, four power-hour speakers and nearly two dozen vendors selling health products and beauty aids.
Through the program, as James and Nance have promoted sisterhood, enduring friendships have formed among the participants, they said. “Women have started businesses and left abuse relationships. Women have traveled together to the Virgin Islands and moved up in executive leadership roles,” said Nance speaking about the lasting impact of the sessions. “We do this for women like us. We invite women we want to learn from or have learned from.”
Since starting Heal a Woman to Heal a Nation, the co-founders have started a series of workshops in Baltimore and around the nation for women and young girls. They have spoken in Syracuse, N.Y., held trainings in San Diego, Calif. and started a self-empowerment mentorship program for girls ages 13-17 called Butterfly Sistas.
Through it all, though, the pair has never forgotten their roots and are frequent visitors to the Morgan State, often at the invitation of MSU women’s organizations.