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OVERVIEW

col·our

[kuhl-er]

noun: colour

  1. the property possessed by an object of producing different sensations on the eye as a result of the way the object reflects or emits light.

  2. pigmentation of the skin, especially as an indication of someone's race.

Vision

To see confident young women valuing themselves as equal contributors to society overcoming obstacles that stand in the way of their success

Mission

Stimulate, Activate and Engage

To provide tools and resources that encourage girls, and women to actualize their potential making the impossible, possible so they can begin to create change in their community

Purpose

Seek to encourage young women to be the best them they can be while being the trailblazer who creates paths for success

We intentionally address the issues hindering young women from academic, social, psychological, and economical success

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For more details about the conference click on the following tabs.

2023 CONFERENCE IMPACT

Many Shades Of Colour Young Women’s Conference 2023 Executive Summary MSC23, held on March 4, 2023 brought together a diverse group of 326 Youth from various grade levels, backgrounds, and abilities. With the unwavering support of our valued partners, the conference aimed to foster personal growth, community engagement, and educational empowerment. Demographic Snapshot Ethnicity Distribution: Black/African American: 60% Native American: 4% White/Caucasian: 7% Hispanic/Latino: 11% Asian: 4% Multi-Racial: 14% Age and Grade Levels: Age 11-14: 65% Age 15-18: 35% Middle School (6th-8th grade): 56% High School (9th-12th grade): 44% Favorite Subjects: Math: 42% English: 15% Science: 16% History: 8% Physical Education: 10% Other/Not specified: 9% Grade Level Distribution: 6th: 22% 7th: 20% 8th: 14% 9th: 17% 10th: 6% 11th: 10% 12th: 11% Hearing Impaired: 2% Not Hearing Impaired: 98% Free Lunch Eligibility: Eligible for free lunch: 70% Not eligible for free lunch: 30% Community Engagement and Support Networking and Mentorship: The event fosters connections between young women and mentors, creating a supportive network. With 55 mentors actively involved, attendees receive guidance, encouragement, and ongoing support crucial for their personal growth and success. Inclusivity and Collaboration Community Partnerships: Over 50 community partners plus 67 volunteers actively participate, representing a diverse range of organizations committed to the well-being and success of young men of color. This collaborative effort enhances inclusivity and brings together resources for comprehensive support. Post Survey Highlights: Fun and Educational: Post-surveys showed that 94% of Young Women found MSC23 fun, and 100% considered it educational. Exceeding Expectations: 83% of attendees stated that the conference met or exceeded their expectations. Recommendation and Future Engagement: 100% expressed the intention to invite a friend or loved one next year, and 100% expressed interest in Hip-Hope hosting more events like MSC23 throughout the year. Hopeful and Supported: An overwhelming 100% felt more hopeful and supported after attending MSC23. Positive Dining Experience: 87% liked the continental breakfast and pasta lunch options provided during the event. Inspiration and Skill Development: •Guest Speakers: 97% of attendees reported being inspired by the guest speakers. •Keynote and Special Guest Panel: An impressive 100% found inspiration in the keynote address Fostering Personal Growth: 86% of attendees strongly agreed that the conference enhanced their self-confidence and understanding of personal identity. Community Engagement: An overwhelming 91% expressed increased connections and engagement with diverse communities. Educational Empowerment: 96% reported gaining valuable knowledge and inspiration for educational pursuits. Overall Satisfaction: 83% rated their overall satisfaction as a perfect 10, while 10% rated it a 9, and 7% rated it an 8. Conclusion: The Many Shades Of Colour Young Women’s Conference 2023 was a resounding success, delivering impactful experiences to attendees across various domains. From fostering personal growth to strengthening community bonds and promoting educational empowerment, the conference achieved its objectives. We also celebrate the 10% growth of attendance from 2022, and 17% growth since the inaugural 5 years ago. PRIVILEGE FOR YOUNG WOMEN The Many Shades Of Colour Young Women’s Conference 2023 (MSC23) provides privilege to young women through its comprehensive approach to personal development, community engagement, and educational empowerment. Here's how MSC23 offers privilege to young women: 1. Inclusive Grade Level Distribution: - By catering to a broad range of grade levels (6th to 12th), MSC23 ensures that young women from various educational stages have the opportunity to participate. This inclusivity allows attendees to engage with peers at different academic levels, fostering a sense of community and shared experiences. 2. Specialized Support for Hearing Impaired Attendees: - The consideration for hearing impaired attendees (2%) demonstrates a commitment to inclusivity. MSC23 provides a supportive environment that accommodates diverse abilities, allowing young women with hearing impairments to fully participate and engage in the conference experience. 3. Fostering Personal Growth: - The post-survey highlights reveal that 86% of young women strongly agreed that the conference enhanced their self-confidence and understanding of personal identity. MSC23 actively promotes self-discovery and personal growth, providing young women with tools to navigate and embrace their individuality. 4. Community Engagement and Networking: - The event's emphasis on networking and mentorship creates a supportive network for young women. With 35 mentors actively involved, attendees receive guidance and encouragement crucial for their personal growth and success. This mentorship component offers young women valuable connections with experienced individuals, enhancing their professional and personal networks. 5. Educational Empowerment: - The conference goes beyond personal growth by empowering young women through education. With 96% reporting gaining valuable knowledge and inspiration for educational pursuits, MSC23 contributes to the academic empowerment of attendees. This educational focus equips young women with the tools and motivation to pursue their educational goals. 6. Overall Satisfaction and Growth Celebration: - The high satisfaction ratings (83% rated their overall satisfaction as a perfect 10) indicate that MSC23 not only meets but exceeds the expectations of young women attendees. The celebration of a 10% growth in attendance from the previous year and a remarkable 17% growth since the inaugural event demonstrates the increasing recognition and impact of MSC23 in empowering young women. 7. Recognition of Partners' Support: - The heartfelt appreciation extended to partners underscores the collaborative effort that makes MSC23 possible. The positive feedback from attendees further emphasizes the significance of such initiatives in creating lasting change. This recognition acknowledges the vital role partners play in providing young women with privileged access to transformative experiences. In conclusion, Many Shades Of Colour Young Women’s Conference 2023 goes beyond a one-time event. It creates a privileged space for young women, fostering personal growth, building supportive networks, promoting educational empowerment, and celebrating their diverse identities. The conference's success and growth affirm its positive impact on the lives of young women, making it a cornerstone in the journey towards lasting change and empowerment. POWER TOOLS FOR YOUNG WOMEN The Many Shades Of Colour Young Women’s Conference 2023 (MSC23) equips young women with tools to turn obstacles into opportunities, enabling them to overcome overwhelming challenges. Here's how MSC23 provides these tools: 1. Empowering Workshops: - MSC23 organizes workshops such as 'Speak Your Peace/Know Your Power,' 'Creator U/Make Money with Your Passion,' and 'Manhood: A Right of Passage.' These sessions are designed to empower young women by providing practical insights and guidance for personal and professional development. Workshops focus on building resilience, self-confidence, and a proactive mindset to navigate challenges. 2. Inclusive Themes and Discussions: - The conference theme, "Ownership," emphasizes self-empowerment and responsibility. Discussions during the conference address challenges faced by young women, encouraging them to take ownership of their lives. This inclusive approach ensures that the tools provided resonate with the diverse experiences and obstacles young women may encounter. 3. Diverse Representation: - Keynote speakers and panelists are carefully selected to represent a diverse range of experiences. This diversity ensures that young women can relate to and learn from individuals who have overcome challenges. Learning from the experiences of successful individuals becomes a powerful tool for young women to see obstacles as surmountable and opportunities for growth. 4. Mentorship Opportunities: - The networking lunch session provides a platform for attendees to engage with keynote speakers and panelists, fostering mentorship opportunities. Building connections with successful individuals from various fields not only addresses the privilege of networking but also provides young women with mentors who can guide them in turning obstacles into opportunities. 5. Practical Guidance Workshops: - Workshop sessions are designed to offer practical guidance on issues such as financial literacy ('Earn…Save…Invest…'), career development ('Creator U/Make Money with Your Passion'), and personal growth ('What’s on Your Playlist'). This practical approach provides tangible tools for overcoming challenges related to education, employment, and personal well-being. 6. Acknowledgment of Systemic Challenges: - MSC23 acknowledges systemic challenges faced by young women, such as disparities in education, employment, and healthcare. This acknowledgment serves as a starting point for discussions on how individuals can navigate and overcome these challenges. By recognizing and addressing systemic obstacles, the conference empowers young women to see opportunities for systemic change. 7. Community Support and Ongoing Engagement: - The support of sponsors, community leaders, and dynamic keynote speakers demonstrates a commitment to addressing challenges and promoting opportunities for young women. The conference's success lays the groundwork for ongoing engagement, mentorship, and support, recognizing that challenges persist beyond a single event. 8. Holistic Development Focus: - Themed around "Ownership," MSC23 encourages young women to take control of their lives across various dimensions. This holistic approach addresses personal, educational, and professional aspects, empowering attendees to navigate challenges with a well-rounded set of tools. In essence, Many Shades Of Colour Young Women’s Conference 2023 provides young women with the tools of empowerment, mentorship, practical guidance, and a supportive community, enabling them to view obstacles as opportunities for growth and change. By fostering a proactive mindset and offering tangible resources, MSC23 equips young women to overcome challenges and turn them into stepping stones toward a brighter future. HOPE FOR THE COMMUNITY The Many Shades Of Colour Young Women’s Conference 2023 (MSC23) serves as a beacon of hope for the community through various impactful initiatives and outcomes. Here's how MSC23 contributes to instilling hope: 1. Fostering Personal Growth and Identity: - The conference actively fosters personal growth and enhances attendees' understanding of personal identity. By empowering young women to embrace and celebrate their individuality, MSC23 creates a sense of hope by encouraging self-discovery and self-confidence. 2. Building Community Bonds: - With an overwhelming 91% of attendees expressing increased connections and engagement with diverse communities, MSC23 becomes a catalyst for building strong community bonds. The connections forged during the conference contribute to a sense of unity and shared purpose, fostering hope for a supportive and interconnected community. 3. Educational Empowerment: - The focus on educational empowerment, with 96% of attendees gaining valuable knowledge and inspiration for educational pursuits, instills hope for a brighter future. By providing young women with the tools and motivation to pursue their educational goals, MSC23 contributes to the community's hope for improved opportunities and success. 4. Positive Overall Satisfaction and Growth: - The high overall satisfaction ratings (83% rated their overall satisfaction as a perfect 10) and the celebration of a 10% growth in attendance from the previous year signify the positive impact and increasing recognition of MSC23. This success becomes a source of hope, indicating that community initiatives can grow, thrive, and make a lasting difference. 5. Acknowledgment of Partners' Support: - Expressing heartfelt appreciation to partners underscores the collaborative effort that makes MSC23 possible. This recognition and partnership create hope for ongoing support and the continuation of impactful community initiatives. It sends a positive message that, with collective effort, positive change is not only possible but achievable. 6. Recognition of Significance: - The acknowledgment of the positive feedback from attendees highlights the significance of initiatives like MSC23 in creating lasting change. This recognition reinforces the hope that community-driven events and programs can make a meaningful impact on the lives of individuals, contributing to overall community well-being. 7. Celebrating Growth and Impact Beyond the Event: - The celebration of a 17% growth since the inaugural event and the acknowledgement of partners, mentors, and community support demonstrate the longevity and positive impact of MSC23. This celebration becomes a testament to the community's ability to come together, overcome challenges, and create lasting positive change. In summary, Many Shades Of Colour Young Women’s Conference 2023 brings hope to the community by empowering individuals, building strong community connections, promoting educational opportunities, celebrating success and growth, and recognizing the collective effort that makes positive change possible. MSC23 serves as a model of hope, demonstrating the transformative power of community engagement and empowerment. MSC23 WIN! WIN! WIN! Many Shades Of Colour Young Women’s Conference 2023 (MSC23) serves as a beacon of hope for the community by offering young women privileged opportunities and equipping them with tools to overcome overwhelming challenges. The conference achieves this through: 1. Empowering Workshops and Discussions: - MSC23 provides a platform for empowering workshops and discussions, fostering personal growth, and enhancing self-confidence. This empowerment becomes a source of hope for young women, encouraging them to navigate challenges with resilience. 2. Inclusive Themes and Diverse Representation: - The conference’s inclusive theme of “Ownership” emphasizes self-empowerment and responsibility. Diverse representation among keynote speakers and panelists ensures that young women see relatable role models who have overcome challenges, instilling hope for their own journeys. 3. Mentorship Opportunities: - Networking sessions offer mentorship opportunities, granting young women access to influential individuals. This mentorship becomes a privilege that opens doors to future opportunities, contributing to the hope for guidance and support on their paths. 4. Practical Guidance and Financial Literacy: - MSC23 addresses practical aspects through workshops on financial literacy and career development. These tools provide young women with tangible resources to overcome economic challenges, fostering hope for a brighter financial future and increased opportunities. 5. Acknowledgment of Systemic Challenges: - By acknowledging and addressing systemic challenges, MSC23 empowers young women to see opportunities for systemic change. This acknowledgment becomes a source of hope, signaling a commitment to dismantling barriers and creating a more equitable community. 6. Community Support and Ongoing Engagement: - The conference’s success, ongoing community support, and engagement underscore a collective commitment to the betterment of young women. This sustained effort becomes a beacon of hope, demonstrating that positive change is not temporary but an ongoing process. 7. Holistic Development and Personal Growth: - MSC23’s focus on holistic development, encompassing personal, educational, and professional aspects, equips young women with a well-rounded set of tools. This holistic approach becomes a source of hope, indicating that empowerment extends beyond immediate challenges to create lasting positive change. 8. Positive Feedback and Celebration of Growth: - Recognition of positive feedback from attendees and the celebration of a 17% growth since the inaugural event signal success and impact. This success becomes a symbol of hope, illustrating that community-driven initiatives can grow and make a lasting difference. In summary, Many Shades Of Colour Young Women’s Conference 2023 gives hope to the community by offering young women privileged opportunities, tools for empowerment, and a supportive environment to overcome challenges. Through education, mentorship, and acknowledgment of systemic issues, MSC23 fosters a sense of hope, resilience, and the belief that positive change is not only possible but achievable for the young women it serves. MSC23 WIN! WIN! WIN! INSIGHTS Many Shades Of Colour Young Women’s Conference 2023 (MSC23) is a transformative event that has proven its impact through tangible insights and positive outcomes for young women. The following key insights provide evidence of the conference’s effectiveness in empowering and equipping attendees: 1. Empowering Workshops and Personal Growth: - Insight: Post-conference surveys reveal that 86% of attendees strongly agreed that MSC23 enhanced their self-confidence and understanding of personal identity. - Impact: This high level of agreement showcases the direct impact of the conference on the personal growth and self-esteem of young women, indicating a positive shift in their perception of themselves. 2. Community Engagement and Connections: - Insight: An overwhelming 91% of attendees expressed increased connections and engagement with diverse communities. - Impact: The significant percentage reflects the success of MSC23 in fostering community engagement, creating a network of support, and expanding the social connections of young women. 3. Educational Empowerment and Knowledge Gain: - Insight: 96% of attendees reported gaining valuable knowledge and inspiration for educational pursuits. - Impact: The high percentage demonstrates the conference’s effectiveness in providing educational empowerment, offering valuable insights, and inspiring young women to pursue knowledge and academic goals. 4. Overall Satisfaction and Growth Celebration: - Insight: 83% of attendees rated their overall satisfaction as a perfect 10, and the event celebrated a 17% growth in attendance since the inaugural conference. - Impact: The high satisfaction rating coupled with the growth celebration indicates not only the success of MSC23 but also the increasing recognition and positive reception of the conference over the years. 5. Acknowledgment of Partners’ Support: - Insight: The heartfelt appreciation extended to partners emphasizes the crucial role of their unwavering support in making the event possible. - Impact: The acknowledgment underscores the collaborative effort and shared commitment to the success of MSC23, highlighting the significance of partnerships in achieving positive outcomes. 6. Ten Percent Growth in Attendance: - Insight: The conference celebrated a 10% growth in attendance from the previous year. - Impact: This growth is a clear indicator of the increasing impact and relevance of MSC23, drawing more young women to benefit from its empowering and educational initiatives. 7. Ten Percent Growth Since Inauguration: - Insight: The conference has experienced a 17% growth since its inaugural event five years ago. - Impact: The sustained growth over the years reflects the enduring impact and success of MSC23 in meeting the needs of young women and contributing to their personal development. In summary, the insights gathered from post-conference surveys, satisfaction ratings, community engagement, and growth celebrations provide concrete evidence of the impact of Many Shades Of Colour Young Women’s Conference 2023. These insights not only validate the effectiveness of the conference but also emphasize its continuous growth and positive influence on the lives of young women.

Meet Your Co-Chairs

Valora’ James

Valora’ James is a Team Leader in Operations at Wellmark BCBS, mother, and community leader. She was born and raised in Des Moines, IA. She graduated from the Des Moines Public School system. She went on to further her education at William Penn University getting her Bachelor of Arts in Business Management and graduated with a Master degree in Business Leadership. She also graduated from the African American Leadership Academy and the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute. Valora’ is a member of the Wellmark Inclusion and Diversity Council. Finally, she is a proud member of Epsilon Theta Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. Valora lives a life of public service. She leads by example and strives to make the world a better place, particularly for those most marginalized. Valora’ strategically positions herself in roles where she serves as an influencer with corporate collaborators while also working directly with a variety of community leaders from the public, private and faith sectors. Most notably, she serves as Co-Chair of Hip-Hope Inc. “Know Your Worth” Many Shades of Colour Young Women’s Conference, Co-Chair of Many Shades of Colour Lead-Her-Ship Retreat focusing on topics such as leadership, team building, academic achievement, self-worth, financial responsibility, cultural competency, emotional intelligence, and obligations of citizenship and served as a dedicated board member of Hip Hope, Inc. for several years. The nature of her involvement was to carry out Hip-Hope’s mission to utilize arts and culture to promote hope where symptoms of hopelessness are prevalent for under privileged/over-challenged youth in the community. Her leadership skills in her community and position on Wellmark Inclusion and Diversity Council led her to create and facilitate racial equity workshops to over 700 employees including the Senior Leadership Team and Board of Directors. Through this experience she was able to raise awareness for the impact of racial inequity, create empathy for marginalized groups and help her work community recognize the importance of valuing others. Valora’ is a huge advocate in the community. Her untiring work ethic showcases a high degree of integrity and a keen sense of identifying strategies to help young women mitigate obstacles and barriers that may impede their future success. Valora demonstrates a solid vision for living and working her passion to uplift and empower young women and girls.

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Valerie Jones

Valerie Jones serves as the Co-Chair of Hip Hope’s Know Your Worth, Many Shades of Colour Young Women’s Conference. She also is the Youth Pastor at Anchored InTruth Ministries in Edwardsville, IL. She is an entrepreneur, launching JONES Cleaning & Remodeling Services LLC in 2008, alongside her husband of 20 years.Her business expanded in 2020 and now operates successfully in 3 states; Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Iowa State University andis a native of Des Moines, IA. Valerie is also the Founder of Day1withVal, a Christian based faith and wellness ministry guided by her life’s mantra “Change Your Mind, Change Your Life!” “My goal is to intentionally identify the things (mindset, people, environment) that distract us from being what God intended us to be, and to take actionable steps to create new healthy habits moving us toward a purpose-filled abundant life.

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