12th Annual Shirley Clarke Franklin Lecture Series Empowers Students to Become Visionary Women

More than 700 female students from across Atlanta Public Schools gathered on March 26 to celebrate Women’s History Month during the 12th Annual Shirley Clarke Franklin Lecture Series at the Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy (CSKYWLA).

This year’s program marked the first time that girls across the District convened at CSKYWLA to hear an inspiring message of empowerment in celebration of Women’s History Month. This year’s theme was “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace and Nonviolence,”

Featuring keynote speaker Adrienne White, a licensed certified public accountant and vice president of strategy/business development at Citizens Trust Bank, the program showcased inspiring remarks, an oral recitation of Nikki Giovanni’s famous poem, “Ego Tripping (there may be a reason why),” presentations, and a performance by the CSKYWLA Dance Team.

During her keynote address, White encouraged students to dream, triumph, and to become visionary women and queens in their communities.

“You have the power to impact your community for the positive right now!” White told students. “Community can take on several meanings. Right now, we are a community of queens. Your school is a community. Your family is a community. Your neighborhood. Your Atlanta. Your Georgia. Your United States of America. These are all communities. Being a community-focused visionary woman means that you have a vision that your community is peaceful, just, and that all who are in your community are treated with equity so that they can achieve their dreams.”

A question-and-answer session followed, as several students were given the opportunity to ask White insightful questions about her personal and professional journey.

Former Mayor Franklin was among those special guests in attendance.

The Shirley Clarke Franklin Lecture Series was established in 2007 to honor the accomplishments of former Mayor Shirley Franklin, who became the first African-American woman of a Southern city to be elected mayor in 2002, having served two terms until 2009. The series is designed for students to learn from some of the most renowned, influential women leaders in Atlanta.

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