RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Tuesday morning, inside of the Greater Richmond Convention Center, 1,400 women lined up to attend the Women’s Achieve Summit.
“It is our focus on 400 years of women’s achievements in Virginia and across the country,” said Executive Director of the 2019 commemoration, Kathy Spangler.
In town to highlight and host this signature event was world-renowned actress and artist, Queen Latifah. She co-hosted with Mark Warner.
“Queen Latifah was absolutely the perfect person to be our host today. She has family ties to Petersburg so she’s got that Virginia connection,” said Spangler.
The program included panel discussions and interviews from notable female business leaders, politicians, activists and major public figures. Alongside some of the major public figures we’re commentaries from several Virginia women right here within our community, like Sgt. Monica Beltran.
“Hearing the stories about all these females and their backgrounds and obviously having the opportunity with Queen Latifah - it was such an honor to be here,” said Virginia National Guard, Sgt. Monica Beltran of the 1173 transportation unit VA Beach. “When they told me I had to sit next to her, my mind went ‘wow.’”
Beltran is the highest decorated female soldier in the Virginia National Guard, who received the Bronze Star and Purple Heart from when she was deployed in 2004-2006 in Iraq and they were ambushed and attacked.
“I had to actually had to help support and push through the real eliminate out of the kill zone,” said Beltran.
As the course of history has changed due to the impact of women, these trailblazing women are continuing to into the future using each other’s stories as fuel.
“How about we [women] stop talking behind each other’s back? How about we stop judging what politicians look like? How about we support each other in the workplace?" said Queen Latifah.
“Women of all ages are amazing and inspiring and future generations is what today is all about - recognizing that we can do and dream and accomplish,” said Spangler.
“We’re capable of so much and we need to share that information with other young girls and women everywhere,” said Queen Latifah. “Let’s not step back in time, let’s embrace the future.”
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