#DBF 2016: Empowered American Women, And How They Got There


Sep. 2 2016, Published 8:00 p.m. ET

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COST: free

VENUE: Old Courthouse, Decatur Square


Two powerful and accomplished women share their stories of overcoming hatred and racism, heartbreak, and standing up for what they believe. From her humble beginnings in a white, lower middle-class family to a career in modeling that propelled her into the upper echelons of New York City nightlife, Sil Lai Abrams shares her unique and exquisitely wrought account of a woman’s journey toward self-love and acceptance in a family that sought to deny her black heritage in Black Lotus, A Search for Racial Identity. In The Emancipation of Cecily McMillani, author Cecily McMillan grew up in a hardscrabble life and legally emancipated herself at 16. She became an activist, was arrested a physical altercation with a police officer and spent 58 days at Riker's Island. Inside Rikers, Cecily connected with her fellow inmates and remembered where she came from and for whom she was fighting.


Sil Lai Abrams, a National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) award-winning New York City-based writer, inspirational speaker, and domestic violence-awareness activist.

Cecily McMillan, a social justice organizer and advocate for prison reform. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Al Jazeera America, and Huffington Post. She lives in Atlanta.


Willoughby Mariano, an investigative reporter at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she has written about criminal justice, real estate development, and federal grant programs.

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