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

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

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VENUE: Old Courthouse, Decatur Square

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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.

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Presenters:

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.

Moderator:

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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