Inspired by the legacy of Dr. Dorothy I. Height, Chair Emeritus of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), Barbara A. Perkins and Ka Flewellen made a decision to work with and on behalf of women around the world. Both would travel separately as part of NCNW delegations to the 1994 Conference on Women in Cairo, Egypt and the 1995 Conference in Beijing, China. Those experiences helped to conceive and launch the IBWPPI in 2009. Barbara Perkins says, “The magic and beauty of working with women representing so many countries at the 4th World Conference on Women, in Beijing, remains one of the most memorable times in my life.” IBWPPI seeks to capture the same spirit of unity and connectivity that was present in Beijing.
At the 1995 conference, Dr. Height’s words became an integral part of Barbara’s mission to always “lift women while climbing.” Reflecting on her life’s work, Ka Flewellen shared how working shoulder to shoulder with international women in Cairo to change the US and international immigration policies changed her life: “To protect women moving and often fleeting across borders as migrants, workers, political and economic refugees or victims of disasters remains core to my commitment to social justice.” IBWPPI seeks to capture the same spirit of women’s global unity and connectivity that remains central to the legacy of Dr. Dorothy I. Height and the National Council of Negro Women.