Happy Women’s History Month

From The Desk of President Barbara A. Perkins
During Women’s History Month, the International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute (IBWPPI) honors and lifts up the voices of Black women in the African Diaspora whose work too often goes unrecognized.


Ellen Johnson Sirleaf served as the 24th President of Liberia and became the first elected female head of state in Africa. Winnie Madikizela-Mandel was an anti-apartheid activist in South Africa, served as a Member of Parliament, and was the second wife of Nelson Mandela. Eugenia Charles served as Prime Minister of Dominica and was the country’s first woman lawyer and the first woman prime minister to be elected in the Caribbean.


We must give special recognition for these women, and so many others who may go unnamed, but their courageous leadership shaped our world history. This month we urge you to reach out to a fellow woman and give them words of love and encouragement. We must check on even the strongest amongst us and uplift each other, so we can continue to share our magical gifts to the world.


Finally, in the months ahead, please take special precautions to protect yourselves and your families during this global health epidemic. I have tasked IBWPPI staff to send regular key updates to keep you informed about the Coronavirus. Our first comprehensive update was sent last week and we will continue to be a conduit of accurate information to help keep communities safe.


In Peace,
Barbara A. Perkins


The 2020 IBWPPI Planning Retreat Was a Success!

IBWPPI Board of Directors, Members and Guests at a Church Service During the Retreat Weekend

It’s been just a few weeks since IBWPPI membership and Board of Directors gathered in Atlanta for our annual retreat and planning meetings. The weekend was a tremendous success and we thank everyone who traveled near and far to attend this IBWPPI signature event.

 The breakout sessions were impactful as we discussed our international engagement plans, policy work, branding and fund development strategy, and so much more! We had five new members who joined IBWPPI after attending our Key Influencers Retreat and there is a lot of excitement around our new Global Engagement Committee (GEC). The GEC is is made up of Board of Directors from every country where we have done work and have representation. This committee will do the critical work of growing our global network of Black women change agents and there is a place for you! Keep a look out for more updates. If you’re interested in getting engaged e-mail Erica@ibwppi.org .

 I want to send a special thank you to our public officials who joined us over the weekend: Hon. Deana Holiday Ingraham , Mayor of East Point; Hon. Astra Armbrister-Rolle , the Bahamas Consul General; and our Board Advisors, Hon. Paula Cox , Former Premier of Bermuda and Hon. Katherine Smith , Managing Director, Bahamas Disaster Reconstruction Authority.

L to R: Hon. Deana Holiday Ingraham , Mayor of East Point; IBWPPI President Barbara A. Perkins ; Hon. Astra Armbrister-Rolle , the Bahamas Consul General; and our Board Advisors, Hon. Paula Cox , Former Premier of Bermuda; and Hon. Katherine Smith , Managing Director, Bahamas Disaster Reconstruction Authority
L to R: Luncheon Guest; Stacie Fujii , IBWPPI Senior Advisor; Lula Ballton , IBWPPI Director; and Luncheon Attendee

















Empowering Ghanaian Students Through Safe Sanitation and Hygiene Initiatives

Renovated Public Restroom at Mampong BUNOSO Basic School


In October 2019, President Barbara Perkins and Vice-President Kathlyn Adams Seay traveled to Ghana to lay the groundwork for IBWPPI’s long-term engagement in the nation. They spent considerable time observing schools, coaching educators and planning for sustainable projects. As a result of relationships built, IBWPPI and Bridges Without Africa Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization founded by Director Dawn Sutherland, partnered to renovate a public restroom at Mampong BUNOSO Basic School.


There previously was no restroom in the school for teachers or students to access. The old structure that was in place had not been maintained in years and had hazardous conditions. The school community unfortunately had to resort to relieving themselves of their natural wastes in the bush, an inhumane and unhygienic practice. Because of the support of our sponsors, now over 500 children have a proper place of convenience to utilize as needed. We pledge to continue to make children our priority and invest in initiatives that will impact lives for years to come.





Updates on the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

This past Wednesday, the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic as the Coronavirus rapidly spreads across the world. The seriousness of the epidemic has called IBWPPI to be a conduit of key information for an extended period of time.

The  Coronavirus has rapidly spread to more than 121,000 people from Asia to the Middle East, Europe and the United States. The CDC recommends several practices to reduce the chance of contracting coronavirus or spreading it to others in the workplace .  


Avoid close contact with people who are sick,


  • Avoid handshaking. Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc.


Stay home if you are sick.


  • Avoid going into the office and infecting others. Employees who have signs of acute respiratory illness or fever should not come into work until they have gone at least 24 hours without symptoms and without taking medication meant to artificially depress those symptoms. If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard.


Practice basic hygiene.


  • Do not touch your face with unwashed hands.


  • Keep tissues at hand and use them to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Put used tissues in a waste basket. If no tissue is available, sneeze into your upper sleeve, not into your hand.


  • Use soap and water to wash hands after using the bathroom and after coughing or sneezing. At least 20 seconds of hand washing is most effective.


  • If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol to clean your hands.


  • Use disinfectant wipes to clean frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, workstations, countertops and grocery carts.


Be cautious in making travel plans


Consult the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance regarding travel to foreign countries.



The Black News Channel Launches During Black History Month

Video of IBWPPI Director Cheryl Brownlee at the Black News Channel Launch

The country’s sole African American-led news network the Black News Channel debuted the second week of Black History Month. Our very own IBWPPI Director Cheryl Brownlee, Founder and CEO of CB Communications, is handling public relations for the new network.

 The 24-7 cable channel features black anchors “dedicated to the unique perspective of African American communities,” according to its co-founders J.C. Watts and Bob Brillante. It’s available to select Spectrum and Xfinity X-1 customers and will premiere on Sling and Roku at a later, unspecified date. To learn more about the Black News Channel visit its website .  

Celebrating Our Members

Are you a member of IBWPPI? Do you want to share news about a new job, promotion, book or latest entrepreneurial project? Email us today as we would love to celebrate you! See our latest member highlights.

IBWPPI Director Lisa Fowler Elevated to New Post at Xome

Lisa Fowler is elevated to new post as Vice President, People Operations at Xome, a real estate services company. Director Fowler is a successful Human Resources executive who holds valuable experience in multiple industries. Congratulations Director Fowler!


Director Lula Ballton Publishes Book on Christian Community Development

Extraordinary Ministry in Ordinary Places: A Guide to Christian Community Development looks to the scriptures and ground-level experience to help churches, faith-based institutions, nonprofits, and others breathe life into communities with a stewardship approach to social and economic justice. Through her cofounding of the West Angeles Community Development Corporation, Lula Ballton offers us an in-depth guide and discussion.

Purchase the book on Amazon .



President Barbara Perkins Publishes Inspirational Book

Restoration: Seven Promises of God explores one resilient woman’s path to healing from stage III breast cancer. Only through faith, courage, and vulnerability will she be able to reclaim her mind, soul, and body for her next chapter of life. No matter the trial, God’s seven promises offer a light in dark times.

President Perkins is a survivor of Breast Cancer and is a woman of strength who is leading a full life with faith and resilience.

Purchase the book on Amazon.

Volunteer Opportunity: Health Research and Policy Working Group

IBWPPI will be leading a working group that will collectively identify issues of importance as it relates to Black women’s health. If you are a subject matter expert or would like to help research or identify resources related to maternal mortality, mental health, cancer, or other health issues, email policy@ibwppi.org .

An invite for our introductory virtual meeting will be sent in the next few weeks. This working group is open to everyone who has an interest.


Become a Member of IBWPPI

As we continue to adjust to the new normal, we want IBWPPI to be a home for Black women who want to connect, heal and support one another. C onsider gifting yourself with a free membership and joining a network of global Black women. Become a member today by filling out the membership form here .

Why Join IBWPPI?

IBWPPI started 10 years ago in the spirit of global unity and sisterhood. Our mission is to connect and advocate for Black women globally through acts of kindness and public policy. We thank our members and ask that you continue your support of IBWPPI and ask others to join us.


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