Not Deterred, Determined Part 1

Barbara-Perkins-Purple-dress-sitting | IBWPPI
From The Desk of President Barbara A. Perkins

If ever there was a time and need for having a personal sacred space or practice, that time is now. I could vividly remember the common expectations held of the adults and privileged lawmakers in my community as a young girl growing up looking for role models that I could emulate.

Today, my peers who are grandmothers, queen-mothers, and gatekeepers of the community, seem to have more questions than answers. We are asking ourselves, “what happened in our society? How is it that kindness, respect, and individual contributions for the betterment of all are no longer our collective priorities?” Is the golden rule, still the golden rule? Where exactly is this downward spiral taking us and what do we do about it?

For sure, we can not sit idly by and bear witness to our beautiful gray-haired women being slaughtered in grocery stores with weapons designed for war. We certainly can not have peace when parents of little 10 and 12 year-old middle school children are planning their funerals faster than casket makers can produce specially designed caskets for their tiny little bodies. My brain has malfunctioned, it goes blank when trying to make sense out of the senseless. This is what leads me to the only solution that gives me hope and comfort. Find my own sacred space. Go there and be still and wait for the download of answers from a higher place.

The answers we need to drastically change things are not coming from the law makers. It is difficult to not pass judgment on these people, however, I do wonder, what goes through their minds when they look into the faces of grieving families who are asking how in this country, the United States of America, that more children are dying from gunshot wounds than anywhere else in the world? I am a bit perplexed by the women lawmakers, especially those who are mothers and serving as lawmakers unwilling to take on the issue of sensible gun laws.

My dear friend, Coach Brown says, we need a major rewiring. My prayer is for all to tap into something higher within themselves. Tap into where better and best solutions are created. This prayer is also for comfort and care for us all. A final question is, what might happen if most compassionate human beings direct love and energy towards the seismic grief around us?

I am not deterred; I am still determined.


Barbara A. Perkins

Dorothy I. Height Global Leadership Academy Weekend
Washington, D.C.

What does having a seat at the table really mean? It means that you have an opportunity to sit with high-ranking officials, to listen and be heard on issues that are important to you. Then aided with this information, make a difference in your community and world.

Such an opportunity is afforded to successful graduates at the end of the six months program of the Dorothy I. Height Global Leadership Academy, where graduates are given the opportunity to sit with high-ranking officials in a designated country.

In July of 2021, the first cohort of graduates was given the opportunity to travel to Ghana, West Africa. The results were life-changing and impactful. On June 24, 2022, the second Seat at the Table will be held in Washington, D.C., at the African Union, on the premises of the African Mission to the United States, hosted by Her Excellency, Hilda Suka-Mafudze.

The seventeen graduates will have an opportunity to sit with Black Ambassador leaders to discuss two major pillars of the International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute: Health and Well-being of Women of African Descent and Economic Security of Black Women Globally.

Dorothy I. Height Global Leadership Academy Cohort 2

Spotlight: Bernita McCann Hightower

In the spotlight this month is the Founder, President & CEO of Next Generation Fuel (NextGen), a wholesale distributor of petroleum-refined products and alternative fuels. This trailblazer and one of a few Black female executives in the industry also serves on the executive board of the International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute. President McCann-Hightower’s journey from rural Mississippi to boardrooms both domestic and international is a story of determination, courage, and mentorship.

Bernita-McCann-Hightower | photo | IBWPPI

Ms. McCann-Hightower is leading from the front and after two challenging years of Covid-19 impact on the industry, NextGen is back on track and implementing new strategies for becoming and sustaining the competitive edge she now has working with corporate partners both domestically and internationally. Congratulations, Director McCann-Hightower on your exemplary leadership.

Back By Popular Demand:
Virtual Happy Hour!


The Virtual Happy Hour – A Time to meet up with others to simply have some fun in the middle of your day on a Monday.

A much-needed spirit booster, to remind ourselves of how important it is to fill up in the middle of the day with JOY.

Add these dates to your calendar: Zoom links will be sent out for you to join us!

Monday, June 27th, with Gail Perry Mason

Monday, July 18th, with Thea Monyee

Monday, August 15th, with Marie Yolaine Toms

2021 IBWPPI Virtual Happy Hour | Photo | IBWPPI
2021 IBWPPI Virtual Happy Hour

Hurricane Season

June is the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season. According to various sources, this is expected to be a “well-above average season.” According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) “The increased activity anticipated this hurricane season is attributed to several climate factors, including the ongoing La Niña that is likely to persist throughout the hurricane season, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds and an enhanced west African monsoon” (2022).

It is important to be educated about hurricane season and how to prepare in advance for any potential natural disasters that may occur near your home. The NOAA will be providing forecasting and safety information throughout the duration of hurricane season. Click the button below to stay up-to-date on the NOAA’s findings.

Save the Dates:
Two Very Special Events!

On Wednesday, September 28, 2022, IBWPPI will be participating in its first We See You Awards International

Closely following this event, we will be hosting our 14th Annual Public Policy Forum on Friday, September 30th.

Each year IBWPPI serves as host to the convening of Black Women in Washington, D.C., during the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference. For the past 14 years, IBWPPI has assembled panels of women world leaders from throughout the Caribbean, Africa, and the United States of America. These gatherings have focused on open dialogue that seeks to educate the public on the status of Black Women internationally and how we can help to enhance their quality of life.

We estimate the impact of these convenings to exceed 500,000 impressions on social media and direct reach. Covid-19 has been the catalyst for a broader online presence and, in fact, has provided a unique opportunity for IBWPPI to increase our individual membership from just below 300 to 500 in one year.


Sign Up for 2022 Membership!

“Women’s rights is not only an abstraction, a cause; it is also a personal affair. It is not only about us; it is also about me and you. Just the two of us.” – Toni Morrison

IBPWWI has made a plethora of strides over the years for Black women, and we recognize that we would be nowhere without our dedicated members. We would like to invite you to renew your membership with us for 2022 and continue working with us to achieve equity for Black women across to globe.

Thanks from your Policy Fellow, Taylor Newkirk!

Why Join IBWPPI?

IBWPPI started in 2009 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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