Not Deterred, Determined Part 2

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

I don’t want to sound cliché when I say, “We are doing too much…” but, we are.

Now, that I have said that, allow me to put it in context. (We) The Board of Directors, Members, and Supporters of IBWPPI are not always doing what we want, but always doing what we must.

There is no doubt in any of our minds, that a lot of work is still needed to ensure better lives and outcomes for Black women, their families, and communities. IBWPPI signed up to do our part, by offering our collective talents in being advocates for good public policy, providing opportunities for personal and professional development for the next generation of Black Women leaders, being role models ourselves who inspire and amplify the good around us, and we signed up to be the conveners of change where necessary.

In this July 2022 newsletter, we will focus on the successes of our collective efforts. It is important for us to pause and appreciate the work of our hearts and hands, particularly during these past two incredible years as we continue to navigate around the prolonged uncertainties of Covid-19.

In this newsletter, we intend to highlight the good news and reasons to celebrate within our communities. You are going to read about Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson and her lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. You are going to read about the incredible seventeen Black Women who completed the six-month intensive program, the Dorothy I. Height Global Leadership Academy offered through IBWPPI, and the remarkable Program Coordinator, who works tirelessly to keep the program running smoothly.

We will close out this newsletter talking about the importance of joy and peace in our lives, spotlighting Dr. Thea Monyee, who is a very outspoken, charismatic amplifier of joy. Then in closing, it is my joy and honor to ask you to share what you know about IBWPPI. We want to extend an invitation to you to gift a membership to another sister.

This act of kindness will help us and the person you gift, and I know from experience, it will make you feel good too.


Barbara A. Perkins

Dorothy I. Height Global Leadership Academy Cohort 2

IBWPPI President Barbara Perkins and Chairwoman Katherine B. Smith with
Ambassador Rwanda, H.E. Mathilde Mukantabana
Ambassador Ghana, H.E. Hajia Alima Mahama
H.E. Ambassador Hilda Suka-Mafudze, Permanent Rep. of the African Union, USA
Ambassador Democratic Republique of Congo, H.E. Marie- Hélène Mathey Boo
Ambassador Mauritania, H.E. Cissé Cheik Ould Boide


Historic DIHGLA Commencement Weekend in Washington, D.C. is a wrap!

On June 24, 2022, seventeen graduates from the Dorothy I. Height Global Leadership Academy visited Washington, D.C. as guests of Her Excellency Hilda Suka-Mafudze, African Union Ambassador to the USA in Washington, D.C. They were in attendance for the Seat at the Table event presented by the International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute (IBWPPI). IBWPPI is constantly looking at ways to bring to the forefront the plight of Black women and girls in their communities and their global spaces.

The Seat at the Table event is a culmination of the six-month leadership training sessions offered to students from diverse sectors, such as law, medicine, policy, education, legislators, community leadership, nonprofits, and more. The purpose of the day was to inspire and encourage our new Black leaders as they pursue advancement in male-dominated spaces, and most importantly, to expand their reach and impact in new countries in Africa.

The graduates were given the opportunity to sit with six high-ranking government officials and policymakers to exchange ideas about world issues and to further expand their knowledge and participation in global affairs. The discussions were both internationally and locally focused.

What a magnificent opportunity for the graduates to sit in the same space as such high-ranking government officials of countries in the African diaspora. This opportunity is seldom afforded to a local citizen and is expressed by one of our graduates stating that:

“The Seat at the table was nothing short of amazing!!! The love, respect, and admiration in the space were palpable. As the Ambassadors and other guests spoke the sense of responsibility became greater. The sense of urgency became greater. Mostly, the sense of pride became greater…” Teshieka Curtis-Pugh, Cohort 2.

We are both grateful and thankful for this opportunity afforded to us by our Host, H.E. Ambassador Hilda Suka-Mafudze, African Union Mission to the USA; H.E. Alima Mahama (Hajia), Ambassador of Ghana; H.E. Marie-Helene Mathey Boo Lowumba, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Embassy of the Democratic Republic of The Congo; H.E. Cisse Cheikh BOIDE, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania; H.E. Ambassador Santa M. Laker Kinyera, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of The Republic of Uganda; and H.E. Mathilde Mukantabana, Ambassador, Embassy of The Republic of Rwanda.

Applications for DIHGLA Cohort 3 will open in September!

Members of DIHGLACohort 2

Spotlight: DIHGLA Program Coordinator
Delerice Knowles-Mackey

Delerice Mackey
Motto: “Getting It Done!”

From the Island of New Providence in the city of Nassau, Bahamas, Delerice Mackey is the wonderful Program Coordinator of IBWPPI’s Dorothy I. Height Global Leadership Academy. Always bringing out the best in people, Dela (as she is called by close friends and sisters from IBWPPI) has over 15 years as an experienced administrative professional in office environments in the financial sector. Delerice is a graduate of The College of The Bahamas holding an AA degree in Office Administration and has served in various secretarial and administrative capacities with CEO’s and a Governor. As the Program Coordinator for the Dorothy I. Height Global Leadership Academy which is the Academic arm of the International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute, Dela finds joy in making her students’ lives easier when navigating educational demands while making life happen. Delerice also serves as Liaison for the Reading Room Initiative in The Bahamas, a special project of IBWPPI.

As a member of the congregational board, Delerice finds joy in serving in church leadership and was a Sunday School teacher for over twenty-eight years. She takes pleasure in helping others mold their character and bring out the best of their inner self. In her free time, Dela enjoys a sweet mango or slice of watermelon while reading a good book with a giant cup of tea preferably sitting outside under a tall tree on her island home and occasionally taking a dip in the beautiful aquamarine waters.

Spotlight: Dr. Thea Monyeé

Dr. Thea Monyeé
Count it all JOY!

This past Monday, July 11th, Black women from across the US gathered in fellowship for another successful Virtual Happy Hour. Our guest speaker Dr. Thea Monyeé left everyone with empowering words to remind us of how important it is to fill up every day with JOY. We left trusting that, no matter what it may feel like at the moment, the seasons we are in are meant for us to learn from, not to fester in. Struggles are inevitable but are important to remember that we are never alone in our struggles and that they last only as long as we allow them to. Inside every Black woman, there is a Healer, Teacher, Visionary, or Warrior. When we discover who we are is when we access our true power. IBWPPI cannot wait to continue working with Dr. Thea Monyeé.

Dr. Thea Monyeé is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has contributed to online publications such as For Harriet, UpSpoken, and Black Girl in Om online publications; co-host of Dem Black Mamas podcast- Kinship Partner of Black Mamas Matter Alliance and art contributor to Project Row Houses 50th Round on Race, Health, & Motherhood; solo host of Shaping The Shift Podcast; and Director of Decolonization for the multimedia platform Black Girl Mixtape and co-creator of The Free Joy Experience; co-creator of EverWell, an intervention, and education program to promote wellness for artists and their teams; as well as curator of The Blacker The Brain Decolonizing Mental Health Cohort, Campaign, and Conversation. Monyeé has partnered with corporations such as SnapChat and Spectrum, presented at the first annual CantuXCurlbox Masterclass, and is currently featured as a GoDaddy Maker to discuss mental health in marginalized communities and accessing joy & pleasure. She is the founder of MarleyAyo, a creative wellness consultation company focused on creating and nurturing a multi-dimensional eco-system that prioritizes the reintegration of spirit and liberation through education, media, consulting, and land stewardship.

Making HerStory:
The Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson

Ketanji Brown Jackson

On June 30, 2022 at 12pm, the Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson made history as the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court. She was sworn in as the 116th member and the 104th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. This monumental moment requires us to lift Ketanji in our prayers; just as she has a plethora of supporters, there will be just as many more Americans who will not see this as a positive historical moment, but as a jeopardizing moment in America’s racial history. Many people do not believe Black women are deserving of such positions, but we know more than anyone how long overdue a moment such as this is!

The harsh reality of being a woman in America was revisited by us all in recent weeks. Being stripped of rights we fought for during a time thought to be so advanced, made some question what is to come? We must fight these trivial thoughts, and the Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson being sworn in shows us that all hope is not lost. It shows us that there is a great change coming, and those who have been in power for so long will grab at anything to continue perpetuating their hierarchical delusions. This moment gives us the inspiration to persevere against the attacks against women’s rights that have occurred as of late. Women have always been fighters; we will not let up any time soon.

Save the Dates:
Two Very Special Events!

We look forward to seeing you at our next Virtual Happy Hour on Monday, August 15th, with Marie Yolaine Toms!

Marie Yolaine Toms

On Wednesday, September 28, 2022, IBWPPI will be participating in its first We See You Awards International. Be on the lookout for more information!

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.

President Barbara Perkins and Iyanla Vanzant
President Barbara Perkins and Iyanla Vanzant – Annual Public Policy Forum, 2010

Sign Up for 2022 Membership!

Group of women in white holding hands | Image for Membership | IBWPPI
Group of women in white holding hands | Image for Membership | IBWPPI

“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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