This Saturday, the second annual Make It Matter! Make It Happen! Make It a Healthy Lifestyle! conference will help women and girls of all ethnicities tackle their unique health and financial needs.
"I'm excited that women are paying more attention to themselves, and not just from the standpoint of always being a caregiver, but someone who actually is concerned about her own well-being," said Beverly Johnson, president of the Chattanooga chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, who's organizing the conference along with the Mayor's Council for Women.
To cultivate an environment that encourages open and honest dialogue, participants and expert speakers — including medical professionals, counselors, financial advisers, insurance agents and attorneys — are all female.
The event is free, and although pre-registration is closed, there's still some space for walk-ins.
When: 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16
Where: Family Justice Center, 5705 Uptain Road, Chattanooga, TN 37421
Participants will be divided into either an adult group or a younger group that will explore age-appropriate subjects such as dating, social media and sexual health.
Last year's conference had a little more than 200 participants and focused on health topics such as depression, puberty, menopause, heart health, breast cancer and sex trafficking. This year's event will concentrate on nutrition, fitness, and domestic violence and incorporates additional financial advice, with topics that include taxes, estate planning, managing debt and saving for college.
"We make money, but sometimes we don't know how to save money, we don't know how to budget money and we don't know how to use resources to help us better look toward the future," said Michalle Morris, conference co-chair, nurse practitioner and NCBW member.
Another change to this year's conference is the partnership with the Mayor's Council for Women. The council's health committee will lead a roundtable discussion following lunch with the goal of constructing a women's health policy paper for the mayor and other stakeholders.
Katherlyn Geter, co-chair of the council's health committee, said the collaboration of the two groups demonstrates what can happen when women from diverse backgrounds and communities come together.
"We're leading an activity that hopefully is going to drive a lot of the conversation and strategy that we want to see happen here in Chattanooga," she said. "We want this policy paper to give some good action steps that we can work on going forward."
The conference will be held at the Family Justice Center on Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more info on the event, contact NCBW at 423-255-4500, and email policy paper ideas to councilforwomen@chatta nooga.gov.
Contact staff writer Elizabeth Fite at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6673.