Why Black Women Matter at #EDSPARK & #ONESPARK
“If Black men do not support Black women, Black men will
see Black women being supported by other races and
cultures, losing the chance to create future generations of
Black boys and girls.” Wm Jackson #ONESPARK 2014
This year’s EDSPARK and ONESPARK has seen a
tremendous growth in women of color taking the
entrepreneurial path. Following their dreams and passions
to make a difference in their communities and improving
their lives and the future for their children.
Black women are involved in initiatives from education to
business, science to technology, music to the Arts, medicine
to embracing STEAM / STEM / STREAM careers that open
opportunities to 21st century careers.
Black women are climbing ladders in ways not conceived
before in diverse disciplines where only men would venture
into. Black women are fulfilling their dreams of financial
independence and diversity, relationship flexibility, engaged
in intellectual and cultural growth, changing the paradigm of
what society “thinks” or attempts to stereotype the Black
woman. There are no limitations and boundaries to what
Black women can achieve. #EDSPARK and #ONESPARK
are showing that women have talents, abilities and great
potential for change.
#ONESPARK is enabling, engaging, educating and empowering
women to travel new paths as entrepreneurs, developing
technology, educators, engineering’s and as visionaries.
Women are building networks that no longer fear the “good
ole boy” system, because that system is slowing dissolving.
Women of all cultures are sharing their pride in their culture,
their intelligence and are realizing their growing power of
influence. Instead of looking for men mentors there are women
mentors and influencers.
#Jacksonville and #Florida understand that in the new
century women are important, can and do contribute to the
foundation of business, education, corporate and technological
contributions that allow for new ventures and increased
employment. From #ONESPARK to #EDSPARK to other
opportunities girls and women are moving into their own
places of confidence, influence and prominence.
Black women are breaking stereotypes, tearing down the
walls of fear of failure, building up their self-esteems and
confidence, are moving past those that say they cannot
and will not be successful.
Dr. Sandra Miles, “We (women) combat stereotypes that
have existed long before we came into the room.”
“Some think we are condescending, mean, unprofessional
and harsh. Sometimes I feel that a majority of black women
feel they can’t be their real selves at work because they
will be judged.” Women In Higher Education
Black women have been making history for years and are
gradually coming into their own, examples from history are
The first “official” African American female college graduate
was Mary Jane Patterson, who received a BA degree in
1862. The daughter of fugitive slaves, she became the
first black female principal at the Prep School for Negroes
in Washington DC. “Women In Higher Education”
Mae Jamison the first Black women in space, and there are
others growing in numbers.
This is a reason #EDSPARK and #ONESPARK are important
to provide networking opportunities, collaboration of resources
and content sharing.
Black women are becoming “Thought Leaders” Thought Leaders
are recognized as an authority in a specialized field, possessing
diverse knowledge and whose expertise is sought and often
rewarded. This is a great compliment and a growing
accomplishment for Black women whose intellectualism in
some areas is passing men. As a Black man I can confidently
say this with pride of my Black sisters and other sisters of
color and culture. Because I’m confident in my abilities being
raised to respect and appreciate all women, especially Black
Black women are leaving the negativity of people
behind and disregarding the words, can’t, don’t,
shouldn’t and won’t. “If Black men do not support Black
women, Black men will see that Black women can survive
without them, Black women will move to those that do
support and encourage them to think out of the box and
embrace their passions.” Wm Jackson #ONESPARK 2014
These SPARKS are the ignition to greater things for girls
and women of all colors, cultures, lifestyles and backgrounds.
E3 Business Group founder Anthony Butler, Sr. states the
importance of #ONESPARK – OneSpark has helped spotlight
the innovation of women entrepreneurs and how important
they are to the local economy. We need to continue
educating and encouraging women to be entrepreneurs
and take advantage of showcases like OneSpark. Women
are seeing role models of success and innovation that is
helping to revitalize our city and nation. My role as a
consultant, I find women entrepreneurs are hungry for
knowledge and opportunities. #ONESPARK and #EDSPARK
are changing history and a cultural mindset of women.”
E3 3-30-300 initiative #20332 at One Spark
@AnthonyButlerSr E3 Business Group E3 Business Group
#EDSPARK confirms that Black women have direct influence in
the educational environment at all levels from early childhood,
primary, intermediate and higher education. As a public school
educator and higher education professor women are influential
and active. I see a growing presence of women taking the roles
as instructors, administrators, Presidents, Board members and
educational innovators that are integrating technologies and
creating curriculum’s that are interactive and transformative.
Black women and women of color do matter at #EDSPARK
and #ONESPARK. Watch-out men #Jacksonville and #Florida
are ready for a women Mayor and a woman Governor, the
question is who will be first???