Could 2018 be the “Year of the Woman”?

Local African-American Women Think So!

by Deborah Porter


The late Mary McLeod Bethune said, “A culture can rise no higher than the moral position of its women.” Couple this with the massive women’s march on Washington following President Trump’s inauguration, and it becomes a harbinger of things to come.


2018 may very well prove to be the “Year of The Woman” – black women, specifically. African-American women, who are often marginalized by gender and race, are steadily increasing their national presence. In the very recent past, we’ve witnessed the powerful national influence of #BlackLivesMatter, created by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi. We’ve seen emergence of female producers Shonda Rhimes and Ava DuVernay. Then there’s the undeniable dominance of black women at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, activist Tarana Burke’s #metoo hashtag exposing sexual abuse, and Auntie Maxine Waters’ new “reclaiming my time” anthem – all of which are galvanizing black women.


But the political clout black women now wield is catapulting them onto the national stage due in part to their role during the Alabama senatorial race last month – which is also the catalyst behind black women having a more visible presence at the Anniversary Women’s March this month here in Las Vegas. The “Power to the Polls” event launches a national voter registration tour one year after the historic Women’s March on Washington.


African-American women have always been the lifeblood of the movement for racial equality and the fight for justice. So it comes as no surprise that two local Las Vegas women are breaking new ground as the organizers of the upcoming “I Love Being Black Las Vegas” (ILBBLV) Festival. Fueled by passion and a desire to revitalize the traditional black history month celebrations, Jessica “Jess Flo” Washington and PR|Branding Consultant, Deborah Porter, have created an ambitious ILBBLV agenda. “Our vote is powerful, and we can’t continue to be used as the ‘get out of jail free card’ to save white candidates who later ignore our agenda,” Washington stated. The ILBBLV will have voter registration at every live event.


The two women say their goal is to create a meaningful platform that will help unify the African-American community in Las Vegas. “I Love Being Black Las Vegas” Festival provides online social engagement, live interactive events with a focus on supporting black businesses; it will shine a spotlight on relatively unknown black influencers, while offering education on the political process and voter registration – along with pure unadulterated fun as a community.


The unlikely alliance between Washington and Porter, which spans an almost 30-year age gap between them, speaks of a new generational collaboration among women where common goals trump age. At a time when African-American women have been accused of not being able to work together, Porter says, “I think our partnership works because we respect each other first and we realize that each offers a different perspective that the other might not otherwise see.” Porter grew in the Berkeley, California in the shadow of the Black Panther Party when Elaine Brown was a prominent leader. Washington, a poet and avid community activist, has a long history of advancing the African-American community. She currently heads up Black Girls Inspired and is a producer of the “Letters to My Sisters” event series.


The inaugural ILBBLV Festival kicks with a mixer on February 1 and runs through March 24 (Women’s International Month).  The festival has aligned with others in the community, leaders like, Franklyn G.’s 5th annual black history event, “Kemet In the Desert” in West Las Vegas. There’s also the BAEfest (Black Arts and Entertainment), Black Cinema Night for the Black Panther movie premiere at the Eclipse Theater, and a plethora of events geared for men, women, and families.


In addition, several key events have been designed specifically for women:


· “Salon Talk”:  women-only event on February 8, hosted by Las Vegas ‘It Girl’, Sydni Sayles, brings women together for candid discussions about love, sex and their relationships with black men. The event is a throwback to when women dished and shared while at the beauty salon.


· On February 10, the first of its kind, “Black Sexpo” will feature sex talk and education with local author and Sexologist, Dr. TaMara Griffin. Special performances by Jess Flo & The “Oh Yea Right There” performance troupe – followed by a “Naughty Gras” party on Sunday, February 11 at The Urban Lounge. On-site HIV/STD testing will also be available.


· Local comedienne AK headlines the “Black Comedy Night” on February 17 with a “Black Girl Magic” rally and march on March 24 at Raw Remedies, DTLV.


Without question, since President Trump's election, women across the country are speaking up and showing out – black women, in particular. They’re running for political office in record numbers on both local and national levels while flexing their political and cultural influence and banding together. Porter says, “It’s not about bashing or diminishing the contributions of black men, because we need each other; it’s more about leaving a legacy for our daughters that reminds them that they are capable of changing the world!”


“The whole is greater than the past. That is the concept of developing a movement that involves people to the extent that they become knowledgeable about their own condition and activated to do something about it.”  ~ Ella Baker


For more information or a full list of events and activities, visit or email,



Marketing and branding maven, Deborah Porter creates fully integrated marketing campaigns, engaging social media, and relevant digital content. She is devoted to creative brand storytelling, skilled at writing press releases, news articles, blogs, website content and producing extraordinary special events. Born in San Francisco, she has lived in Fairbanks, Alaska, traveled to ten different countries and currently resides in Las Vegas.


Deborah Porter, Marketing, Branding, PR Consultant |Writer | Speaker
In The Ladies Room Studio | | 702-900-3620












© 2008 – 2017 All rights reserved

The Urban Voice is powered by Unrelenting Media, Inc.

Search Engine Optimization, Website Concept & Design, performed by Unrelenting Media, Inc.   SITEMAP