This article was published by The Minority Eye on March 21, 2018. The original article can be found at

Columbia, SC – WREN (Women’s Rights & Empowerment Network)will be hosting its 2nd Annual WREN Summit. The theme of this year’s Summit is Women’s Economic Empowerment. The “Me Too” movement has sparked new conversations in our homes, offices, and halls of government about how far women have advanced in our society and how far we have left to go to achieve true equality. The WREN Summit will provide diverse professionals, policymakers, advocates, and researchers an opportunity to come together to identify practical solutions, skills, and strategies for achieving greater economic empowerment and equity in South Carolina.  

WREN is joined by community partners like the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Women in Philanthropy, Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina, and more in planning the Summit.

Monday, April 9th – Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center

On April 9thSummit participants will gain insight from leaders in diverse fields, build their skills in workshop sessions, and network with fellow participants and speakers from across the state and beyond. Topics include: closing the wealth gap, encouraging women’s entrepreneurialism, advancing women’s leadership, creating a safe and inclusive workplace, building salary negotiation skills, and much more.

Speakers include:

• The Honorable Kaye G. Hearn, S.C. Supreme Court Justice
• Lasenta Lewis-Ellis, President/CEO of LLE Construction Group, LLC
• Dominik Mjarton, President and CEO of SC Community Bank
• Melissa Watson, Executive Director of Emerge South Carolina
• Dr. Nika White, Diversity and Inclusion Strategist

Tuesday, April 10th – USC Alumni Center

On April 10th, WREN will host a non-partisan Gubernatorial Candidate Forum.  It is no coincidence this event is being held on National Equal Pay Day. Candidates will be given about 20 minutes to answer questions about issues affecting women and families in South Carolina.

Confirmed Gubernatorial Candidates:

• Phil Noble
• Rep. James Smith
• Catherine Templeton
• Marguerite Willis 

The forum is open to the public and attendees must register in advance at

For more information regarding WREN’s annual summit, please visit