The woman-centered series has its first themed event, featuring three successful Black Delaware women.
by Holly Quinn
For its third and final event of the year, “Conversations with Women Making a Difference in Delaware,” a joint production of Blue Blaze Associates and NEWS4Women, is taking a cue from its host location, the Delaware Art Museum.
“The idea [behind ‘Conversations’] is that we have a panel of inspiring women who are discussing a variety of topics, including their career highlights, life lessons, hard-earned wisdom, interesting anecdotes — and [NEWS4Women founder] Carol Arnott-Robbins is always our facilitator,” co-organizer Wendy Scott of Blue Blaze told Technical.ly.
The panel series aims to represent “an interesting diversity of women from Delaware, so we’re looking for people who come from different industries, we’re looking for people of different generations, we’re looking for people of different races, we’re looking for people who are in different places in their careers,” Scott said.
With the multimedia exhibition “Posing Beauty in African American Culture” opening at the art museum on Oct. 19, organizers Scott and Arnott-Robbins decided to tie in their Oct. 10 event with a panel of three trailblazing Black women.
“We haven’t [previously] had a specific theme other than a cross section of interesting women on the stage, but for this particular one, we made a conscious decision that we wanted all of the women on the panel to be African American,” said Scott.
The panelists will be:
- Doneene Keemer Damon, president of Richards Layton & Finger (RLF), Delaware’s largest law firm — She is the first African American woman to be elected president of a major Delaware law firm, and was the first African American to make partner at RLF. Doneene co-chairs the firm’s business department and chairs the corporate trust and agency services group.
- Amira Idris Radović, CEO and founder of TheraV, a startup company developing wearable devices for amputee nerve pain — She has a master’s degree in entrepreneurship and design from the University of Delaware, and a bachelor’s degree from UD in biomedical engineering, biomechanical engineering and bioelectrical engineering.
- Velma P. Scantlebury, M.D., FACS, the first African American woman in the field of transplantation surgery — She is associate director of the Kidney Transplant Program at ChristianaCare, as well as the director of outpatient clinics for kidney transplant services. She was voted a top doctor by Philadelphia magazine from 2014 to 2018.
“They are all African American, but we were still being intentional about diversity being represented on the stage,” Scott said. “One woman is in her 20s, one is in her 50s, one is in her 60s, they all come from different industries they’ve all got different stories to tell. We’re still going to have that really rich diverse conversation.”
Here’s what the panelists had to say about their participation:
“I’m looking forward to hearing others talk about their experiences as working women in Delaware and how their stories relate or differ from mine,” said Idris Radović. “I’ll be speaking on my experience as an African American female entrepreneur in her twenties, and how this is shaping me.”
“We have all reached our professional positions through different paths,” said Keener Damon, “and we will continue to travel our separate paths to professional fulfillment — there is no one size fits all. But through these conversations, we can share insights, information and tools that will help and inspire each of us in our careers and in our lives.”
Scott encourages both panelists and attendees to look at “Conversations” as just that — a real discussion that goes beyond Q&A.
“A lot of times when we put these panels together, the women don’t know each other, and then we have these really interesting conversations, we’re they’re bouncing off each other,” Scott said. “Carol is sort of presenting questions that are more high-level and then facilitating the interaction. One of my favorite aspects is the audience talkback at the end. It really is a conversation.”
Tickets to the event are $40 ($35 before Oct. 4), with proceeds benefiting the Delaware Art Museum. Click here for tickets.