SPRINGFIELD, IL â€“ Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-16th) will kick off the first annual LivFullE Diverse Womenâ€™s Conference, to be held July 26-28 in Detroit, with a key note address entitled â€œEngendering Social Justice: How Women Can Transform Their Lives and Their Communities.â€
Senator Collins, an Emmy Award-nominated journalist, social justice advocate and now state senator representing Southside Chicago neighborhoods including Englewood and Auburn-Gresham, will speak to women from all walks of life about pursuing social justice where they find themselves. Sen. Collins chairs the Senate Financial Institutions Committee and is a leading voice for revitalizing neighborhoods, reducing inequality, expanding opportunities, eliminating racial disparities and ending the financial exploitation of minorities and low-income individuals. Her legislative priorities include curtailing predatory lending practices, bringing fresh produce to â€œfood desertsâ€ and holding nursing homes to higher standards.
The LivFullE Diverse Womenâ€™s Conference is a project of Dr. Mitzi Smith, a professor of New Testament at Ashland Theological Seminaryâ€™s Detroit Center. Dr. Smith is a graduate of Columbia Union College, Ohio State University, Howard University and Harvard Divinity School (from which Sen. Collins also earned a degree). She founded Living in Full Empowerment (LIFE) in 2007 to help women transform their lives and communities through life skills, technical training and spiritual motivation. LIFE and the LivFullE Conference are directed toward women from all religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, including women who are homeless or in transition.Â