Equity Alliance Celebrates Black Women’s Empowerment at 2nd Annual Brunch

The Equity Alliance held its 2nd Annual Black Women’s Empowerment Brunch at Rocketown in Nashville Saturday, July 20. Nearly 400 community leaders, political candidates, elected officials and others came together to celebrate the many contributions Black women continue to make in the Middle Tennessee area. The purpose of the program was to honor specific notable Black women leaders and to raise funds to support the organization’s programs

Hosted by 92Q’s radio personality Sissy Brown, the brunch included a variety of food options, mimosas, live music performed by the Jason Eskridge Band, Spoken Word Artist Tia Smedley, a live auctioned painting by artist James Threalkill, presentation of awards to community leaders, and a keynote address by Kristen Clarkes, JD.

The brunch opened with an exciting set of African dance performed by the Sankofa African Drum & Dance Co. Draped in traditional African wear, the dance company started their performance among the tables of attendees before ending on stage with a huge splash of colors and African sounds.

From that point on the brunch remained high energy with MC Sissy Brown moving the event along at an exciting pace.

(l-r) Equity Alliance President Charlane Oliver and Vice President Tequila Johnson spoke about the mission of their organization (Photo by: Jason Luntz)
(l-r) Equity Alliance President Charlane Oliver and Vice President Tequila Johnson spoke about the mission of their organization (Photo by: Jason Luntz)

After being treated to spoken word by Tia Smedley, the audience was introduced to Equity Alliance President Charlane Oliver and Vice President Tequila Johnson. The two women explained the origin of the organization; three years ago six women met at Chili’s on West End in Nashville and decided that there was a need for Black Women to be heard in the political arena.  Since that time the Equity Alliance’s mission has grown to ‘proactively advocate for African-Americans and other community of color to have a fair and just opportunity of realizing the American dream’.

Also included in the event’s agenda was the presentation of two awards to Black women who have long played a part in Tennessee government. Former State Representative Johnnie Turner, a Memphis Democrat received the Pioneer in Politics Award. Freda Player-Peters, Senior Legislative Advisor or Mayor David Briley received the Unsung Shero Award. Both recipients spoke about the importance of the community remaining active in politics.

Included in the brunch was a Keynote Address delivered by Kristen Clarke, JD, who regularly speaks and write on issues about race, law and justice.

African-American culture was celebrated among the diverse crowd. “The Black Women’s Empowerment Brunch is always dripping in black girl magic and filled with culture,” explained Vice President Johnson. “Looking out into the crowd and seeing the joy and the smiles on the faces of the diverse group of leaders and community members that came out to support The Equity Alliance is why we wake up everyday and do this work, it makes all of the sacrifices and late nights well worth it.”

To learn more about the mission of The Equity Alliance visit their website at or search the hashtag #BETONBLACKWOMEN on all social media sites.

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