36th Annual BWA Symposium Workshop

Let's Talk: African American Women Caregivers and Their Families

A Partnership between The Black Women's Agenda, Inc. and AARP

WASHINGTON, DC – September 20, 2013 -- During the September 2013 BWA Symposium Workshop, BWA launched "Let's Talk: African American Women Caregivers and Their Families," a program that facilitates dialogue and education on care giving in the African American community; educates participants about Alzheimer's Disease and dementia and other physical issues that require care giving; share effective care giving techniques; learn ways to protect the caregiver's physical and mental health; and learn about resources and tools to help prepare for effective family care giving. This intergenerational program covers three of the BWA's four Program Initiatives: Education; Health; Economic Empowerment and Development. The goal of the workshop was to educate participants about the impact of care giving on African American women and their families; educate participants about Alzheimer's Disease and dementia; share effective care giving techniques; learn ways to protect your physical and mental health; and learn about resources and tools to help prepare for effective family care giving.

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Listen to the 36th Annual Symposium Workshop
Friday, September 20, 2013 | 8:30 A.M. – 11:30 A.M.

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  • Jo Ann Jenkins
    Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, AARP

    Jo Ann Jenkins is executive vice president and chief operating officer of AARP. She also serves as president of AARP Foundation, AARP's affiliated charity. As chief operating officer she is responsible for developing an enterprise-wide strategy that includes defining and facilitating operational priorities, as well as maximizing AARP's mission. She oversees 10 of AARP's key programs, including strategic planning, management and coordination of AARP's multiple member-facing distribution channels, technology and digital operations, and development of an innovation strategy.

    Jenkins, a proven innovator, joined AARP Foundation in 2010 and has led the organization's far-reaching development and social impact initiatives, including Drive to End Hunger, a national effort by AARP and AARP Foundation to help the millions of older Americans who struggle with hunger every day. Under her leadership, the foundation's overall donor base increased by 90 percent over two years.

    With more than 25 years of extensive leadership, management, planning and business experience, Jenkins is well known in philanthropic, public and private sectors. She came to AARP Foundation from the Library of Congress, where she had been its chief operating officer and second in command since 2007, responsible for managing the library's day-to-day operations, 4,000-person staff and $600 million budget.

    During her 15-year tenure at the Library of Congress, she developed and directed two of its most renowned projects, the National Book Festival and the Library of Congress Experience, the largest and most complex program in its 210-year history. In May 2010 she was recognized by the technology industry with the 11th Annual Women in Technology Award for her innovative leadership on the Library of Congress Experience. She is also a recipient of the Library of Congress Distinguished Service Award.


  • Edna Kane-Williams
    Vice President, AARP
    Multicultural Markets and Engagement

    Edna Kane-Williams has over twenty years' experience in working senior management positions within both nonprofit and for profit organizations, with an emphasis on strategic planning, targeted marketing, community outreach, media relations, branding and positioning, program development, partnership development, volunteer engagement and management. Her career has had a particular focus on the needs of older adults and multicultural communities.

    In her current position, Vice President of Multicultural Markets at AARP, she is responsible for the development and execution of strategy relating to growing the association's African American/Black membership. She previously served as Vice President of Strategy and Communications within the AARP Foundation. She has held several positions at AARP over 12 years in the former Programs Division working in the areas of health, long-term care and consumer issues. She has held a variety of other key positions, including serving as Vice President of Communications and Community Outreach for East Baltimore Development, Inc. an agency serving the residents of one of the region's poorest urban neighborhoods and as a Senior Vice President at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide she worked on program design and implementation, and developed targeted marketing for underserved populations.

    She comes to the issue of caregiving with a personal story, as the primary caregiver for her 92 year old mother.

  • Goldie Byrd, PhD
    Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
    Principal Investigator
    African American Alzheimer's Research Study
    North Carolina A&T State University

    Dr. Goldie Byrd received her Bachelor of Science Degrees in Professional Biology and Biology Education at North Carolina A & T State University. She received her Ph.D. in Microbial Genetics and completed her Post-Doctorial training at Meharry Medical College. In 2003, Dr. Byrd joined the faculty at North Carolina A & T State University where she served as Chair of the Department of Biology. She won a multi-million dollar grant from the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities to establish genetics research capacity at North Carolina A & T State University. She also won support to study Genetic Susceptibility of Alzheimer's Disease in African Americans

  • J. Nadine Gracia, MD, MSCE
    Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

    Dr. J. Nadine Gracia is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and the Director of the Office of Minority Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Office of Minority Health is dedicated to improving the health of racial and ethnic minority populations through the development health policies and programs that will help eliminate health disparities. Under Dr. Gracia's leadership, the Office of Minority Health oversees the implementation of the HHS Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities and the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities. A pediatrician with epidemiology training, Dr. Gracia previously served as Chief Medical Officer for the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health.

  • Kimberly Jeffries Leonard, Ph.D.
    Member of the Board of Directors, BWA

    Dr. Leonard has been a member of The Black Women's Board of Directors since 2010. She has served the Board as Assistant Newsletter Editor and Program Manager. Dr. Leonard has worked tirelessly through her personal and professional endeavors to promote education and improve services for those facing health challenges due to disparities in education, access to care, and other socio-economic factors. Within the last decade alone, Dr. Leonard has served on numerous public health advisory committees and delivered nearly 100 invited lectures, presentations, trainings, and keynote addresses for national audiences representing various health and behavioral health interests and has published her work in various journals.

  • Kuae Kelch Mattox
    Writer/Producer, Media Consultant and
    National President, Mocha Moms

    Kuae Kelch Mattox is the National President of Mocha Moms, Inc., a non-profit organization with 100 chapters in 29 states dedicated to supporting stay at home mothers of color. She is an Emmy-nominated journalist with more than 20 years experience in the print and broadcast media, a contributor to The Huffington Post and, an NBC Universal/iVillage sister site, and a featured columnist on She has also been a contributing editor for Plum Magazine, a pregnancy and parenting magazine for women over the age of 35. Ms. Mattox was recently interviewed on NBC and MSNBC and was featured in the New York Times Magazine. She talked about caregiving issues for the "opt-out generation".

  • Lorraine McClenny Wright, Ph.D.
    Department of Accounting North Carolina State University

    Dr. McClenny Wright is an active Multicultural Outreach volunteer with AARP's North Carolina state office. She has focused primarily on faith based caregiving education. She currently cares for her 93 year old mother, who has advanced Alzheimer's disease.


Founded in 1977 in Washington, DC, the Black Women’s Agenda is a national non-profit organization that generates awareness and support for issues affecting Black women worldwide. Through the development of a social priorities agenda, it facilitates discussions that promote effective policies and meaningful change. For more information on the Black Women’s Agenda, Inc. please visit

"The Black Women's Agenda, Inc."
5335 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W. Suite 440, Washington, DC 20015-2052
Office: 202.730.2637 Fax: 202.730.2638 Email:

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