On Sunday, June 24th, Black Young Professionals, in partnership with Women of Distinction, hosted Brunch & Blazers, a ladies only event where attendees discussed what it means to be a woman in the workplace. The event was held at Red Dunn Kitchen, which is attached to the Trumbull-Porter hotel, just outside of Corktown in Detroit. We are always excited to reach different audiences by collaborating with other organizations, and Women of Distinction was the perfect partner for this event — brunch and conversation are their bread and butter! Women of Distinction hosts a brunch every month; aiming to provide a positive and empowering space for women to share their goals and learn from others.
The ladies did not disappoint, everyone looked great in their blazers — in hue, after each gorgeous hue! The overarching theme was equity for women in the workplace, while the underlying theme was solidarity. Each attendee was given a green asymmetrical ribbon to wear on their lapels. The asymmetry of the ribbon symbolizes the pay disparities between women and men. According to this Huffington Post article, white women are paid about 20 percent less than men. Sadly, women of color fare worst by a considerable amount. Black women are paid 40 percent less than men, while our Latina sisters are paid 45 percent less. During brunch, we broke out into groups for discussion. Breaking into smaller groups allowed everyone the opportunity to dig deeper and participate.
After the breakout group discussions, we were delighted to have founder of Jackets for Jobs, Ms. Alison Vaughn join us. We all have had or will have moments that will define us. Ms. Vaughn’s moment came when she learned her sister had cancer. The cancer proved to be terminal; her sister succumbed to her illness just six months after announcing to Ms. Vaughn that she was living with the disease. As Ms. Vaughn was dealing with the heartbreak of losing her sister as well as still repairing the wound left by losing her father who passed not too long before her sister, she worked tirelessly to get her sister’s affairs in order and plan her funeral. While making arrangements, she discovered that her sister was a recipient of public assistance. Learning this made her think about the quality of life her sister endured and what opportunities may or may not have been available to her. Ms. Vaughn turned tragedy and adversity into purpose. Her story was a call to action to help other women in similar circumstances.
Jackets for Jobs assists women and men in need of clothing for interviews. Every $50.00 Jackets for Jobs receives in donations, means one suit and a second chance for either a woman or man. Our event registration fee was a donation to Jackets for Jobs, which also has amazing volunteer opportunities. You can interact with jobseekers by helping them pick out clothing and giving them words of encouragement for their interviews.
If you are interested in donating dry-cleaned and ironed mens or womens clothing fit for interviewing to Jackets for Jobs, please click here to learn more.
If you would like to learn more about and/or connect with our event partners, please feel free to click on the links below:
- Jackets for Jobs
- Women of Distinction