2023 International Women’s Forum World Leadership Conference in Motown Detroit

A revitalized Detroit was the setting for IWF Michigan to host 700 women leaders from 33 countries. The Motown theme “What’s Going On?” kicked off with a fireside chat by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who discussed leadership styles, the importance of voting, health care and abortion rights for women. Panels, with outstanding experts, addressed the issues of Generative AI, ideas on remaking the world, including taking courts and justice to rural women, ways to eliminate plastic waste and breakout sessions on faith, spirituality and innovative philanthropy.

The Behind the Scenes I attended included a tour and history of the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation. The focus is for visitors is to learn history through objects so they are a source of inspiration for the future.

Stilettos & Sneakers salutes women’s leadership from all generations. At the Henry Ford Museum, I had the privilege of seeing the bus from Montgomery, Alabama, that “the first lady of civil rights,” Rosa Parks, rode when she refused to give up her seat because of her race to a white man. Her actions inspired the civil rights movement and the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

As I saw and sat on that bus, I felt the power and courage of Rosa Parks. I realized that you can choose hope for the future when seeing and experiencing our history.

At a lighter moment at the IWF closing Hall of Fame Gala, I shared a photo with a replica of icon Rosa Parks!