Press Releases | October 8, 2021

Black Girl Magic event to examine national survey on Black women’s priorities

The Mind Trust and The Highland Project will host an intimate discussion on Thursday, October 28 at 6:00 p.m., at the Indianapolis Public Library’s Central Library, that will examine the results of The Highland Project’s national report, ”Our Power, Our Legacy”. The report shares results from a national survey of more than 700 African American women who are registered to vote and highlights the gap between Black women’s needs and the country’s response in the areas of education, economic development, healthcare, politics, and voting rights. 

“The Mind Trust is deeply committed to expanding access to quality education for our entire community. We are excited to partner with The Highland Project to focus on opportunities and challenges facing Black women through this discussion,” said Shannon Williams, Executive Vice President of The Mind Trust. “We know systems to create change in education, healthcare, politics, and economic mobility are interconnected, and look forward to hearing from our powerhouse panel on ways our community can take action.”

The Highland Project cultivates a national coalition of Black women who are leading communities, institutions, and systems in the creation of multi-generational wealth and change where they live and serve. The “Our Power, Our Legacy” report centers the lived experiences of Black women in America and presents research for policymakers, politicians, and decision-makers around solutions and priorities that will result in multi-generational opportunity for Black women. Read the executive summary and full report here.

The report shares that voting rights, fighting racism, and education issues top the list of concerns Black women want leaders to focus on most. Additionally, 59% of Black women surveyed are concerned about the quality of their child’s education. The ability to pursue educational goals was one of the top indicators of personal success, along with economic independence and being able to live honestly and ethically. 

“Black women are the driving force behind our nation’s communities, institutions, and systems,” said Gabrielle Wyatt, Founder of The Highland Project. “It is time for our power to be met with investments that enable us to thrive. The Highland Project is thrilled to partner with The Mind Trust to host this conversation and spark action in Indianapolis.”

“Black Girl Magic: a Fireside Chat” will be an intimate discussion featuring spoken word poetry from Indianapolis students and a panel of four dynamic Black women leaders who represent excellence in the education, healthcare, political, and economic sectors. The October 28 event will explore the findings of the “Our Power, Our Legacy” report. Panelists will dive into what Black women identified as priority social issues that are critical for future economic success, especially after the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on Black communities. 

The event is free and seating is limited. Prior to the event, there will also be a networking hour in the Center for Black Literature & Culture at the Central Library. To register, please visit

About the Event

Date and Time: Thursday, October 28, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.

Location: Central Library (40 East Saint Clair Street Indianapolis, IN 46204) | Livestream will be available

Moderator: Kateria Winfrey, WISH-TV Multicultural Reporter


  • Tavonna Askew, Chief of Staff & General Counsel, Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County 
  • Kelli Marshall, Senior Vice President of Schools, The Mind Trust 
  • Carolene Mays, President, Black Leadership and Legacies; Host, Community Link on WISH-TV
  • Angela Smith-Jones, Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion, Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County 


  • Shannon Williams, Executive Vice President, The Mind Trust
  • Gabrielle Wyatt, Founder, The Highland Project