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Sisters Empowering
Sisters® (SES)

Annual Conference

Beginning in 2005, The Image Initiative, Inc.® created and launched an annual conference called Sisters Empowering Sisters® (SES); a two-day event developed for young women of color.

It features lively panel discussions on the organization’s core issues; healthy self-esteem, relationship violence awareness/prevention, STDs/HIV/AIDS awareness/prevention, and teen pregnancy prevention. The conference also provides workshops that focus on higher education and career choices.

For more information on the Sisters Empowering Sisters (SES) conference, contact Nicole Watkins. For more information on how your school can become involved, contact Nicole Watkins. To donate to the conference or to volunteer, please see our Donate and Volunteer pages.

2021

On June 3-4, 2021, The Image Initiative, Inc. ventured into the virtual space and hosted the 16th and first Sisters Empowering Sisters Virtual Conference featuring Tommi Billingsley of Fearless Queens and Dr. Jasmin N. Jones, Founder, Liberation Psychological Services, PLLC.

2020

For the first time in sixteen years after considerable and thoughtful deliberation, the Image Initiative, Inc. made the difficult decision to postpone the Sisters Empowering Sisters Annual Conference scheduled to take place on March 27-28, 2020. This decision was made due to the uncertainty of the Coronavirus pandemic and in an abundance of concern for our conference participants, volunteers and speakers. We look forward to the opportunity to return in 2021 and THANK YOU to everyone for your understanding and support!

2019

15 Year Anniversary!

On March 22-23, 2019, The Image Initiative, Inc. celebrated 15 years of impacting lives and making a difference! The Sisters Empowering Sisters Annual Conference featured Zandra Cunningham, 18-year-old author, philanthropist, entrepreneur and founder of Zandra Beauty and Oronike Odeleye, Arts & Entertainment consultant and founder of the #MuteRKelly campaign featured in the Lifetime docu-series, “Surviving R. Kelly” with special guest Candice Norcott, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist at the University of Chicago, national consultant and public speaker also featured in the Lifetime docu-series, “Surviving R. Kelly”. More than 200 girls were in attendance from the Syracuse City School District.

2018

The Image Initiative, Inc. hosted our 14th year of the Sisters Empowering Sisters Annual Conference on March 23-24, 2018, featuring Egypt Sherrod, realtor, author, and host of HGTV’s “Flipping Virgins” and “Property Virgins”, AzMarie Livingston, America’s Next Top Model: British Invasion, fashion model, actress and singer, Charisse Mills, “pop” opera singer and songwriter with special guest Lateasha Gbor, singer, manager and owner of Celebrity Closets. More than 175 girls were in attendance from the Syracuse City School District.

2017

The Image Initiative, Inc. hosted our 13th Sisters Empowering Sisters Annual Conference on March 24-25, 2017, featuring criminal defense attorney Serena Nunn, Esq., one of only a handful of African American women to receive a full pardon from President Barack Obama after spending 15 years in prison and Jennifer Sanders, multimedia journalist and Syracuse news anchor. More than 175 girls were in attendance from the Syracuse City School District.

2016

The Image Initiative, Inc. hosted our 12th Sisters Empowering Sisters Annual Conference on March 24-25, 2016, featuring one of only a handful of female, board-certified Cardiothoracic Surgeons in the United States Dr. Jennifer Ellis and Michelle Williams, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter and member of internationally acclaimed female group Destiny’s Child along with special guest Jamar Rogers, Season 2 semi-finalist from “The Voice.” Close to 150 girls were in attendance from the Syracuse City School District.

2015

The Image Initiative, Inc. hosted our 11th Sisters Empowering Sisters Annual Conference on March 20-21, 2015, featuring Syracuse native and astronaut Dr. Jeanette J. Epps and veteran stage, film and TV actress Anna Maria Horsford with special guests Kendra C. Johnson and Andre Hall, from Tyler Perry’s sitcom “Love Thy Neighbor”. More than 150 girls were in attendance from the Syracuse City School District.

2014

10 Year Anniversary!

The Image Initiative, Inc. celebrated our 10-year Anniversary of the Sisters Empowering Sisters Annual Conference on March 21-22, 2014, featuring international HIV/AIDS activist Hydeia Broadbent and actress Keshia Knight Pulliam with special guest, actress Kendra C. Johnson. More than 150 girls were in attendance from the Syracuse City School District.

2013

The Image Initiative, Inc. hosted our 9th Sisters Empowering Sisters Annual Conference on March 22-23, 2013, featuring entrepreneur and domestic violence advocate Lauretta M. Pierce and actor, singer, writer, director Vanessa Williams. More than 125 girls were in attendance from the Syracuse City School District.

2012

The Image Initiative, Inc. hosted our 8th Sisters Empowering Sisters Annual Conference on March 23-24, 2012, featuring WNBA All-Star Wendy Palmer and actress Bre’ly Evans. More than 125 girls were in attendace from the Syracuse City School District.

2011

The Image Initiative, Inc. hosted our 7th Sisters Empowering Sisters Annual Conference on March 25-26, 2011, featuring Syracuse native Kim Hill (original member of the Black Eyed Peas) and actress Tasha Smith. More than 100 girls were in attendance from the Syracuse City School District.

2010

The Image Initiative, Inc. hosted our 6th Sisters Empowering Sisters Annual Conference on March 26-27, 2010 featuring Sandy “Pepa” Denton and Cheryl “Salt” James of Salt-n-Pepa, and actress Rhyon Nicole Brown. More than 100 girls were in attendance from the Syracuse City School District.

2009

5 Year Anniversary!

The Image Initiative, Inc. celebrated our 5th year Anniversary of the Sisters Empowering Sisters Annual Conference on March 20-21st, 2009, featuring international HIV/AIDS activist Hydeia Broadbent and Bevy Smith (Contributing Editor, Latina Magazine, Dinner with Bevy) with special guest Leanne “Lelee” Lyons of the musical group SWV.  More than 100 girls were in attendance from the Syracuse City School District.

2008

The Image Initiative, Inc. hosted our 4th Sisters Empowering Sisters Annual Conference on March 28-29, 2008 featuring actress Tracee Ellis Ross and Marie “Free” Wright, formerly of BET’s 106th and Park. More than 100 young women were in attendance from the Syracuse City School District.

2007

The Image Initiative, Inc. hosted our 3rd Sisters Empowering Sisters Annual Conference on March 23-24, 2007 featuring lawyer, author and speaker, Francine Ward, Esq.. More than 100 young women were in attendance from the Syracuse City School District.

2006

The Image Initiative, Inc. expanded the Sisters Empowering Sisters Annual Conference from a one-day to two-day event hosting the 2nd Sisters Empowering Sisters Annual Conference on March 24-25, 2006 featuring community activist and co-founder of Power Unit for Motivating Youth (PUMY), Akua Goodrich. Close to 100 young women were in attendance from the Syracuse City School District.

2005

The 1st Sisters Empowering Sisters Annual Conference was created by Nicole Watkins and took place on May 21, 2005 at Syracuse University with a phenomenal team of women; Tiffany C. Rush, Jossette Burgos, Dr. Katina Stapleton, Vanessa Asforis and Dr. LaRhonda Ealey. The conference’s first keynote speaker was Michaela Angela Davis, former Executive Fashion and Beauty Editor of Essence Magazine, writer and producer. Close to 50 young women were in attendance from the Syracuse City School District.