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5th Annual Universal Sisters

5th Annual Universal Sisters
Cleveland Clinic
August 23, 2008

The 5th Annual Universal Sisters was held Saturday, August 23, 2008 and was a complete sell out. Hosted by Cleveland Clinic and South Pointe Hospital and held at the Intercontinental Hotel, it is a day devoted to health issues, concerns and lessons for African American Women.

Universal Sisters 2008 ballroom

Many of the women have been coming to this event since the first one, and claim it to improve each year. Armed with Goody Bags filled with literature, health and healthy products to take home and sample, the ladies started their day at a 7:30 breakfast.

Universal Sisters regulars Gloria Muhammad and Juantia Brown

Universal Sisters regulars Gloria Muhammad
and Juantia Brown


The morning key-note speaker was Joyce Morley Ball EdD whose topic was "Discover Your Everyday Superheroes". She sums it up as, "I can I will. I am." She is a talk show host and author and a poet. Her books include Weary But Not Worn, and Seeds for the Harvest of a Lifetime.

Keynote speaker Dr. Joyce Morley-Bell Ed.D signing autographs

Keynote speaker Dr. Joyce Morley-Bell Ed.D
signing autographs


Throughout the day there were speakers and breakout sessions all geared to teach these eager women about things such as High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, taking time out for yourself, proper food and nutrition, even hair care and make up tips.

Breakout sessions included topics ranging from "The Devil Wears Prada", presented through the eyes of a podiatrist, healthy cooking demonstrations and "Making the most of your doctor's appointments."

Brenda Brown and Geraldine McKinley - Getting rejuvenated at the Oxygen Bar

Brenda Brown and Geraldine McKinley getting rejuvenated at the Oxygen Bar

There was even an Oxygen Bar set up where ladies could experience first hands the proclaimed benefits of breathing in pure oxygen. The oxygen is infused with scents such as "Chillin", "Tranquility" and even "Fuzzy Navel". One woman who had been testing the oxygen for less than 3 minutes could tell it was clearing up a headache.

 A'ishah Braxton  - with re-usable Go Green grocery bags

A'ishah Braxton with re-usable Go Green grocery bags


The message of "Go Green" was present, and re-useable grocery bags were passed out to the attendees. There was plenty of literature, information and opportunities for women to learn and share their experiences.

Eleanor Hayes of the Cleveland Clinic Office of Diversity moderated a panel of doctors addressing "Everything you wanted to Know But were afraid to ask your gynecologist.

A beautifully adorned dining room provided the thousand women with lunch and then it was back to break out sessions and the final key-note speaker, Harriett Cole. Ms Cole is the author of such books as Jumping the Broom, How To Be, Choosing the Truth: Living an Authentic Life and Coming Together and spoke to the topic "It's Your Choice."

Mary Hopper and Dorothy Oluonye

Mary Hopper and Dorothy Oluonye


This is an annual event and women of color would be wise to mark their calendars now and get their reservations in early. It is not a "fluff" event, but rather a day of substance and solid information. Sadly, some people had to be put on a waiting list that was never used. Don't let this happen to you next year.

Linda Jones, Nancy Nolan-Jones, Jean Mason, Roseanna Moore, Keisha Roberson (in back)

Linda Jones, Nancy Nolan-Jones, Jean Mason,
Roseanna Moore, Keisha Roberson (in back)


Dr. Julia Brogdon

Dr. Julia Brogdon

Karen Williams - Associate Director of Universal Sisters from the National Foundation

Karen Williams - Associate Director of Universal Sisters National Foundation

Kelly Gaines-El Hunter Certified midwife and speaker at event

Kelly Gaines-El Hunter Certified midwife
and speaker at event

Doris St. Clair  and Carolyn Mack

Doris St. Clair and Carolyn Mack

Cleveland Clinic - Danielle Kramer, Peter Miller, Susan Anton

Cleveland Clinic - Danielle Kramer,
Peter Miller, Susan Anton

We are Moms sign




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