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'Passing the torch': Kansas City conference inspires mentorship between Black women and girls

National Congress of Black Women Kansas City Chapter
Sylvya Stevenson
National Congress of Black Women Instagram

The Torch Carriers Conference, hosted by the National Congress of Black Women's Kansas City chapter, includes workshops and sessions to uplift Black women and girls.

On Aug. 27, the National Congress of Black Women's Kansas City chapter will host its fifth annual Women and Girls Torch Carriers Conference at Faxon Elementary School. The name stems from the idea that Black women pass the torch of leadership to their daughters, granddaughters and nieces.

The event will feature workshops dedicated to topics that disproportionately affect Black girls, and separate sessions that help Black women better support their younger counterparts. For example, girls will have the opportunity to discuss issues like grief and mental health.

These talks also provide educational and career resources, like networking, scholarships and internship opportunities. One session planned for this year is a career exchange with professionals in fields like tech and construction.

"It changed the trajectory of what my friends and I thought we were doing with our lives," said Breanna Bonner, a Kansas City teenager who attended the Torch Carriers Conference in 2021. Sylvya Stevenson, the President of the National Congress of Black Women in Kansas City, also joined Up To Date to discuss the event.

  • Sylvya Stevenson, President of the National Congress of Black Women Kansas City chapter
  • Breanna Bonner, Torch Carriers Conference attendee
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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
Hannah Cole is an intern with KCUR's Up To Date.
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