LAAAWPAC to honor Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Women Trailblazers at 19th Annual Empowerment Banquet.  California’s first and only all female African American Women PAC honors trailblazing women in Politics, Community Advocacy, Entertainment, the Arts, and Next Generation Leadership.  >>see more

The Los Angeles African American Women’s Political Action Committee (LAAAWPAC) is hosting their 19th Annual Empowerment Banquet on Sunday, March 27, 2011 at 3p.m. at the Radisson LAX to honor trailblazing women who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the fields of Politics, Community Advocacy, Entertainment, the Arts, and Next Generation Leadership.

Timed to coincide with National Women’s History Month, the theme for this year’s fundraiser is entitled “Honoring Our Trailblazers”which will recognize such pioneers as: Congresswoman Maxine Waters with the “Political Leader of the Year Award;” Actress and Entertainer Sheryl Lee Ralph with the “Entertainer of the Year Award;” Avatar Choreographer and Dance Legend Lula Washington with the “Community Icon Award;” Community Leader and Special NeedsAdvocate Mordena Moore with the “Lifetime Achievement Award; and Researcher Shakari Byerly with the “Next Generation Leader Award.”

“We’re extremely excited about this year’s theme of ‘Honoring Our Trailblazers’,” says Jacquelynn Hawthorne, LAAAWPAC’s Chairwoman. “Since LAAAWPAC is the first and only all female African American PAC in the State of California, we wanted to celebrate National Women’s History Month by honoring women who are not only pioneers in their respective fields, but also women who have demonstrated their commitment to the African American community through their advocacy work and active involvement in our country’s political process.”

LAAAWPAC was founded in 1991 as a means to bring African American women squarely into the political arena and to address the social, economic and educational concerns of the African American community.  LAAAWPAC is a non-partisan PAC and was organized to raise campaign contributions for viable African American female candidates running for public offices, as well as for campaigns that support ballot initiatives that may severely impact the African American community.

Since its inception, LAAAWPAC has remained committed to its founding vision by endorsing and recognizing such past “PowerPAC Honorees” as Congresswoman Karen Bass, Former Congresswoman Diane Watson, Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell, and recently re-elected LAUSD Supervisor Marguerite LaMotte.

It has also continued to blaze new trails for the next generation of political, business and community development leaders through its 10-week leadership program for women, the Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute, or LAAAWPPI ( Founded in 2002, LAAAWPPI is a professional development program that trains and prepares women to become more engaged in the political and public policy processes. Currently in its 9th year, LAAAWPPI is a direct birth and outgrowth of LAAAWPAC’s commitment to the political education and training of African American women.

“As an emerging community development leader, I’ve grown to not only better understand the power of my vote, but I’ve also grown to appreciate the power of the African American vote and voice, especially that of women,” says Starlett Quarles, LAAAWPPI Alum and the newly-elected LAAAWPAC Vice Chairwoman. “It is imperative that young professionals participate in the electoral process by voting, contributing to campaigns and supporting candidates, especially African American women candidates. I attended LAAAWPPI’s program and joined LAAAWPAC to not only help improve my ‘Political I.Q.’ as a young professional, but to also get involved in an organization and a network of women who were prepared to groom a  new generation on how to make a difference in their communities.”

Hosted by Comedian and Entertainer Lewis Dix, Jr., the 19th Annual Empowerment Banquet also consists of an Exhibitor Showcase and special musical performances. Award Presenters include: Assemblyman Steven Bradford of the 51st District; Assemblyman Mike Davis of the 48th District; Assemblyman Isadore Hall of the 52nd District; Columnist Anthony A. Samad; and Actor Willard Pugh, best known for his role as “Harpo” from The Color Purple.

LAAAWPAC’s 19th Annual Empowerment Banquet will be held on Sunday, March 27, 2011 from 3pm to 6pm at the Radisson LAX, 6225 W. Century Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045. Tickets prices are $75/person. To RSVP please visit or contact Lena Cole Dennis, Event Co-Chair at 323-691-0901 or at Space is limited.


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