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United Way of Central Md. hosts 2018 Women’s Forum

Employees from Wells Fargo Bank, a title sponsor of the United Way of Central Maryland Women’s Forum, gather at the event. Attending were, from left, Lynn Manthy, Susan Owens, Monica Mitchell and Traci Horne. (Photo courtesy of United Way of Central Maryland)

Employees from Wells Fargo Bank, a title sponsor of the United Way of Central Maryland Women’s Forum, gather at the event. Attending were, from left, Lynn Manthy, Susan Owens, Monica Mitchell and Traci Horne. (Photo courtesy of United Way of Central Maryland)

The 2018 United Way of Central Maryland Women’s Forum ends with a keynote speech from author and inspirational speaker Liz Murray, who overcame homelessness during high school to be accepted by Harvard University. (Photo courtesy of United Way of Central Maryland)

The 2018 United Way of Central Maryland Women’s Forum ends with a keynote speech from author and inspirational speaker Liz Murray, who overcame homelessness during high school to be accepted by Harvard University. (Photo courtesy of United Way of Central Maryland)

From left, Michele Norris, founder of The Race Card Project and executive director of The Bridge, The Aspen Institute’s program on race, identity, connectivity and inclusion; Dominque Moore, co-chair of the 2018 United Way of Central Maryland Women’s Forum; Michelle Wright, co-chair of the 2018 Women’s Forum and Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh gather during the Women’s Forum to celebrate the power of storytelling to effect change. (Photo courtesy of United Way of Central Maryland)

From left, Michele Norris, founder of The Race Card Project and executive director of The Bridge, The Aspen Institute’s program on race, identity, connectivity and inclusion; Dominque Moore, co-chair of the 2018 United Way of Central Maryland Women’s Forum; Michelle Wright, co-chair of the 2018 Women’s Forum and Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh gather during the Women’s Forum to celebrate the power of storytelling to effect change. (Photo courtesy of United Way of Central Maryland)

Michele Norris, founder of The Race Card Project and executive director of The Bridge, The Aspen Institute’s program on race, identity, connectivity and inclusion., speaks to the crown of more than 500 guests at the United Way of Central Maryland Women’s Forum. Norris led attendees in activities to encourage conversation about differences and examining deeply entrenched narratives that define or confine communities. (Photo courtesy of United Way of Central Maryland)

Michele Norris, founder of The Race Card Project and executive director of The Bridge, The Aspen Institute’s program on race, identity, connectivity and inclusion., speaks to the crown of more than 500 guests at the United Way of Central Maryland Women’s Forum. Norris led attendees in activities to encourage conversation about differences and examining deeply entrenched narratives that define or confine communities. (Photo courtesy of United Way of Central Maryland)

United Way of Central Maryland Women United members join together during this year’s forum. Pictured from left, Sheela Murthy, Esq., co-chair of the United Way 2017-2018 Campaign; Linda  K. Fredeking; Liz Ferrugia; Dana Johnson; Laura Bush; Dana Gloor; Lori  A. Villegas, chair of the United Way’s Women United membership group; Tere Geckle, co-chair of Women United; Michelle Wright, co-chair of the 2018 Women’s Forum; Lois M. Shofer; Carole Miller; Dalal J. Haldeman; Debbie Diehl; Lynne Durbin; Mary Gregory; Kate Norman and Cheryl Mickel. (Photo courtesy of United Way of Central Maryland)

United Way of Central Maryland Women United members join together during this year’s forum. Pictured from left, Sheela Murthy, Esq., co-chair of the United Way 2017-2018 Campaign; Linda K. Fredeking; Liz Ferrugia; Dana Johnson; Laura Bush; Dana Gloor; Lori A. Villegas, chair of the United Way’s Women United membership group; Tere Geckle, co-chair of Women United; Michelle Wright, co-chair of the 2018 Women’s Forum; Lois M. Shofer; Carole Miller; Dalal J. Haldeman; Debbie Diehl; Lynne Durbin; Mary Gregory; Kate Norman and Cheryl Mickel. (Photo courtesy of United Way of Central Maryland)

More than 500 of Baltimore’s most influential women joined United Way of Central Maryland’s Women United members to participate in the 2018 Women’s Forum March 22 in the Calvin & Tina Tyler Ballroom at Morgan State University.

The event also raised more than $30,000 to support United Way’s On Track 4 Success early intervention education program that helps keep young students on track to graduate high school. Based on research by The Johns Hopkins University Everyone Graduates Center, the program serves students and teachers in three area schools: Maree G. Farring Elementary/Middle School and Benjamin Franklin High School in South Baltimore, and Meade Middle School in Anne Arundel County.

During the sold-out event, dynamic business and community leaders celebrated the power of storytelling and discussed how thoughtful conversations about our own stories can effect positive change. Participants also engaged in inspiring conversations around education and how our own stories about race, inclusion and identity can empower others.

Michele Norris, a Peabody Award-winning journalist and founder of The Race Card Project, led the audience in an activity, engaging people to talk across differences and examining deeply entrenched narratives that define or confine communities. The program concluded with a keynote speech from author and inspirational speaker Liz Murray, who overcame homelessness during high school to be accepted by Harvard University.

The forum is the Women United group’s signature event to ignite the power of women to make a difference in lives across the region.

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