Conference attendees enjoyed listening attentively to Min. Ava Muhammad. Photo: Kenneth Muhammad

CHICAGO ( – Women from all walks of life gathered at the University of Chicago June 18 to discuss, “My Money, My Body, My Child.” Organized by the Metropolitan Area Group for Igniting Civilization (MAGIC), the conference offered the attendees workshops, guest speakers, entertainment and vendors.

“We desired to present this conference because we wanted to address the many problems and challenges confronting women in our communities today. Though the challenges may seem insurmountable, we believe God has put within us the knowledge and resources to see our way through and elevate the woman back to the top of civilization where she belongs,” said Vanessa A. X, conference coordinator. “The issues of marriage and how to make it last, the stain of domestic violence, spiritual healing, mental illness, our physical health and more were discussed today. “Hopefully, we will all leave better informed and prepared to go forth to make our communities stronger.”

Judging from the response of the attendees, the seeds for social activism were planted at the conference.


“I truly enjoyed this. It was so beautiful,” said Cheryl Douglas, who was a part of the numerous vendors that created a mall-like atmosphere for the women to shop. The vendors also included Shawna Kendall of Alise’s Designer Shoes.

“All women love shoes and we have the shoes that women love,” Ms. Kendall told The Final Call. She doesn’t just sell designer and Italian shoes; she also designs them. Her creations were also featured at the conference.

In addition to the workshops, participants were treated to a panel in the morning on the images of women in the media. Hosted by broadcaster Monique Caradine, it featured women representing various media in the city.

“Ms. Caradine told the audience that they had the power to change what they saw on the media with something as simple as a letter to the station. “It’s not as difficult as it may seem. It just takes one,” she encouraged.

She explained that a letter expressing discontent with something seen on TV, followed by putting the station on notice that if it continues, the author won’t purchase from the advertisers, could bring about change. The audience responded with a thunderous applause.

Lunch was hosted by well-known radio personality Ramonski Luv and featured the entertainment of spoken work artists such as Triple Black, K. Love, Rap Artist D.A. Smart and the vocals of artists Ayanna Gregory and Lizz Fields. These artists were also featured in a concert that night at the Harold Washington Center for Cultural Change.

Alderwoman Arenda Troutman brought greetings from Mayor Richard Daley. She represents the 20th ward, where the University of Chicago is located.

“I am so proud of MAGIC and all of those involved in organizing this conference. All of the workshops will give us vital information to help overcome issues affecting our money, our bodies and our children,” she said. “It is my desire that everyone in attendance will walk away from this conference with the necessary tools to facilitate social mobility, improve health outcomes and methods to build families’ ability to foster adequate strategies for providing social support.”

Attorney, activist and author, Minister Ava Muhammad–who also serves as a national spokesperson for the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan–delivered the keynote address for the day. She told the audience, “The Creator brought the female from the most advanced part of His Mind, where nothing is impossible and ‘can’t’ is not understood.”

Min. Ava also explained that the woman determines the state of health of her family and has the powers to impose morals and decency in her community. “She can demand a committed relationship and she can refuse to facilitate a man’s betrayal of her sister,” she told the group. “Our community must be dominated by married couples. Married couples grow into affluent couples and affluent couples grow affluent communities.”

She received one thunderous applause after another.

She told the women that the intimacies shared between husband and wife bond the love between that man and woman. This produces wholesome, moral communities that can serve God. Marriage must be resurrected in the Black community, she stressed.

Her speech was well received, and, at the conclusion, she introduced her latest book, entitled “Weapons of Self Destruction.”

For the women who stayed from start to finish, it was a day well spent.

“I’m so glad I came to this,” said Tammy Johnson. “I enjoyed everything. I was so happy to see so many different aspects of our community present. We need more of these events.”

James Muhammad was responsible for promoting the event and gave concluding remarks. “This was truly a labor of love. It germinated in her (Sister Vanessa’s) head and has grown to this. The tears flowing down her cheeks, I can feel also. She’s expanding the breadth of the Nation of Islam to include members of the community.”

On that note, the audience stood up and cheered.