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Young women lifting up their voices at the 2021 Many Shades of Colour conference

After attending the conference for the first time as a third-grader, this year's event is a full-circle moment for Victoria Williams.

DES MOINES, Iowa — As the month of March and Women's History Month approaches, Hip Hope Inc. is presenting the Many Shades of Colour- Young Women's Conference with the theme “I Am Me.''

Victoria Williams attended the very first Many Shades of Colour conference as a third-grader simply because her mother was a volunteer. But she soon found herself in a space that felt like home. 

“I saw a lot of people who look like me, which is really kind of rare living here in Iowa," Williams said. "And it was a great experience for me and a great environment."

While attending various workshops, she soon became inspired by a poem she heard from keynote speaker Dr. Annissa Roland. 

I am me, uniquely me. My gifts are my specialty. I am me and that's who I be, and no one can take that away from me.

“I really wanted to create a message where the young ladies would be able to encourage themselves and be very mindful of the things they say to themselves and about themselves,” Roland said.

In a full-circle moment, Williams along with other young women will have a chance to have their voices heard during this year's conference. She will be co-presenting along with her mentor to help share a powerful message of friendship and relationships.

“No better way to educate youth than by seeing other youth share the message to them,” another keynote speaker at this year's conference, Nathalia Jackson, said. 

The deadline to register for this year’s virtual conference has been extended to Feb. 20. To learn more about the conference and future events, go to hiphopeinc.org.

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