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Johnson Rice is set to be event speaker

by Byron Tate | March 2, 2021 at 4:00 a.m.

Linda Johnson Rice, a journalist, publisher and former chairman/CEO of Johnson Publishing Co., formerly the parent company for Ebony and Jet magazines, will be the featured speaker for the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership's annual Women's History Month virtual event at 6 p.m Thursday via Zoom.

The executive will discuss the focus of this year's event, "Having Our Sway: Women Gaining Power Through Purpose." The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff virtual event is free for the public to attend.

"We hope to celebrate and honor prestigious women by showcasing their contributions that helped pave the way for our future generations," said Kara Brown, dean of student activities. "We are thrilled to have Mrs. Linda Johnson Rice speaking to our community."

As the youngest and first African American female CEO among the top five of the Black Enterprise 100's largest Black-owned companies, Johnson Rice has been a ray of positivity on the Black community with her strong and resilient leadership, according to a news release. She served as a board member for numerous organizations, most notably for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago; for the Women's Board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America; for Continental Bank Corp., the Magazine Publishers of America, GrubHub Inc., Tesla Inc., Kimberly-Clark Corp. and the University of Southern California; and for the Women's Board of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The event will begin with an opening ceremony featuring Raven Franklin, an honors student and the 91st Miss University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Franklin is part of the UAPB STEM Scholars and has represented the university's STEM Academy at campus, state and national conferences.

She said Johnson Rice is a living legacy to everyone and an example of the strength women hold.

"A queen knows how to build her empire with the same stones that were thrown at her," said Franklin. "The purpose of Women's History Month is to increase consciousness and knowledge of women's history and remember the contributions of notable and ordinary women."

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