By Jennifer Slay
That saying “build it and they will come” made famous by the movie Field of Dreams over 30 years ago still holds true today. Kerra Denel, a Trinidadian entrepreneur, humanitarian and founder of CWPL – Caribbean Women Power Lunch, was looking for a space where she could connect and develop relationships within the Caribbean community.
During her search, she found that there just wasn’t anything specific for Caribbean women. She wanted a space where women could feel safe, share their stories and open up to one another; a place where Caribbean women knew and understood that they were not alone. Since Kerra could not find it, she built it. And yes, the women came.
Kerra Denel created CWPL as a platform designed to empower, educate and unite women of color, and highlight women of the Caribbean diaspora.
On Sunday, September 15th, the seventh CWPL was held in Markham. There were six phenomenal speakers – diverse in age, stage, and experience. They shared their vulnerabilities, their failures, their successes and most importantly poured out words of wisdom and encouragement. Their words provided an opportunity for the attendees to motivate and empower themselves to support, love, and reach out to one another.
Karlyn Percil provided 10 keys for women to work successfully with other women; Camille Dundas encouraged the women to get honest with themselves and Trudy German encouraged the women to make self-care a daily activity. Amoye Henry, creator of Afrochic shared the trials of starting an event from the ground up; and Carla Beharry shared the power of resilience.
The attendees were as diverse as the speakers; there were brown women, black women, Asian women, young women, more mature women, professional women, retired women. There is no one word that can describe the positive energy in that room.
CWPL is a space where women from the Caribbean diaspora can unite, network, and create powerful alliances. There have been seven sold out CWPL events in Toronto (x3), Miami, Trinidad, Tobago and Los Angeles in only 16 months! This event in Toronto was extra special as it was dedicated to Kerra’s mother who taught her to tap into her strength, persevere and the value of genuine love for her community.
The big takeaway: our differences and our similarities are what make us stronger as a people together. Be on the watch for future Kerra Denel Entertainment events.