In addition to honoring this year's women of achievement in business, the event will also feature Judge Mablean Ephriam as the keynote speaker, pianist and singer, Ms. Candace Lacy and Brother Yusef, blues entertainer. Dr. Pamela Short Powell will be the mistress of ceremonies and Dr. Rosie Milligan will give the invocation. The Journal's past Women of Achievement will also be recognized.
[Correction] Last week, we featured the women who will be honored and placed their bios in The Journal. In the bio on our honoree, Ms. Carolyn Roddy, we mistakenly printed that her mother was deceased. In fact, Ms. Arlessie Brown (95 years old) is very much alive and well. We sincerely apologize for our error and are sorry for any inconvenience caused to Ms. Brown and her family.
JUDGE MABLEAN EPHRIAM was born to Robert and Mable Ephriam in Hazlehurst, Mississippi. She is no stranger to achievement. Through hard, consistent and dedicated work, she strives to perform and do her God-given best. Since a child, she has always had that "spirit" of excellence and liberality about her. The ninth of ten children, you could always find her somewhere reading, studying, and asking countless questions that could drive you crazy. When she wasn't doing that, she could be found fighting for the rights of strangers and family members. Her strong thirst for knowledge, equality and unselfishness parlayed into a rewarding, challenging, sometime agonizing and exhausting career in the practice of Family Law. Twenty-five years ago, she was admitted to the California Bar and in 1992 she was admitted to the United States Supreme Court.
At the age of 13 years, she knew she wanted to become a lawyer. She set a plan in motion and went to work . She worked her way through the system, beginning in law enforcement for the Federal Prisons as a Correctional Officer in the Women's Prison at Terminal Island. From there, she became legal secretary for the and later a paralegal before becoming a Certified Law Clerk.As a young wife and mother of three, she then decided to enter law school. She enrolled in the night program at Whittier College School of law in Los Angeles earning her Juris Doctor Degree in 1978.
In October of 1998, Twentieth Television selected this experienced, distinguished law practitioner and mediator to sit as Judge on the newly, revised half hour syndicated show "Divorce Court", where there is no script, nor actors, just real cases and real litigants with Judge Ephriam rendering legally-binding decisions. This all came about by God's divine will. After ending her seven season run on Divorce Court, Judge Mablean is heavily involved with the day to day workings of the Mablean Ephriam Foundation as well as traveling extensively as a much sought after public speaker.
This hard-working woman is an entrepreneur. She is the owner of Mablean's Limousine Services; co-owner of Jubilane Guest House, a Bed & Breakfast in Johannesburg, South Africa; and founder of an awards program, Honoring Unsung Fathers.
Judge Ephriam attributes her success to God, her family and close friends. Her faith, religion and trust in God keep this mother of four and grandmother of nine, meek and humble.
DR. PAMELA SHORT POWELL will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies. Dr. Powell is a longtime educator who has served at every level of the education scale. She is a former teacher and she served as a principal in the Pasadena Unified School District where she rose to the level of Assistant Superintendent under Vera Vignes. Dr. Powell became Assistant Superintendent of Schools for Oklahoma City and later served as the interim Superintendent of the Oklahoma City School District.
The Chicago born educator holds a doctorate in Education. As Superintendent, Dr. Powell served as the Board of Education's Chief Executive Officer and adviser. She was responsible for the supervision and management of the day-to-day operations of the School District and provided leadership and educational advice to the Board of Education, Administrators, teachers, support staff and community. She was responsible for the supervision and implementation of all programs and services.
She is the president of the California Association of African American Superintendents and Administrators, the Secretary of the National Council on Educating Black Children, and serves on the Superintendent's Council for the Association of California School Administrators. She is currently involved with other national educational leaders in implementing legislation that focus on Black Males: Increasing Graduation Rates and Preventing Drop Out Rates through a platform of Education is a Civil Right.
DR. ROSIE MILLIGAN will give the invocation at the WOA Breakfast. Dr. Milligan is a nationally known motivational speaker and the founder of Milligan Publishing Company. Her Company has published over 150 new African-American authors in the past ten years. Her publishing company is the largest and fastest growing publishing company owned by an African-American female in the nation. She has personally written and published over 10 books. Her Black Writers on Tour has attracted writers from across the country including the daughters of Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X. Her speeches are thought provoking while pointing out the ironies of Black life with humor and facts. She lives in Southern California and is sought after across the country as a speaker.