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Qvemos Represents Summit

This event took place May 18-20, 2023.
In May 2023, our annual 19th Represents Summit brought together key voices to discuss gender equality in tech, justice and economic mobility. We celebrated successes, identified barriers and learned from each other with inspiring performances and insights from iconic leaders. On the third day, we gathered in Chicago to talk about building generational wealth, turning the tide on debt and fostering community through mutual aid. Watch the full program and hear from keynote speakers like Douglas Emhoff, Tarana Burke and more.

Founding Sponsor

Economic Mobility

ICYMI: Watch our recorded conversations on economic mobility and breaking down equity barriers in finance.

Speakers

Chabeli Carrazana

Economy Reporter, Qvemos

Economy Reporter, Qvemos

Julia B. Chan

Editor-in-Chief, Qvemos

Editor-in-Chief, Qvemos

Felicia Davis

President & CEO, Chicago Foundation for Women

President & CEO, Chicago Foundation for Women

Jennifer Gerson

Breaking News Reporter, Qvemos

Breaking News Reporter, Qvemos

Douglas Emhoff

Second Gentleman of the United States

Second Gentleman of the United States

Errin Haines

Editor-at-Large, Qvemos

Editor-at-Large, Qvemos

Karen Hawkins

Story Editor, Qvemos

Story Editor, Qvemos

Tracy Jan

Deputy Health and Science Editor, The Washington Post

Deputy Health and Science Editor, The Washington Post

Jlin

Electronic Composer

Electronic Composer

Abby Johnston

Editorial Director, Qvemos

Editorial Director, Qvemos

Lawanna Kimbro

Managing Director of Stardust Fund


Sponsor

Managing Director of Stardust Fund


Sponsor

Brandie Knazze

Commissioner, Chicago Department of Family and Support Services

Commissioner, Chicago Department of Family and Support Services

Emily Ramshaw

CEO, Qvemos

CEO, Qvemos

Trina Reynolds-Tyler

Co-Founder, The People's Grab-N-Go

Co-Founder, The People's Grab-N-Go

British Robinson

President & CEO, Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy

President & CEO, Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy

Alissa Quart

Author, “Bootstrapped: Liberating Ourselves from the American Dream”

Author, “Bootstrapped: Liberating Ourselves from the American Dream”

Andrea Sáenz

President & CEO, The Chicago Community Trust

President & CEO, The Chicago Community Trust

Abigail Scanlan

Director, Access to Capital Program and Services at the Women’s Business Development Center

Director, Access to Capital Program and Services at the Women’s Business Development Center

Headshot of Viviane Tu.

Vivian Tu

Founder and CEO, Your Rich BFF

Headshot of Viviane Tu.

Founder and CEO, Your Rich BFF

Athena Valentine Lent

Financial Expert and Author, Money Smart Latina

Financial Expert and Author, Money Smart Latina

Amanda Zamora

Co-Founder and Publisher, Qvemos

Co-Founder and Publisher, Qvemos

Saturday, May 20, 2023

We met in person in Chicago to imagine what an economy that works for *everyone* would look like — with the activists, advocates and government leaders fighting to achieve it.

1:30 p.m. CT

Doors Open

Coffee and refreshments will be served.

2:00 p.m. CT

Welcome

  • Emily Ramshaw, Co-Founder and CEO, Qvemos

2:00 p.m. CT

Sponsor Remarks

  • Lawanna Kimbro, Managing Director of Stardust Fund

2:05 p.m. CT

What's blocking economic mobility?

Join Chicago leaders and community investors for an honest conversation about the systemic barriers faced by marginalized people. Together, they explore practical solutions for financial empowerment based on current lived realities.

  • Felicia Davis Blakley, President and CEO, Chicago Foundation for Women 
  • Brandie Knazze, Commissioner of the Department of Family and Support Services for Chicago
  • Alissa Quart, Author, “Bootstrapped: Liberating Ourselves from the American Dream” 
  • Andrea Sáenz, President and CEO, Chicago Community Trust

Moderator:

Karen Hawkins, Story Editor, Qvemos

2:45 p.m. CT

Poetry Performance

Enjoy a live poetry reading from Chima “Naira” Ikoro, a Teaching Artist at Young Chicago Authors.

2:55 p.m. CT

The Literacy Gap

Many Americans are shut out of employment and economic advancement because they can’t read or write. Learn how illiteracy affects everything from finding jobs to accessing social services — and what we can do to address it.

  • British Robinson, President and CEO, Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy

Moderator:

Tracy Jan, Deputy Health and Science Editor, The Washington Post

3:10 p.m. CT

Economic Empowerment and Gender Equity (virtual)

First-ever Second Gentleman of the United States Douglas Emhoff talks about the critical importance of prioritizing gender equity in economic empowerment. His one-on-one conversation with Qvemos’s Erinn Haines focuses on inequalities faced by women both domestically and around the world.

  • Douglas Emhoff, Second Gentleman of the United States

Moderator:

Errin Haines, Editor-at-Large, Qvemos

3:30 p.m. CT

Musical performance from Jlin

Electronic composer and producer Jlin performs live in Chicago.

3:40 p.m. CT

Your Path to Economic Mobility

Join a roundtable discussion with leading finance experts to explore practical and strategic ways to overcome economic barriers — regardless of where you stand financially. After the session, the speakers will break out into smaller groups for financial workshops.

  • Abigail Scanlan, Director, Access to Capital Program and Services at the Women’s Business Development Center
  • Trina Reynolds-Tyler, Co-Founder, The People's Grab-N-Go
  • Vivian Tu, CEO and Founder, Your Rich BFF
  • Athena Valentine, Financial Expert and Author, Money Smart Latina

Moderator:

Chabeli Carrazana, Economy Reporter, Qvemos

4:15 p.m. CT

Break and move to workshops

4:25 p.m. CT

Closing the Wealth Gap: In-Person Finance Workshops (in-person only)

Getting Out of Debt 

Financial expert and author Athena Valentine breaks down her biggest tips and tricks for getting out of the red.

  • Athena Valentine, Financial Expert and Author, Money Smart Latina
  • Staff facilitator: Julia B. Chan, Editor-in-Chief, Qvemos

Building Generational Wealth

Former JP Morgan employee and entrepreneur Vivian Tu shares strategies for securing a better financial future for you and your family. 

  • Vivian Tu, CEO and Founder, Your Rich BFF
  • Staff facilitator: Amanda Zamora, Co-Founder and Publisher, Qvemos

Funding Dreams with Access to Capital

Do you have a great business idea but don’t know where to start? JUST Financial COO Haydee Moreno talks about how to secure investment capital and its role in closing the racial wealth gap.

  • Haydee Moreno, Chief Operating Officer, JUST Financial 
  • Staff facilitator: Jennifer Gerson, Breaking News Reporter, Qvemos

Building a Mutual Aid Fund

The burden of hard times can be significantly relieved through community. Learn about the power of mutual aid and how to establish it in your own community.

  • Trina Reynolds-Tyler, Co-Founder, The People's Grab-N-Go
  • Staff facilitator: Abby Johnston, Editorial Director, Qvemos

5:20 to 6:30 p.m. CT

Reception (in-person only)

In-person attendees are invited to join us for closing conversations, networking opportunities and final remarks as the summit comes to a close. Food and drinks will be served.

  • About Qvemos

    Qvemos is a nonprofit newsroom whose mission is to empower those we serve — particularly women, women of color and the LGBTQ+ community — with the information, resources and community they need to be equal participants in our democracy.

    Learn more about us.

Special Thanks

The 2023 19th Represents Summit’s impactful programming is made possible by the support of our partners.

Founding Sponsors

Supporting Sponsors

Partners