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For the first time ever, the Columbus Urban League held a brunch celebrating the contributions of some amazing, trailblazing African-American women in central Ohio. The event was meant to be empowering as the ladies honored some of their peers, from right here in Columbus!

Darlene Hill selected to be the moderator and graciously did so while highlights some amazing women who are leaving a legacy.

One of the honorees for the evening was Stephanie Hightower, who has laid a strong foundation for others to follow. She is celebrating 10 years as president and CEO of the Columbus Urban League and is more determined than ever to combat issues such as infant mortality, as well as, unemployment and eviction rates.

Yvette McGee Brown was another honoree in attendance. Brown was the first black woman who humbly earned a seat as a justice on the Ohio Supreme Court in 2011.

“For a state as rich and diverse as Ohio, that seemed sad to me, but the fact that I was able to make that trail and be part of Ohio’s history is very humbling for me,” she said.

Another big name in the building was Brenda Drake, the first lady of Ohio State University. Prior to her position as first lady, Mrs.Drake was an attorney in San Francisco. She holds mentor-ship up to a high standard and feels those who choose to mentor have a critical job to perform.

“What’s really, really important is to set an example for young women who are coming behind us and who might sometimes get discouraged and start thinking, ‘Is it worth it,’ and ‘what’s the point?’” Drake said. “There is a point, and what you’re doing makes a difference, Keep doing it for the next generation watching.”

Overall, the energy in the room was very positive and focused on tactics and ideas to continue to move forward and help build one another up. The honorees stand united on several views including the drive for change and ensuring they connect with others and assist in pulling others up in fields like politics, community service, media, and in law.

Source: NBC4i