40th Anniversary of Black & Female: What is the Reality?™  A Weekend Celebration and Training Retreat

40th Anniversary of Black & Female: What is the Reality?™ A Weekend Celebration and Training Retreat

July 6 - 9, 2023

Black Women's Leadership in Building Inclusive Moments for Social Justice: 40 Years and Still Counting!

In 1983, Lillie P. Allen asked, “What do you absolutely adore about yourself?” to a standing- room-only gathering of over 1,000 Black women and girls from all walks of life at the First National Conference on Black Women’s Health Issues held at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA.

Whether this will be your first Black & Female: What is the Reality?™ event or reconnecting with women from past events, join us on this summer for a celebration, reunion, and training retreat for Black women, Black girls, and gender-diverse Black people as we honor our legacies and current realities as community organizers, social change makers, movement builders and paradigm shifters. We are doing emergent, transformative work outside the history of oppression with creativity, play and joy!



  1. Scroll to the bottom of this page to the Registration section. 
  2. Enter your information and click Register or Submit Change (if some of your information is already in the populated in the registration form). 
  3. Scroll down further to the Payment section.
  4. Click the Make a Payment button and proceed to pay. (NOTE: The Make a Payment button does not appear until you've registered for the event). 



Forrest Hills Resort in Dahlonega, Georgia

Space is limited to 50 participants. We encourage you invite a friend and/or family member and register now to secure your spots.


CLICK HERE if you have children who will attend with you.


We invite Black women, Black girls, and gender-diverse Black people who are already engaged in the work of Black women's leadership, as well as those who are not and would like to learn more about the initiative, to join Lillie Allen and others as we meet to share our realities as Black women.

The Agenda for the weekend is You! The motto is: "It's only the beginning, the best is yet to come, we know where we are going, we know where we come from..." We rarely take time out to rest, reflect, and love on ourselves and each other--this retreat is that time!


  • Creating a sacred container for the work and play we will do together


  • Exploring how using the Be Present Empowerment Model® can affect positive change in our work, our families, and in our communities


  • Sharing lessons learned and stories about the impact of the Model on ourselves and in our lives


  • Closing Circle
  • How do we put into practice what we've learned and experienced?

The Time is now...

Things in our lives start to shift the moment we take the opportunities we need to heal and to know ourselves.

Our intention for the weekend...

Together, we will share lessons learned in using the Be Present Empowerment Model® to explore how the daily experiences of race, gender, class and power dynamics and “isms” affect us and our capacity to build authentic relationships across differences.

We intend to:
  • Raise visibility of Black women's and Black girls’ leadership in creating and sustaining a diverse movement for social Justice that is inclusive of all people. Introduce participants to the Be Present Empowerment Model® and provide opportunities to practice the Model.
  • Share learnings of how using the Be Present Empowerment Model® effects change in ourselves, our families, schools, organizations and movements.
  • Have fun, party, and CELEBRATE!
Be Present in the Circle and build upon your strength as a leader to:
  • Examine Intersections between race, gender, class, age, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation, among others.
  • Address impact of social inequalities on mind, body and spirit.
  • Build mutual trust and sustain transformative learning, shared accountability and joint action.
  • Foster authentic relationships among people with different backgrounds, experiences, viewpoints and values.
The Black and Female Weekend Retreat will:
  • Highlight the perspectives and leadership experiences of Black women and girls. Identify skills, knowledge and abilities necessary to build cultural competency and sustain diverse and inclusive leadership across race, gender, class, age, and other differences.
  • Promote intergenerational, multiracial, leadership development trainings.
  • Capture and disseminate leadership development in and across different fields.

The Significance of Black & Female Leadership in Creating a Just World

The Be Present's Black & Female Leadership Movement was launched to honor the 30th anniversary of the Black & Female: What is the Reality?™ workshop.

This Movement celebrates the legacy of building sustainable leadership for social justice birthed from the vision of a Black woman, Lillie P. Allen and shared with other Black women and girls, who then partnered with a diversity of people to create a national network of locally organized and trained activists. It focuses on the visions, visibility, and voices of Black women leaders in working towards social justice across all fields and in a variety of contexts. It highlights the collective leadership of a diversity of people in creating sustainable change that serves all people in our broad community.

Be Present's Black & Female Leadership work addresses both the lack and, too often, the distortion of the voices and visibility of Black women's leadership in the literature, historical record and dialogue on social justice movement- building. It also highlights the process, as well as the achievements of using a collective leadership approach in creating a diverse national network of activists successfully moving social justice agendas in the U.S.


To register for this event, please login. If you do not have an account, please create one.