When powerful women get together, there is a certain electricity that is palpable.
At the moment before ELYSIAN Magazine’s big Winter cover reveal, looking out at the Francis Marion Ballroom past the lovely centerpieces and soft lighting, you could tell there was an energy bursting at the seams. Every person at every table had a story to tell and a résumé to intimidate. The stage was set with a mysterious covered easel, and those who regularly attend the National Foundation for Women Legislator’s (NFWL) events were curious about what it could be hiding.
Earlier that day, the elected women filling this room had come from state houses and town halls from across the country to Charleston, South Carolina, to engage in policy discussions on a variety of topics, from the EFTs and Web3, to criminal justice reform, mental health policy, early childhood education, leadership development and more.
Women only comprise 28% of state legislatures, and it is critical to give them the opportunity to continue to sharpen the tools in their toolkits. Elected women must vote on every issue that crosses their desk and have a responsibility to their constituents to be always learning. NFWL’s group embodies that intellectual curiosity, and these women take the time out of their busy personal, political and professional schedules to come to conference rooms to learn.
Beyond building knowledge, they must also build and nurture this network to ensure they have someone they can reach to for support. It can be a challenging road for an elected woman without connections, and the women of South Carolina did not disappoint in setting the tone. They united all five women Senators – both Democrats and Republicans – together on stage to welcome their visiting colleagues and emphasize how important it is to support one another. The conference days were spent learning, laughing, catching up, and meeting anew, and by the evening the group was looking to celebrate.
On that first kickoff evening, after gracious welcomes from our hosts, the installation of the new NFWL board of directors, and lots of table chatter and laughs, the audience turned to Eboni K. Williams as she took the stage.
With poise and confidence, Eboni enraptured this powerful crowd and shared her own story of success. Eboni spoke about being a self-made woman and harnessing her power, as well as her passion for representing Black excellence, calling back to Fredrick Douglass and the power of imagery. With the requisite woos and laughs, the evening was a true celebration of great women. When the easel was finally revealed, showcasing ELYSIAN’s stunning Winter cover featuring Eboni, the gasps and resulting cheers were the cherry on top of a stellar keynote.
What better place to reveal ELYSIAN’s new cover and to launch a deeper partnership with NFWL? Elected women are the embodiment of an ELYSIAN woman, as they are dedicated to making a positive impact in the lives of others, and they are exactly the exceptional women we hope to showcase. This natural partnership inspires us to keep doing more, pay attention, make connections, and always take the time to celebrate one another.