Event highlights inspirational women, female-led businesses, VCU organizations

Ohemaa Palace Foundation works with Osu Children's Home located in Accra, Ghana. Photo courtesy of Nana Appiah

Peggy Stansbery, Staff Writer

Ohemmaa Palace Foundation creates a place for women to come enjoy themselves while celebrating Women’s History Month. 

The organization is presenting “A Queen’s Speakeasy” at VCU Commons Theatre on March 26. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.

“A Queen’s Speakeasy” will feature a dance performance and presentations from female-led businesses and VCU student organizations, according to Nana Appiah, founder of Ohemmaa Palace Foundation.

“It’s just a bigger conversation of businesses and clubs, as well as throwing in some moments to honor the different inspirational women that have come,” Appiah said. 

Ohemmaa Palace Foundation wants the event to create a place where people can learn more, Appiah said. 

Appiah hopes the segments featuring businesses or clubs cause people to leave the event wanting to join one, support one or learn more about starting a business, she said. 

“It’s working with people who were able to start things on their own so that other people can feel inspired to either do the same or join said organization or business,” Appiah said. 

Appiah founded Ohemmaa Palace Foundation on April 2, 2021 because she was inspired by the women in her life, she said. 

Appiah wanted to create a space that limits obstacles, Appiah said. For instance, the organization hosted a master class event teaching and providing resources about content creation and styling, at which participants did not have to pay any extra fees or “go out of their way to find it.” 

We are a constantly growing organization geared towards bridging the gap between marginalized women and success,” Appiah said. “Advocating for access to equal opportunities globally for both young girls and women.” 

Baaba Jeffrey, Ohemmaa Palace Foundation secretary, joined the organization when it first started to help bring Appiah’s vision into fruition and because she loved its mission of helping women be the best person they can be, Jeffrey said. 

“Since we started OHP we have expanded, and we are continuing to expand,” Jeffrey said. 

Since its founding it has been able to collaborate with “a lot of different people” and do different fundraisers and outreaches, Jeffrey said. 

The organization has donated canned goods and toys to a shelter in Woodbridge, Virginia, and donated clothes to children’s organizations in Ghana, according to Jeffrey. 

For the upcoming event, Jeffrey is excited to see people interact with the women-led businesses at “A Queen’s Speakeasy,” she said. She is interested in seeing people wanting to learn more about the businesses and “be amazed.”

Black Women in STEM at VCU will be one of the organizations featured at the event, according to Sarah Oduro, Black Women in STEM’s event facilitator.  

Black Women in STEM is a club for women empowerment through STEM, according to Oduro. 

“We are honored to be a part of an event that celebrates women, and their accomplishments in history and in the impact we have made so far in society,” Oduro said.

Black Women in STEM agreed to be a part of this event because it brings awareness to initiatives that “may not get the recognition they deserve,” such as businesses and other organizations, Oduro said. 

“Moreover, because it is an event that celebrates women,” Oduro said. 

The event will help “students and non-students” gather and network with businesses and become members of the various women-led clubs at the event, Oduro said.

Oduro hopes the event shows people that they should be “loud and proud” in celebrating women’s accomplishments and be “bold” in speaking up about the history and evolution of women, she said. 

“Also to make this a norm as women should always be appreciated, and for it to not only last in March for Women’s History Month,” Oduro said. 

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