On Saturday May 11, many Southwest Philadelphia residents attended an exclusive women’s -only seminar designed specifically for them to discuss their issues.

The event was held at Pepper Middle School, 2901 S. 84th St., and was organized by motivational speaker Tracey L. Fisher and Dr. Carol Simmons of the International Institute for Advanced Instruction.

Fisher said The”Let Go So You Can Hold On” women only seminar was organized with one mission in mind: to empower the women in our communities.

“My purpose was to get everyone to come together and to get on the same page, to understand what was needed in society,” said Fisher.

During an interview, Fisher acknowledged that some great work is being done throughout Philadelphia but that the individuals and groups doing them are scattered.

“So what I told them was to come under one umbrella and it would be more powerful and they could get a lot more done that way,” said Fisher.

Separation, said Fisher, creates more obstacles than one unified coalition would not have to confront.

“No one would lose anything by coming under one umbrella,” said Fisher. “Everyone would keep their same mission statement, everybody keep their 501 (C) 3, the only thing they gain is power. They don’t lose anything they just gain solidarity.”

During the seminar, guests were greeted by a multitude of vendors and organizations which operated information tables where they could receive information about various services and resources available to women in the city.

Guests included Stephanie Sawyer, candidate for common pleas court, Tracie Gordon, community activist, Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown and Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell among others.

Fisher said that he was most humbled by the number of people who arrived to attend the event.

“What we are really trying to do is to get Philadelphia back in shape,” said Fisher. “Right now, there are a lot of organizations out there that represent different parts of the city and they’re getting grants to do this and grants to do that but the community is worse.”

Fisher said that he would like to see some progress.

Topics discussed during the seminar included dress, lifestyle and crime as well as a host of other topics.

“I explained to the mothers that were there was that these young guys and girls who are out there committing crimes, committing murder, getting high, selling drugs, raping and doing everything else happening in the community, they don’t own a home, they don’t pay a mortgage so when they come home from doing all of that they go under somebody else’s roof, which is you all,” he said.

“Therefore you are housing clothing and feeding a rapist, murderer and drug dealer and anything else,” said Fisher to the women listening.

The response?

Fisher said that a number of women approached him after the seminar and said that he helped change their lives.

“Reality is like medicine; nobody likes the taste of medicine but it sure feels good when it runs its course,” said Fisher.

Monique Holland attended the event and greeted everyone entering the event it and said that it was a great event.

“Everyone said that it was a great presentation, and those leaving the event said that they got a lot from it,” said Holland. The menu served at the event was another thing which Holland said that the attendants expressed a fondness for.

The menu was an all vegan affair consisting of fresh foods and vegetables.

“I really enjoyed the message that he [Fisher] presented and thought that he had some profound things to say. I felt that he was really reaching out to today’s young women and the issues that they face today,” said Teresa Overton who also attended the event.

Fisher will host a men’s only seminar June 15, at 2 p.m. at Pepper Middle School.

For more information call Dr. Carol Simmons at (610) 284-6246 or Tracie L. Fisher at (267) 333-0571.

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