2017 Fabulous Me Womanhood Conference: #FightLikeAGirl
SOUTH ORANGE (June 13, 2017) — Five-time world and international boxing champion Mia St. John will deliver the keynote address at the 2017 Fabulous Me: Celebration of Womanhood Conference Friday, June 16 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Seton Hall University. Her daughter, Paris St. John – a singer, songwriter and mental health advocate – will also address the attendees.
The mother/daughter duo will focus on the issue of mental health and empowerment. #FightLikeAGirl is the theme of this year’s Fabulous Me conference, which is hosted by the Family Service Bureau of Newark, an affiliate of the nonprofit New Community Corporation.
“I want to get the word out about mental health. What’s sad in this country, people don’t really talk about mental illness,” Mia St. John said. “Anyone that’s experiencing mental illness, it’s OK to speak up. You don’t have to feel ashamed.”
She has personal experience with mental health issues. She’s a recovering alcoholic and has obsessive compulsive disorder. Her son Julian, who was battling schizophrenia and addiction, committed suicide in 2014.
Mia St. John, a first generation Mexican-American and inductee into the National Boxing Hall of Fame, started the foundation “El Saber Es Poder/Knowledge Is Power” to provide educational material, equipment and health and wellness programs to youth. She hopes by sharing her experiences, she can show young people they can overcome their challenges and achieve.
Her daughter Paris hopes speaking at the conference will encourage dialogue about mental health.
“When I was that age I wish I would’ve heard the conversation more about mental health and overall how to live a better life,” she said. “Because I think that’s important to have the tools. It really does start at a young age.”
The diverse group of participants will be composed of young women from across northern New Jersey who are referred by their school social workers and community leaders. Some participants are identified as at-risk while others have excelled in school, according to Manuela Garcia, executive director of the Family Service Bureau of Newark.
“This event will teach the importance of courage, strength, pride and so much more that girls need to be able to accept and succeed in today’s society. And the importance of being gracious, courageous and accept all the challenges and learn which ones to fight and which ones to avoid,” Garcia said.
Organized by the Family Service Bureau, the event is funded by a grant from the New Jersey Governor’s Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee, administered by the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission under the state Attorney General’s Office. The conference is co-sponsored by the Department of Marriage and Family Therapy at Seton Hall University.
Young women will participate in workshops during two breakout sessions and attend a resource fair and theater performance related to domestic violence. Breakfast and lunch are provided for attendees. Pre-registration is required.
Date: Friday, June 16, 2017
Time: Fabulous Me Conference: 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Welcome: 9 to 9:10 a.m.
Keynote Address (Mia St. John): 9:15 to 9:55 a.m.
Guest Speaker (Paris St. John): 9:55 to 10:15 a.m.
First Breakout Session: 10:45 to 11:30 a.m.
Second Breakout Session: 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Lunch/Resource Fair: 12:15 to 1 p.m.
Rutgers SCREAM Theater Skit/Discussion About Dating Violence: 1 to 2 p.m.
Closing/Questions/Surveys: 2 to 2:30 p.m.
NOTE: Breakout sessions address issues such as cyberbullying, STDs, teen pregnancy and domestic violence in adolescents.
Seton Hall University
400 South Orange Ave.
South Orange, NJ 07079
Conference starts and ends at McNulty Hall. Breakout sessions at Fahy Hall.
Interviews: Junior Female Ambassadors in attendance will be cleared to speak with media. Mia and Paris St. John and Family Service Bureau Executive Director Manuela Garcia will also be available.
Note: No girls other than the Junior Female Ambassadors may be photographed directly. All other photos of program participants must be from their backs.
Credentials: For information about press credentials, contact Michelle Lang at 973-497-4413.