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ODU's Community Development Corp. to Host Hampton Roads Conference for Girls and Young Women May 22

"The Power of Sisterhood: Continuing the Journey" is the theme of the second annual Hampton Roads Conference for Girls and Young Women, which will be held on the Old Dominion University campus Saturday, May 22.

More than 400 participants are expected at the event, which is being hosted by ODU's Community Development Corp. Registration begins at 8 a.m. in the Mills Godwin Building (MGB).

"This is an event we're very proud of," said E. Ann Grandy, executive director of the ODU CDC. "This free conference was developed to educate and empower young women to become productive citizens. For one day, participants will be exposed to people, ideas and opportunities that will build leadership skills, facilitate career development and promote active and healthy lifestyles."

After a welcome by Grandy, Vernice Armour, a motivational speaker and America's first female African American combat pilot, will deliver opening remarks for the conference. That session will begin at 9 a.m. in the MGB auditorium.

The conference will then break into various sessions in Constant Hall. Following a lunch on Kaufman Mall, Jayne Hitchcock, president of the advocacy group Working to Halt Online Abuse, will give closing remarks.

Known as "FlyGirl," Armour decided to defy the odds at age 24, becoming an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and then a combat pilot. After serving two tours of duty in Iraq, she left the military and formed a professional development company, VAI Consulting and Training, LLC. Applying the lessons of the "Zero to Breakthrough" success model she developed, Armour uses her passion to help other strong young women create similar results. Her first book, "Zero to Breakthrough," is due out in 2011.

Hitchcock, whose own experience with cyberstalking garnered international headlines, has become a leading cybercrime and security expert. She speaks about the issue to educational institutions, companies, students and parents, and trains law enforcement personnel throughout the United States. Hitchcock has been actively involved in getting online harassment, cyberstalking, online dating and child protection laws passed throughout the country. Her latest book, "Net Crimes and Misdemeanors 2nd Edition: Outmaneuvering Web Spammers, Stalkers and Con Artists," details different types of online scams and spams, and offers advice on how to protect yourself, your family and your computer online.

ODU's CDC was created to engage in a variety of activities primarily intended to revitalize communities surrounding the campus, develop opportunities for residents, improve physical conditions of the neighborhoods, improve the lives of area residents and support ODU's community development interests.

ODU's CDC board of directors includes representation from local neighborhoods, civic leagues and churches, as well as from city government, businesses and public schools.

Activities undertaken by CDC include neighborhood planning; rehabilitation and construction of affordable housing; renovation and development of commercial and industrial properties; job training and job referrals for area residents; educational and recreational programs for youth; and serving as an advocacy partner for improved services and public-private investments in the neighborhoods.

For more information about the conference, or to download a registration form, go to: http://www.odu.edu/ao/cdc/activities/leadershipconf.shtml.

This article was posted on: May 18, 2010

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Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.