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Phenomenal women

ICON: Oprah Winfrey

HOORAY FOR March! Not only does it give us the first official day of spring, but it also brings us a month-long celebration of women.

Events will be taking place across the UK, but today (March 8), one will be paying homage to the successful black women who are changing the world in their own way.

I’mPossible, founded by public relations professional Simone Bresi-Ando was selected as one of ten organizations invited to participate in the Southbank Centre’s annual Women of the World (WoW) festival.

Businesswoman and fashion designer Gisella Asante, whose boutique was destroyed in the London riots, former Voice editor Winsome Cornish and education consultant Michelle Moore are just some of the names who will join a panel to share their experiences.

To mark the occasion, Bresi-Ando has chosen some of the women who inspire her and keep her motivated.

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CHARLENE WHITE

Charlene White is one of the I'mPOSSIBLE conversation's first panellists and earliest supporters. She is also one of our most consistent black female faces on British TV, presenting the news on ITV London. As a fellow south Londoner, I remember screaming when I first saw her on TV, excited that someone like me was reading the news. But White’s career goes back much further. After graduating from the London College of Printing, she has worked on BBC shows including Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio 1Xtra and even had her own late-night talk show.

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LIANNE LA HAVAS

I'm a good music fanatic and that means I have to love Lianne La Havas. I've never heard heartbreak sound so good. Now just 23, I'm so excited to hear what will come from her in the future.  She makes me passionate about modern music again and I love that she's a south London gal like me. Not only does La Havas play the piano, she plays the guitar, too. She absolutely deserved to have her debut, Is Your Love Big Enough?, named iTunes album of the year in 2012.

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OPRAH WINFREY

Need I say more?! This media powerhouse helps people live their best lives and has conducted some of the most watched interviews of our time.  She is one of my most prominent reference points of success as one of a very few black female billionaires. And she has given back by opening a school for girls in South Africa demonstrating her understanding of the global need to educate the next generation of young women. She took the brave step of running her OWN network in 2011 and is not looking back.

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AVA DUVERNAY

In 2012, Ava Duvernay became the first African-American woman to win Best Director at the Sundance Film Festival for her critically-acclaimed movie Middle of Nowhere.  
Her film distribution company; AFFRM (African-American Film Releasing Movement) distributes films across the US, and is looking to expand soon, telling stories about the black experience and celebrating fresh voices in filmmaking.  She is a trailblazer who cares about creating foundations for others to flourish. I am in constant awe of her possibilities; she makes me try harder.

For the full list, see this week's issue of The Voice on sale now

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