An upcoming leadership conference in Madison aims to support the black community, providing a platform for connecting and sharing personal success stories.

This year’s conference, titled “Progress, Empowerment & Collaboration,” will run May 18-20 at several locations in Madison.

It’s put on by Sabrina ‘Heymiss Progress’ Madison, a motivational speaker, poet and event coordinator. She is the creator of the Black Women’s Leadership Conference, The Heymiss Progress Show, and the Black Business Expo. She also founded The Conversation Mixtape — a social group that focuses on healthy, loving relationships between black men and women.

Her unique name is a throwback both to her personal history, and to the context in which she defined her poetic voice.

“So my dad used to refer to me as his little progress,” she told a Madison meeting of the national entrepreneurship group 1 Million Cups. “He… just had a really, really rough life, even though he had like three degrees, a pretty great job in Chicago. And so when I started the Poetry Slam, I went back to using that name: Miss Progress, and folks would always yell out to me ‘Hey! Miss Progress!’”

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