Kemba Smith Pradia, a national motivational speaker, author and advocate for domestic violence prevention, will be the keynote speaker at the Sister II Sister Summit from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 27 in Louise M. Slaughter Hall at Rochester Institute of Technology, 1 Lomb Memorial Drive.

The full-day conference is open to area teens and college-age women and will include various workshops, panels and networking opportunities about developing a positive self-image, fostering professionalism and promoting personal health.

While Smith Pradia was in college, she became associated with a major player in a Virginia crack cocaine ring. Their four-year relationship included physical, mental and emotional abuse, ending in 1994 with Smith Pradia being incarcerated in a federal prison and sentenced to 24 years for drug possession. Her sentence was commuted by then-President Bill Clinton, and she has become an advocate for the consequences of bad decisions and drug policies, particularly for nonviolent offenders and first-time offenders.

Some of the workshops will cover financial strategies, writing for success, civic engagement and balancing academics and work. Performing at the event will be Afroblaze, RIT’s African dance ensemble. The event is sponsored by Determined Individuals Victoriously Achieving Success, a women’s empowerment group at RIT, in collaboration with RIT’s Center for Women & Gender, the Leadership Institute and Community Service Center, RIT Global and the University Writing Program.

Tickets cost $5 for RIT students, $10 for high school students and college-age students from area universities and $20 for community members. For more information, email