Women of Color Workshops Empower SJU and Community

Monday, February 18, 2013

In collaboration with the Office of Institutional Diversity, SJU Women of Color Planning Committee and the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Omega Omega Chapter, Saint Joseph’s will host their second Women of Color Conference. The event will take place on Saturday, March 9, beginning at 8 a.m. in the University’s Campion Student Center.

The conference theme, Transforming Your Life for a Better You, “is all about empowerment and leadership among women of color,” says Valerie Dudley, Ph.D., director of Institutional Diversity at Saint Joseph’s.

The keynote speaker, Natalye Paquin, Esq., is currently the chief executive officer for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania. Paquin received her Juris Doctorate from DePaul University’s College of Law, and a B.S. from Florida A & M University. She began her professional career as a litigation attorney and then became a regional attorney for the United States Department of Education. Later, she served as chief of staff and chief operating officer for the School District of Philadelphia. Some of her honors include: the Philadelphia Business Journal Minority Business Award, Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania Governance Award, Tribune Magazine-Philadelphia’s Most Influential African Americans, and the Philadelphia Business Journal Woman of Distinction Award.

“We’re doing workshops to engage women of different ages,” says Dudley. Panels will cover everything from fitness and natural hair styling to a human trafficking lecture that will be led by Ellyn Jo Waller, Ed.D., first lady at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church in Philadelphia.

For high school and college-age females, workshops will include: personal branding, how to use social media and self-awareness. Dudley says that registrations came in slowly last year. “But the day of the event, we had almost 300 women in attendance, many of whom were from our campus.”

In addition, the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association will be doing presentations.

The event began as a conversation among prominent women of color on campus, Dudley says. “As an institution we have to pay attention to the community by trying to help increase their participation. Being part of a community, we need to be good neighbors.”

To register for the event, visit: http://www.sju.edu/int/resources/diversity/wocconf.html.

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