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Women of Color Summit

Women of Color Summit 2021

The Women of Color Summit is created by a coalition of women at Dickinson College. It is unaffiliated with any clubs or organizations on campus. The goal and intention of our summit is to address the needs and concerns of women of color at Dickinson.  The concept came about when students Toni Ortega ’18, Sarah Johnson ’18 and Dana Marecheau ’20 identified a need for women of color on campus to have a platform to meet and interact with women of color alumnae and faculty. Their vision was a summit where women of color could connect, engage in meaningful discussions, and access a professional network.      

The goal of the Women of Color Summit is to celebrate, connect and educate women of color who have chosen to embark on the journey of becoming a Dickinsonian. The summit is held every year in the spring and is dedicated to connecting alumni, current students and faculty to share and discuss ways for women of color to live intentionally, cultivate successful careers through community networking and form a sisterhood.  

Unfortunately, as a result of health and safety mandates and concerns posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be hosting this year’s summit through Zoom. While we understand that this is a challenging time for everyone, we still plan for attendees to learn and share about navigating challenging situations, finding meaning and purpose, leveraging the Dickinson education and worldwide Dickinson community to create a path toward success, finding and maintaining identity in new national and international communities, forging concrete skills that have helped women reach success and working toward lasting change by partnering with allies from dominant groups.  

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Registration Fee: Free  

Who: Day one of the summit (Saturday, March 27) is open to anyone in the Dickinson community who identifies as a woman of color. Day two is open to all women of color as well men or women seeking to understand allyship.  

Hosted by: The 2021 Women of Color Summit Executive Committee  

Location: This event will be virtual and will take place through Zoom 


Saturday, March 27: Open to those who identify as women of color  

10 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Welcome and Introductions 

10:15 a.m.- 11 a.m. Honorary Guest Session (speakers include Judith Rogers ’65, Maureen Newton-Hayes ’65 and Thera Dal Per Iverson ’17)  

11:15 a.m. -12 p.m. Workshop Session 1 

  • Option 1: Working Women: We are surrounded by incredible and talented Dickinson Alumnae, who has been excelling in their various fields. But how did they get there? Was it linear? Were majors that important?  Working Women came to be about when we examined jobs and opportunities at Dickinson and beyond. Are the playing fields equal? As future graduates of 2021-2024, we want to hear your narrative. The Women of Color Summit is to not only have a conversation and discuss critical topics but to flourish relationships. We want to bring out the pure passion in people. 
  • Option 2: How to Secure the Bag: As Women of Color, it is imperative that we are financially literate in order to make settlements that won’t negatively impact our financial futures. “How to Secure the Bag” will introduce Women of Color to the necessary steps used in order to achieve financial literacy, and it will provide attendees with the tools and resources necessary to maintain financial health. Additionally, we will examine the best techniques to understand credit, tackle debts, and discover the best investment options based on our lifestyles.   

12 p.m. – 1 p.m. Break 

1:15 p.m. – 2 p.m. Workshop Session 2 

  • Option 1: Global Sisterhood 
    This session will help you navigate your understanding about what it means to be a Women of Color. By acknowledging the amazing enrichment that Women all around the world have made, we hope to share achievements, connect, and support one another. The workshop will have a panel of Women of Color who are connected to Dickinson (as a student, Alumni or Faculty) and they will be discussing their experiences of growing and existing in an international space as a Woman of Color.
  • Option 2: In Search of Sisterhood 
    In Search of Sisterhood is a workshop designed to introduce Women at Dickinson to spaces of sisterhood on campus and foster meaningful relationships that can endure even after their time at Dickinson. These relationships can help Women of Color navigate life at Dickinson and beyond, as well as grow individually, while also contributing to the greater growth of the sisterhood. Different organizations on campus including Delta Sigma Theta, Sigma Lambda Gamma, Wheel of Chain among others, will be presenting at the workshop to make Women of Color aware of their presence on campus and demonstrate the power of sisterhood. 

2:15 p.m. - 3 p.m. Workshop Session 3 

  • Option 1: Spirituality in Practice
    Across spiritual practices and beliefs, there lives a wide array of interpretations of “spirituality”. What does it mean to be spiritual? How does it operate in our lives? Though there are differences in these ideas, spirituality and spiritual practice is a part of daily life. Taking a walk, fasting, the birth of a child, and even running into someone we may have just thought about, can all be considered parts of one’s devoutness. A core principle of every spiritual practice is connecting to an entity bigger than ourselves, generating happiness, love, and wellness as we live life in our fullest potential. This workshop, Spirituality in Practice, invites Women of Color to recognize the power of our spiritual practices as foundational to our growth, well-being, and purpose.  
  • Option 2: Body and Self-Image 

Society may create toxicity around the topic of body and self-image. Gabrielle Joffie, alum ‘07 will be leading this interactive workshop where we will discuss how women of color’s bodies and images are perceived, the top ten common myths regarding beauty standards for women of color, and how participants receive themselves.

3 p.m. Closing Statements 


Sunday, March 28, Ally Day:  Open to All Allies  

12 p.m.- 12:15 p.m. Opening Statement  

12 p.m. – 1 p.m. What does being a good ally look like? (ally groups will be broken out into affinity groups for open and honest discussions)  
1 p.m. – 1:35 p.m. Discussion With Brittany Barker and Professor Amy McKiernan 

Registrants are invited to attend as many sessions or as they wish. Zoom links will be provided, along with a full agenda, in an email leading up to the first day of the summit. Thank you for your support in attending this year’s summit.