Meet the Planning Committee

Dr. Shemariah J. Arki​


Founder + Program Director 

Professor of Pan African Studies 

Kent State University

"If we are going to heal, then let it be glorious." - Beyoncé Giselle Knowles Carter


Dr. Heather E. Burton


Chair, Board of Directors, Ellipsis Institue for Womxn of Color in the Academy 

Interim Co-Director, African and African American Studies Minor 

Senior Director for Faculty and Institutional Diversity, Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity 

Adjunct Faculty, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences 

Case Western Reserve University 

“If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back and get it right-side up again.” - Sojourner Truth

Dr. Sherrae M. Mack


Conference Operations Strategist 

“We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society.” - Angela Davis

Colette Ngana, MA


Doctoral Candidate

Department of Sociology 

Case Western Reserve University 

" person is your friend (or kin) who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow and be perceived as fully blossomed as you were intended." - Alice Walker

Erin K. Phelps, MA

#Ellipsis2020 Campus Co-Chair 

Assistant Professor of Sociology, Pierce College 

Doctoral Candidate, Case Western Reserve University 

Yoga Instructor, 200 Hour RYT 

"Black folks have been struggling and resisting on this land for at least 400 years. Our ancestors already started the work. Catch up." - Charlene A. Carruthers

Selina M. Pagán


#Ellipsis2020 Community Co-Chair 

President of the Young Latino Network

Economic Development Coordinator, Metro West CDC

"Yo soy la vida, la fuerza, la mujer (I am life, I am strength, I am woman).- Julia de Burgos

Katarina Smiley


Community Ambassador, DigitalC

"When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid." - Audre Lorde