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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

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Dr. Heather E. Burton



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

Associate Vice President and Senior Director for Faculty and Institutional Diversity, Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity - 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

Consultant with Sankofa Circle International

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

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Dr. Alice Ragland


Committee Member

Assistant Professor of Race & Ethnic Studies, Columbus College of Art & Design

“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them." 

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Colette Ngana, MA


Chair, Partnerships and Fundraising

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


E. K. Phelps, MA

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


Dr. Raedell Boateng


Committee Member

Director of Operational & Strategic Initiatives, Sankofa Circle International

"I can now see my invisibilty ... My visibility depends on my persistence to exist despite attempts to erase and silence me." ~ Dr. Raedell


Alina Uzor


Committee Member

Center of Pan-African Culture Graduate Assistant

"Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own." ~ Michelle Obama

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Leila Bailey-Stewart


Committee Member

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Global Education Officer, Buckingham Browne & Nichols

"You can't be hesitant about who you are." ~ Viola Davis

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Mylonne Sullivan, MSW, LICDC, LISW


Committee Member

Founder & Principal Consultant, Advocating For Change

"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare."


Katarina Smiley, BS


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

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