Meet the Planning Committee

Shemariah J. Arki​, MEd


Founder of Ellipsis Institute 

Instructor of Pan African Studies

Kent State University

“I raise up my voice-not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard...we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.” - Malala Yousafzai


Dr. Heather E. Burton


Director of NSF IDEAL-N and Partner Institutions Faculty & Student Development

Case Western Reserve University 

"Success is not measured by the position one has reached in life, rather by the obstacles one overcomes while trying to succeed." - Booker T. Washington

Allison Ragland


Instructor of Teaching and Learning

The Ohio State University 

"It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and support one another. We have nothing to lose but our chains." - Assata Shakur 

Cerelia Bizzell 


Assistant Director for Campus Engagement

Case Western Reserve University 

"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 

Me'lani Labat Joseph 


Director, Engineering, Gelfand STEM Center

Case Western Reserve University 


"What counts is not the mere fact that we lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead." - Nelson Mandela  

Colette Ngana


Doctoral Student

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 Phelps


Doctoral Student, President of QGrad: The LGBTQIA+ Graduate and Professional Student Association

Case Western Reserve University 

"Only the black woman can say "when and where I enter, in the quiet undisputed dignity of my womanhood, without violence and without suing or special patronage, then and there the whole...race enters with me." - Anna Julia Cooper

Tiffany Walker 


Research Associate 

Begun Center 

"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

Lauren R. Welch  


Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences 

Founder of the Women's Leadership Guild

Case Western Reserve University 

"The more I use my strength in the service of my vision the less I am afraid." - Audre Lorde 

Dionne A. Williams 



"Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time." - Marian Wright Edelman

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