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Recap: 2023 Diversity Summit

Sept 27, 2023 · 8:45AM-8:00PM

On September 27, the Sarah Reed Diversity Committee held the Alessi, Levan, Kebles Forum Diversity Summit via Zoom. The virtual summit was followed by an in-person film screening of Push Out: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools at the St. Ann’s campus. This year's summit was sponsored by Rite Aid Healthy Futures, Diverse Erie, Erie Coalition for a Trauma Informed Community (ECTIC), UPMC Community Care Behavioral Health Organization & Penn State Behrend School of Humanities & Social Sciences.

The morning started with an opening address by Lt. Governor Austin Davis, the youngest lieutenant governor in the country and the first Black lieutenant governor in Pennsylvania history. The Keynote was presented by Dr. Paul Hernandez, who discussed his struggles as a youth in Los Angeles and how education changed his life.

Breakout sessions followed featuring discussions of spirituality and mental health, using young adult literature to support student resilience, making space for creativity, empowering and supporting women in leadership, “intercultural emigration,” and a panel discussion regarding an employer’s responsibility to DEI. Speakers included members of many Erie mental health organizations, including: Sarah Reed Children’s Center, Perseus House, Harborcreek Youth Services, Family Services of NWPA, UPMC Western Behavioral Health at Safe Harbor, as well as local universities, such as PennWest Edinboro, Penn State Behrend and Gannon University.

Thank you to all of our presenters: Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis; Paul Hernandez, PhD; Kicole Hunter, MS; Sarah Whitney, PhD; Sheila Lorenzo de laPeña, PhD; Katherine DeGaetani; Aly Eagle, PhD; Anuti Ngangana,MS, NCC; Adrienne Dixon, PhD; Mandy Fauble, PhD; Shari Gross, MA; Steve Minick, LPC; Nick Viglione, PhD; Jaime Zewe, LPC.

Thank you to ECTIC for providing the Push Out film for our evening event and to our post-film discussion panel Adrienne Dixon, PhD; Maurice Clarke, LPC; Ken Nickson Jr, M.Ed.; Nicole Platz, MS; Chandra Slocum, M.Ed.

A special thanks and congratulations to event organizers Emily Ferguson and Larry Shallenberger for a successful summit!

Diversity Summit Speakers

View more details about the presenters from the Diversity Summit Program Book

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