2020 Sister Circle Forum

ONSITE REGISTRATION WILL BE AVAILABLE. 
 
The 4th Annual Sister Circle Forum is a full-day forum for young and experienced professional women of color in the Lexington community, the University of Kentucky community, and greater Lexington area. To celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the Women's Suffrage movement, the Sister Circle theme for 2020 is "Surviving to Thriving: 'Ain't I a Woman?'". Through interactive workshops, panel discussion, and a dynamic keynote address, conference attendees will exchange critical conversations surrounding the complexities of womanhood as an aspiring or active professional woman of color in the United States. 

 

 "SIS" Award Information

We are excited to announce that the "Sis" Award (Sisters Inspiring Sisters) is now accepting nominations! If you know an undergraduate, graduate or professional, or professional woman of color who has been an inspiration to other sisters in the community, nominate her here! We will award one sister from each category (undergraduate, graduate or professional, and professional), so make sure she is registered and present the day of the forum to accept her award.

 

Meet our Keynote Speaker: 

Dr. Damaris Hill, Associate Professor of English and African American Studies, University of Kentucky 

 Dr. DaMaris B. Hill is the author of A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing, The Fluid Boundaries of Suffrage and Jim Crow: Staking Claims in the American Heartland\Vi--bəl\   \Teks-chərs\(Visible Textures). She has a keen interest in the work of Toni Morrison and theories regarding ‘rememory as a philosophy and aesthetic practice. Hill has studied with writers such as Lucille Clifton, Monifa Love-Asante, Natasha Trethewey, Nikky Finney, David Rivard, Deborah Willis and others. Her development as a writer has also been enhanced by the institutional support of the MacDowell Colony, Vermont Studio Center, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Key West Literary Seminar/Writers Workshops, Callaloo Literary Writers Workshop, The Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities, The Project on the History of Black Writing, The Watering Hole Poetry, The Furious Flower Poetry Center and others. Similar to her creative process, Hill’s scholarly research is interdisciplinaryFor more information about Dr. Hill, explore her website http://damarishill.com 

Spotlight Panel: Talking to the Gatekeepers 

The “Talking with the Gate Keepers Panel is comprised of 3-5 professional women of color who have been in the workforce for 15 or more years. They will share their experiences of prioritizing and/or balancing their lives with their professional goals, navigating the politics of their field of work, and their experience of citizenship in this country. Listeners will gain refreshed perspectives to approach their work and personal life and learn the ways in which their experience connects with another sister in the room. 

 

Forum Schedule Overview
Ballroom C Registration 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Ballroom C

Welcome 8:30 AM - 8:55 AM

  • "Ain't I a Woman?" Presentation by Maeada King
  • Daejanae Westbrook, Undergraduate Welcome
  • Administrator Welcome
  • Service Project by Thrivent Representative 
Session I 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Room 231

Whitney SteppEmerge Kentucky Representative

"Emerge Kentucky is the state's premier organization that recruits, trains, and provides a powerful network to Democratic women who want to run for office." This session will explain what Emerge Kentucky is, how it benefits women interested in political leadership from a recent graduate of the Emerge leadership training program.

Martin Luther King Center

Ruth González Jiménez, University of Kentucky

Your College Career: Maximizing Your Leadership Skills & Experience During College

This session will explore the ways in which as a student you can build a resume, build your leaderships skills, and create a network for post-graduation. This session will expose participants to UK-based opportunities available using a professional lens for planning their 4-6 undergraduate years/graduate program and how to maximize their potential for leadership. This workshop will be especially helpful to those who identify as undocumented, international students who cannot work, or general students who cannot work, or professionals seeking to gain insight on how to help students maximize their collegiate experiences for leadership and future job placement.

Dinkle-Mas Suite

Ashley Oliver, Esq., Centre College

I Won't Never Sell My Soul, And I can Back That - Navigating First Career Steps While Maintaining Your Magic

So many of us are taught that we have to shed the incredible, authentic layers of who we are to fit into "The Box" of our careers - but so many women of color have faced burnout and identity crisis while navigating white cis-het male spaces. It's not easy, but you can maintain that sparkle, sis! This session will talk about some of the pitfalls other women have fallen into with hopes that you can learn from their mistakes; like Jay-Z said, "Hov did that / So hopefully you won't have to go through that." 

Executive Room 330A

Melody Westerfield, Natasha Ramey, Pashia Spaulding, and Angela King 

Collaborative Businesses 101: Using Friendship to Build Successful Business Ventures 

Although we are individual businesses, we talk about how we support each other, the importance of having a tribe and our own sister circle that has now developed into a partnership. We will discuss the positive impact that it has made on us individually. Being a part of this tribe/sisterhood means we support each other professionally and personally when needed. As business owners, we educate and provide resources to each other, unselfishly and without hesitation because we want to see each other grow successfully but also our community. 

Executive Room 330C

Janiah Miller

(Re)Defining our narrative: Resilience in Black Women in Higher Education  

Black females face severe, inequitable experiences within the United States K-12 education system, which makes them susceptible to the school to prison pipeline (White, 2018). Although Black females are more susceptible to these experiences than other groups, their stories are being conflated with those of Black males and white females in academia.   

This session will provide a discussion capture their own experiences with resilience in higher education. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of how the K-12 system (i.e school-to-prison-pipeline system) impacts the resilience of Black women, and Black women will have the opportunity to reclaim their narrative as one that is powerful.

Break 10:00 AM - 10:09 AM
Session II 10:10 AM - 11:10 AM
Room 231

Whitney Stepp, Emerge Kentucky

Emerge Kentucky is the state's premier organization that recruits, trains, and provides a powerful network to Democratic women who want to run for office.” This session will explain what Emerge Kentucky is, how it benefits women interested in political leadership from a recent graduate of the Emerge leadership training program.   

 

Martin Luther King Center

Yan Wang, PhD Candidate, University of Kentucky  

My Schooling Experience: Navigating Sexism, Social Class and Racism from China to the U.S. 

Being a female from a low social economic background navigating the education system in China is not easy. The imposed stereotype on women complicated the equalitarian ideologies brought by the One-child policy in China, which had significant impact on my schooling experience there. When I moved to the United States to continue my study, another layer of oppression, racism toward Asian further complicated my experience. I discuss how the intersectionality of gender, SES and race made who I am and how the social norms shaped my schooling experience from China to the United States. 

Dinkle-Mas Suite

Melissa Molho, PhD Candidate, University of Kentucky    

Surviving and Thriving in Academia: Building Your Path While Embracing Your Uniqueness 

The number of women in academia is increasing, but inclusion is not only about statistics, despite the progress woman in academia still faces the barriers of the system. In this interactive presentation, we will discuss how is the environment in graduate school for women and some tips to navigate the academic environment without giving up who you are 

Executive Room 330A

Clara Stamps, Kentucky State University   

Black Women: Belong + Own the Table 

Black women belong at the table and must operate from a position of ownership. Do not allow others to underestimate who you are and what you are capable of as a Black woman. You have the capacity to succeed and create a sense of higher purpose amongst women, lifting them to leadership roles as you climb yourself. This session will highlight key lessons learned to make change happen, such as ways to enable women’s participation (not competition), secure male supporters, while building strong pipelines of women leaders at every level. Learn how to focus your efforts on challenging and eliminating persistent advancement barriers for Black women. Silence is not security. You belong at the table: Own it by creating more opportunities for your sisters. 

Executive Room 330C

Melody Westerfield, Power of Your Vision  

Visualizing the Career You Want   

Catapult yourself towards that professional career, entrepreneurship or leadership role you want by building a vision board that reflects your professional dreams and goals. A vision board can help amplify your drive and steps towards your career goals, it can be used at any stage of your career rather pre-professional, early professional, experienced, retiring professional or intrapersonal skill development. In this session life coach and vision board expert Melody Westerfield will be hosting a vision board workshop and share the benefits of using a vision board as a tool to help manifest your desired career goals and how to be intentional in the steps you take. 

Break 11:10 AM - 11:19 AM

Student Senate Chamber

Spotlight Panel :Talking to the Gatekeepers 11:20 AM - 12:20 AM

 

Moderator: Edith Cruz, Undergraduate  

Panelists: Carol Taylor-Shim, Faith Thompson, Dr. Aardra Kachroo, Yvonne Fondufe-Mittendorf 

The “Talking with the Gate Keepers Panel” is comprised of 3-5 professional women of color who have been in the workforce for 15 or more years. They will share their experiences of prioritizing and/or balancing their lives with their professional goals, navigating the politics of their field of work, and their experience of citizenship in this country. Listeners will gain refreshed perspectives to approach their work and personal life and learn the ways in which their experience connects with another sister in the room. 

Ballroom C

Lunch 12:30 - 1:00 PM

Raffle giveaways, networking, and pictures will be available during lunch.

Ballroom C

Keynote Speaker 1:00 PM - 1:45 PM

Dr. Damaris B. Hill  

Dr. DaMaris B. Hill is the author of A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing, The Fluid Boundaries of Suffrage and Jim Crow: Staking Claims in the American Heartland, \Vi-zə-bəl\   \Teks-chərs\(Visible Textures). She has a keen interest in the work of Toni Morrison and theories regarding ‘rememory’ as a philosophy and aesthetic practice. Hill has studied with writers such as Lucille Clifton, Monifa Love-Asante, Natasha Trethewey, Nikky Finney, David Rivard, Deborah Willis and others. Her development as a writer has also been enhanced by the institutional support of the MacDowell Colony, Vermont Studio Center, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Key West Literary Seminar/Writers Workshops, Callaloo Literary Writers Workshop, The Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities, The Project on the History of Black Writing, The Watering Hole Poetry, The Furious Flower Poetry Center and others. Similar to her creative process, Hill’s scholarly research is interdisciplinary. For more information about Dr. Hill, explore her website http://damarishill.com  

Session III 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Martin Luther King Center

Dr. Antionette Davis 

Girl, Get You Some Self-Care: Addressing Burnout in the Academy. 

As women, we hold many different hats from wife, mother, sister, student, and friend. Because of all these roles, we find ourselves getting burned out when it comes down to our capabilities. We push the envelope to come through for everyone except ourselves. The same is true in Academia. Once we get the tenure/non-tenure track job, we take off running because we want to continue to prove ourselves through research, teaching, and service. Early mornings and long nights tend to become the norm. In this presentation, I will discuss how I addressed burnout in my life in order to thrive in the #1 institution for online education. 

Dinkle-Mas Suite

Stacy Owens, University of Kentucky

Own Your Journey! Find Your Voice! Claim Your Seat!

Throughout history, African American women strive to overcome obstacles and barriers to become respected successful leaders despite being excluded by law and custom. Within in the United States, African American women hold only 4% of all leadership or management positions. The disparities are even more striking when it comes to executive level positions. Across various industries, African American women are visibly and statistically underrepresented. To understand our journey and why we remain dramatically underrepresented in leadership roles today, exploring our experiences is of critical importance. Throughout the presentation I will weave in stories of my journey and how I have successfully navigated to become the first African American woman to head Customer Care Operations for American Water Resources. 

Executive Room 330 A

Rikketta Franklin, M. Ed, University of Kentucky     

Remarkable Leadership Through Influence 

The presenter will provide opportunities throughout the presentation for the audience to interact through guided research-based discussion designed to unleash leadership potential. The presenter will utilize open-ended questions to give conference participants the opportunity to share professional and personal experiences. Participants will recognize how to identify skills sets, develop techniques to utilize in professional settings, and be provided with the resources needed to begin using their influence to become remarkable leaders. 

Executive Room 330C

Melody Westerfield, Power of Your Vision  

Visualizing the Career You Want   

Catapult yourself towards that professional career, entrepreneurship or leadership role you want by building a vision board that reflects your professional dreams and goals. A vision board can help amplify your drive and steps towards your career goals, it can be used at any stage of your career rather pre-professional, early professional, experienced, retiring professional or intrapersonal skill development. In this session life coach and vision board expert Melody Westerfield will be hosting a vision board workshop and share the benefits of using a vision board as a tool to help manifest your desired career goals and how to be intentional in the steps you take.

Ballroom C Sis Awards and Closing Remarks 3:00 - 3:30 PM