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Spring Breakthru

Thursday, March 18 - Friday, March 19

Women 100
graphic for Spring Breakthru

Spring Breakthru Webcasts and Resources

On Thursday, March 18 and Friday, March 19, 2021, undergraduate students from across the country gathered virtually, delving into issues of intersectional feminism, civic engagement and social justice work. Students were given the tools and resources to grow as advocates for social change within their campus communities.

We invited a dynamic group of speakers to share their perspectives, experiences, and insight with students across the nation. All of the panel discussions were recorded and can be viewed in-full below, as well as the UNLADYLIKE2020 short films that were featured.

 

SESSION 1: Welcome and Keynote Speaker

Spring Breakthru kicked-off with author and journalist Liz Plank. Liz regularly appears on national and international television programs to provide a perspective on politics, gender issues, and reproductive rights, including The Today Show, The Daily Show, MSNBC, Fox News, ABC News, Fusion, Al-Jazeera America and BBC World.

Welcome:
Lynn Yeakel, Founder and President of Vision 2020
John Fry, President of Drexel University

Keynote Speaker:
Liz Plank, Author, Journalist, and Executive Producer at Vox Media


Liz Plank

BIO
Liz Plank

Liz is an award-winning journalist and the Executive Producer of Divided States of Women at Vox Media where she also hosts Facebook Watch’s Consider It. In 2016, she produced and hosted 2016ish, an award-winning series about the presidential election. Prior to Vox, she was a Senior Correspondent at Mic and co-creator of Flip The Script, an award-winning weekly video series confronting social issues. In 2016, she presented a TedxTalk, How to Be a Man: A Woman's Guide, which she used to inspire her first book, which will be published by St. Martin's Press in 2019. Liz is amongst Mediaite's 2016 Most Influential in News Media and was ranked as one of the 50 most influential women by Marie Claire. In 2015, she was a correspondent for MSNBC's Krystal Clear and was named one of Forbes' 30 Under 30 in Media. Her first book, For the Love of Men: A New Vision for Mindful Masculinity, was published on September 10, 2019. Liz regularly appears on national and international television programs to provide a perspective on politics, gender issues, and reproductive rights, including The Today Show, The Daily Show, MSNBC, Fox News, ABC News, Fusion, Al-Jazeera America and BBC World. Through her activism and creative approach to journalism, Liz has made it her mission to elevate the voices of those who are often not heard, including through the creation of hashtags such as #WhyWomenDontReport and #HimThough. Before working as a journalist, Liz was a research assistant and behavioral science consultant at the London School of Economics, from which she holds a master's degree in policy with an emphasis in global gender politics.

Lynn H. Yeakel, MSM

BIO
Lynn H. Yeakel, MSM

Lynn Yeakel leads Vision 2020, the national gender equity coalition she launched in 2010. Since joining Drexel University in 2002, Lynn also has developed the Woman One Award and Scholarship Fund for underrepresented women in medicine and the university-wide Sex and Gender Research Forum. Her second book, Majority Rules: Completing the Journey to Women’s Equality (2020), makes the case for women, who are 52% of the population, to have a 50/50 share of leadership positions.

Lynn was a founder and CEO of Women’s Way, the first and largest women’s fundraising coalition in the nation. In 1992, she ran for U.S. Senate, drawing national attention in what was called the “Year of the Woman,” winning the primary and nearly beating the incumbent.

In 1994, she was appointed by President Clinton to be mid-Atlantic regional director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Lynn has been named a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania and has received the Pennsylvania Citizen Action Award, the Lucretia Mott Award and the John Gardner Lifetime Achievement Award from Common Cause. She a graduate of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and earned a master’s in management from the American College.

John Fry

BIO
John Fry

After becoming Drexel University’s 14th president in 2010, John Fry set out to transform Drexel into a private research university with a strong public purpose — an institution that harnesses its strengths in cooperative education, translational research, online education and entrepreneurship to serve students, its neighborhood,
the city and nation.

Under Fry, Drexel has helped lead the continuous revitalization of West Philadelphia, spearheading the designation of this area as a federal Promise Zone, and initiating Schuylkill Yards, a 14-acre innovation district at 30th Street Station. In addition to leading Drexel, Fry served as chairman of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, concluding his tenure in October 2018.

SESSION 3: How to Build a Movement

Sometimes we want to instill change but aren’t quite sure how to get started. Jamia Wilson, movement builder and storyteller, and La’Tasha D. Mayes of New Voices for Reproductive Justice, and Kelli Wilson Begay of Native Americans in Philanthropy shared their own journeys of activism and change through their personal and professional platforms. This discussion provided a wealth of insight and advice for participants who were seeking to do more intentional work to foster change and promote social justice. This session was moderated by Vision 2020 New York Delegate and President & CEO of Ms. Foundation for Women, Teresa C. Younger.

Speakers:
La’Tasha D. Mayes, Founder/President and CEO of New Voices for Reproductive Justice
Kelli Wilson Begay, Chief Strategy and Operations Officer of Native Americans in Philanthropy
Jamia Wilson, Vice President and Executive Director at Random House

          Moderator:
          Teresa C. Younger, President & CEO of Ms. Foundation for Women


La’Tasha D. Mayes, MSPPM

BIO
La’Tasha D. Mayes, MSPPM

La'Tasha D. Mayes, MSPPM is a nationally recognized leader in the field of Reproductive Justice, Human Rights and leadership development for Black women and girls. La'Tasha is the Founder, President & CEO of New Voices for Reproductive Justice, a multi-state organization in Pennsylvania and Ohio dedicated to the health and well-being of Black women, femmes and girls headquartered in Pittsburgh with offices in Cleveland and Philadelphia.

New Voices advocates at the local, state and national level for Reproductive Justice - the Human Right of all people to control their bodies, sexuality, gender, work, reproduction and ability to form our families.

La'Tasha is a national thought leader on Reproductive Justice and has been published and featured in numerous media platforms including ColorLines, Essence Magazine, NBCNews.com, Rewire, Slate Magazine, The Nation and Time.com.

Follow La'Tasha on Social Media: @duxfemfac | #LaTashaDMayes

Jamia Wilson, MA

BIO
Jamia Wilson, MA

Jamia Wilson is a feminist activist, writer, and speaker. Prior to her role as vice president and executive director at Random House, Jamia was director of the Feminist Press at the City University of New York, and the VP of programs at the Women’s Media Center. Jamia has been a leading voice on women’s rights issues for over a decade. Her work has appeared in numerous outlets, including the New York Times, the Today Show, CNN, Elle, BBC, Rookie, Refinery 29, Glamour, Teen Vogue, and The Washington Post. She is the author of Young, Gifted, and Black, the introduction and oral history in Together We Rise: Behind the Scenes at the Protest Heard Around the World, Step Into Your Power: 23 Lessons on How to Live Your Best Life, ABC's of AOC, and the co-author of Roadmap for Revolutionaries: Resistance, Advocacy, and Activism for All. Learn more at www.jamiawilson.com.

Teresa C. Younger

BIO
Teresa C. Younger

Teresa C. Younger is an activist, advocate, renowned public-speaker, organizational strategist, and a proven leader in the philanthropic and policy sectors. Having spent over 20 years on the frontlines of some of the most critical battles for comprehensive equity and the elimination of institutionalized oppression, she now serves as the President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women.

Prior to joining the Ms. Foundation for Women, Younger served as the executive director of the Connecticut General Assembly’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Women and as executive director of the ACLU of Connecticut – the first African American and the first woman to hold that position.

Younger is a graduate of the University of North Dakota and in 2018 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters in Humanities from the University of New Haven. She is also a proud lifetime Girl Scout and Gold Award recipient.

Follow Teresa: Twitter: @MsTeresaYounger Instagram: @MsTeresaYounger Website: Forwomen.org

Kelli Wilson Begay, MS, MBA, RDN

BIO
Kelli Wilson Begay, MS, MBA, RDN

Kelli Wilson Begay belongs to the Kickapoo, Seminole, and Muscogee (Creek) tribes. She is an entrepreneur, wellness expert, and cultural connection builder for Indigenous communities. For the past 20 years, she has been dedicated to resolving and highlighting social determinants of health, and how they relate to lifespan discrepancies, through the lens of Indigenous worldviews. Kelli has worked with organizations large and small, from government agencies to tribal leaders on nutrition, cultural competency, community engagement, and program development. Kelli is the current Chief Strategy and Operations Officer for Native Americans in Philanthropy (NAP), where she oversees programs and leads teams. She has recently provided leadership of responsive shifts in offerings at NAP for Indian Country during one of the most challenging times in recent history, including the pandemic health crisis, the social/racial reckoning, and environmental crisis. As an Indigenous woman, Kelli has an in-depth understanding of the unique qualities within Indian Country and embraces her work through innovative strategies that uplift and best serve Indigenous communities.

SESSION 4: The Future of the Workplace

This session offered a space to think about how career choices are shifting for students today and how the gender pay gap, student loans, and other obstacles create unnecessary boundaries for new professionals.

Speakers:
Rakia Reynolds, Founder and EO of Skai Blue Media
Charlotte Mangin, Creator/Executive Producer/Director of UNLADYLIKE2020
Amber Hikes, Chief Equity & Inclusion Officer at the ACLU

Moderator:
Cherri Gregg, Community Affairs Reporter at KYW Newsradio


Cherri Gregg

BIO
Cherri Gregg

Cherri Gregg is the Community Affairs reporter for KYW Newsradio, an all-news Entercom station based in Philadelphia. She reports on race and culture, civil rights, grassroots community and social justice issues, telling human interest stories that dispel stereotypes. Cherri is also producer and host of Flashpoint, a nationally recognized weekly public affairs show that airs on six Entercom stations in the Delaware Valley. She produces the Flashpoint Podcast and Flashpoint Extras that give listeners an in-depth look at stories that deal with hot topics.  From time to time, you’ll see Cherri on NBC10, providing perspective on community issues. At KYW, Cherri puts her law degree to work, providing legal analysis on decisions by the US Supreme Court, as well on critical civil rights issues like mass incarceration, immigration rights, and voting.  She also stays active in and connected to the community by moderating town halls and by providing coverage of everyday heroes who are changing lives of those in need. An award winning journalist, Cherri is a graduate of Boston University, Howard University School of Law and Temple University School of Media and Communication. Cherri was named Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists 2019 Broadcast Journalist of the Year. Follow Cherri on Twitter and Instagram @CherriGregg.

Amber Hikes

BIO
Amber Hikes

Amber Hikes is a social justice advocate, community organizer, and unapologetic queer black woman. As the ACLU’s first Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer, she provides vision, leadership, and direction for the ACLU’s nationwide strategy to support equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) across all aspects of the organization’s work and efforts. Amber serves as both the internal and external ambassador on the importance of EDI as a crucial cornerstone of the ACLU’s culture of belonging.

Prior to joining the ACLU, Amber served as the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs where she developed policy and served as the principal advisor to the Mayor on issues that affect the LGBTQ community. In her time leading the office, Amber advocated for anti-discrimination legislation at the municipal level, passed one of the nation’s most trans-inclusive police policies and added black and brown stripes to the rainbow flag, prompting an international conversation about race and discrimination within the LGBTQ community.

Charlotte Mangin

BIO
Charlotte Mangin

Charlotte Mangin is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and the executive producer, series creator, director, and writer of UNLADYLIKE2020, an innovative animated documentary series about unsung women who changed America at the turn of the 20th century, honoring the centennial of women's suffrage. She started her career on the production staff of National Geographic Television & Film, reporting from the jungles of the Amazon to the Himalayan Mountains. As a story producer for PBS’s award-winning international affairs series Wide Angle, she won an International Documentary Award for her film about women’s rights in Morocco. In 2012 and 2013, Mangin was nominated for 4 Emmy Awards for a 6-hour series commemorating Thirteen/WNET’s 50th anniversary. Mangin was the Series Producer at Futuro Media for America By the Numbers, a PBS series telling underreported stories about America’s changing demographics, and for Humanizing America, a digital shorts series for NBCNews.com profiling the diversity of the American experience today.

Rakia Reynolds

BIO
Rakia Reynolds

One of the most sought-after minds in strategic communications, @rakiareynolds is a thought leader, tastemaker, and strategic communications expert who advises top Fortune 500 companies on creative strategy. Rakia (pronounced RA-KEY-AH) has been guiding client successes with her own distinctive brand of authenticity and expertise for over a decade.

With a gloriously and intentionally diverse client list that has included Airbnb, Comcast, Dell, Morgan Stanley, Serena Williams, Ashley Graham, Global Citizen, Landit, and many others, Rakia serves as Founder and CEO of strategic communications agency Skai Blue Media. A non-traditional agency, Skai Blue Media is a proudly eclectic group of storytellers, brand experts and strategists. Her team works with people, places and products that span lifestyle, technology, non-profit vertices, specializing in innovative entrepreneurs and brands.

SESSION 6: Engaging in Civic Issues, Voter Registration Training, and Closing Remarks

From voting to volunteering on campaigns or even running for office, the demographics of engaged community members are becoming more diverse than ever before. Our panelists shared their own stories while discussing how their respective organizations geared up for the 2020 election and how they prepare for future elections.

Introduction:
Terry Nance, Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Chief Diversity Officer, Associate Professor, Villanova University

Speakers:
Lea Webb, National Trainer at Vote Run Lead
Carolyn DeWitt, President and Executive Director at Rock the Vote
Raquel Jones, Director of Youth Leadership Programs at Young Elected Officials
Sara Guillermo, Executive Director at IGNITE

Moderator:
Renée White, Provost at Wheaton College


Carolyn DeWitt

BIO
Carolyn DeWitt

Carolyn DeWitt is the President and Executive Director of Rock the Vote, the largest national organization focused on building long-term political power for young people. During her tenure, she has overseen Rock the Vote’s resurgence, intensifying its fight for voting rights and moving the organization toward an issue-first approach with a targeted outreach to marginalized communities across the country.

Carolyn is a national advocate for young people, featured in publications such as The Washington Post, The New York Times, Teen Vogue, and Billboard.

Prior to leading Rock the Vote, Carolyn was the chief of staff for a political communications firm and worked as the chief of staff for Alderman Daniel Solis in Chicago and as the deputy campaign manager and finance director for Chicago’s 25th Ward Regular Democratic Organization.

Carolyn is originally from Michigan, where she earned her BA in International and African Studies and Political Science from Kalamazoo College. She currently lives in Washington, D.C.

Sara Guillermo, MSW

BIO
Sara Guillermo, MSW

Sara Guillermo, Executive Director of IGNITE. Sara has been instrumental in growing IGNITE from a small high school-based program in California Bay Area to the largest most diverse young women’s political leadership program in the country. Sara's previous leadership positions at Seeking Common Ground, Aspire Public Schools and buildOn informed her passion and expertise in community service, youth leadership development, and program management. Sara has been recognized in the New York Times, ABC News and NPR.  As a breast cancer survivor, Sara is deeply committed to reforming local health care policies and systems, which is why she serves on the Concord/Pleasant Hill Healthcare Community Board. Sara holds an MSW from the University of Denver and a B.A. in Psychology from UC Santa Cruz.

Raquel Jones

BIO
Raquel Jones

Raquel Jones is originally from Orlando, Florida, and is a graduate of Florida A&M University where she majored in Political Science with a focus in Global Security. In the past, Raquel served as a legislative intern in the Florida House of Representatives. There she managed constituent relations, assisted in organizing legislative events, and reviewed pertinent policy analysis in preparation for committee and constituent meetings.

Currently, Raquel is the Director of Youth Leadership Programs at People For the American Way Foundation where she oversees the Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network, the Front Line Leaders Academy (FLLA), and the Network’s women’s programming. By exchanging ideas, networking with like-minded elected officials, developing leadership skills, and connecting with policy development organizations and think tanks, the YEO Network empowers members to transform their political vision into action. FLLA provides values-based trainings and leadership development to individuals seeking positive social change in their communities. Our vision is to create a new political system of truly representative government that amplifies the voices of youth and marginalized communities.

Raquel is the mother to an energetic three-year-old and passionate about equity and inclusion, and long-lasting progressive change through youth activism.

Teresa A. Nance, Ph.D

BIO
Teresa A. Nance, Ph.D

Teresa A. Nance, Ph.D., is Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Chief Diversity Officer, and Associate Professor at Villanova University. She is responsible for the work of diversity and inclusion throughout the University with a focus on faculty, policy and institutional climate. Prof. Nance has been on the faculty of Villanova University since 1978 in the Communication Department that she helped create and subsequently chaired. Prof. Nance has taught communication courses in culture, rhetoric and education.  Her research and publication has focused on African American student learning styles, interracial relationships, and the rhetoric of women in the Civil Rights movement.  In 2004, Dr. Nance left the Department to serve as the Assistant Vice President for Multicultural Affairs.  In that role she was responsible for creating a center for retention and success with a focus on students previously underrepresented at the University. Teresa Nance received a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Emerson College in Boston and a Ph.D. from Temple University in Philadelphia.

Lea Webb

BIO
Lea Webb

Lea is an award-winning activist who has successfully bridged the gap between the community and government agencies to bring about positive and lasting change in her community. Her greatest achievement includes being elected as the first--and youngest--African-American representative in the Binghamton City Council. She has 15 years of experience as a Community Organizer leading efforts on various social and environmental justice issues; quality education, health care, access to fresh foods and sustainable jobs. She has passed legislation supporting equal pay for women, the creation of a city based human rights commission, establishing a city wide climate action plan, and other equity based legislation. She is the Coordinator of the UDiversity Educational Institute at Binghamton University. She is a National Trainer with Vote Run Lead training women on how to run for elected office and Co-Chair/Co-Founder of the Black Millennial Political Convention. She was recognized as one of tomorrow's leaders by Oprah magazine and the White House Project, and was honored with the President’s Award by the Broome-Tioga Branch of the NAACP for her significant contributions to her community.

Renée T. White, MA, Ph.D.

BIO
Renée T. White, MA, Ph.D.

Renée T. White is Provost and Professor of Sociology at Wheaton College (MA). Her professional and academic projects combine her training in sociology with urban studies, black studies and women’s and gender studies. Renée earned her PhD in sociology from Yale University. She is author of one book and co-editor of three books. Her recent publications include “I Dream a World: Black Panther and the Re-Making of Blackness” (2018) in New Political Science and “Doing the Hard Work: Democratic Practice in Higher Education” (2016) in the book Higher Education for Democratic Innovation. She is co-editor of the forthcoming book, Black Panther: Afrofuturism, Gender, Identity, and the Re-Making of Blackness. Renée currently serves on the editorial review board for the Journal of Women and Gender in Higher Education, on the National Leadership Circle of Vision 2020, and actively participates in the Council of Europe’s International Consortium for Higher Education, Civic Responsibility and Democracy.

Rock the Vote’s Voter Registration Platform

Utilize Rock the Vote’s voter registration platform to host registration on your campus all year round (because EVERY election matters!)

Skip to 1:15:29 on the recorded session (Engaging in Civic Issues) for Carolyn DeWitt’s guidance or visit the Online Voter Registration Platform for details.

 

UNLADYLIKE2020 Film Screenings

UNLADYLIKE2020, a Vision 2020 Allied Organization and award-winning film series featured on PBS’s American Masters series, was featured throughout Spring Breakthru. UNLADYLIKE2020 is a series of 26 short films and a one-hour documentary profiling diverse and little-known American women from the turn of the 20th century, and contemporary women who follow in their footsteps. Below are the stories of five American women who were honored during the program.

UNLADYLIKE2020 Trailer

Bessie Coleman

Meta Warrick Fuller

Ynes Mexia

Anna May Wong

Susan La Flesche Picotte

 

Featured Speaker Books

Liz Plank
For the Love of Men

 Jamia Wilson
Road Map for Revolutionaries: Resistance, Activism, and Advocacy for All 

Lynn H. Yeakel
Majority Rules: Completing the Journey to Women’s Equality

 

Meet the Planning Committee

  • Joyce Lewandowski, MA, Program Director, Vision 2020
  • Teresa A. Nance, Ph.D., Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Chief Diversity Officer, Associate Professor, Villanova University
  • Renée T. White, MA, Ph.D., Provost, Wheaton College

Joyce Lewandowski photo

Joyce Lewandowski, MA

BIO
Joyce Lewandowski photo
Joyce Lewandowski, MA

In her role as Program Director for Vision 2020, Joyce Lewandowski oversees recruitment, onboarding and support of coalition members including delegates, Allied Organizations and Women 100 Proud Partners. She brings nearly 15 years of experience in partnership development, strategic programming, and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, building strong cross-organizational relationships.

Joyce’s approach to coalition building and program development is to foster a genuine and inclusive environment for underrepresented team members and constituents. This approach led to her success as the team lead on Women 100’s Spring Breakthru program for undergraduate college students.

Before joining Vision 2020 at Drexel University, Joyce held positions at Barnard College, The Masters School, and The City College of New York.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in speech communication from Millersville University and a master’s degree in student affairs in higher education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Teresa A. Nance, Ph.D

BIO
Teresa A. Nance, Ph.D

Teresa A. Nance, Ph.D., is Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Chief Diversity Officer, and Associate Professor at Villanova University. She is responsible for the work of diversity and inclusion throughout the University with a focus on faculty, policy and institutional climate. Prof. Nance has been on the faculty of Villanova University since 1978 in the Communication Department that she helped create and subsequently chaired. Prof. Nance has taught communication courses in culture, rhetoric and education.  Her research and publication has focused on African American student learning styles, interracial relationships, and the rhetoric of women in the Civil Rights movement.  In 2004, Dr. Nance left the Department to serve as the Assistant Vice President for Multicultural Affairs.  In that role she was responsible for creating a center for retention and success with a focus on students previously underrepresented at the University. Teresa Nance received a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Emerson College in Boston and a Ph.D. from Temple University in Philadelphia.

Renée T. White, MA, Ph.D.

BIO
Renée T. White, MA, Ph.D.

Renée T. White is Provost and Professor of Sociology at Wheaton College (MA). Her professional and academic projects combine her training in sociology with urban studies, black studies and women’s and gender studies. Renée earned her PhD in sociology from Yale University. She is author of one book and co-editor of three books. Her recent publications include “I Dream a World: Black Panther and the Re-Making of Blackness” (2018) in New Political Science and “Doing the Hard Work: Democratic Practice in Higher Education” (2016) in the book Higher Education for Democratic Innovation. She is co-editor of the forthcoming book, Black Panther: Afrofuturism, Gender, Identity, and the Re-Making of Blackness. Renée currently serves on the editorial review board for the Journal of Women and Gender in Higher Education, on the National Leadership Circle of Vision 2020, and actively participates in the Council of Europe’s International Consortium for Higher Education, Civic Responsibility and Democracy.

Meet the Peer Leaders

Abby

she/her/hers
Drexel University
Global Studies with a Justice and Human Rights concentration, French and Political Science double minor

Alexandra

she/her/hers
Villanova University
Communication

Alley

she/her/hers
Villanova University
Biology with minors in Global Health and Classics

Chloe

she/her/hers
Villanova University
Peace and Justice Studies, Communication minor

Kelsea

she/her/hers
Villanova University
Finance & Real Estate double major, Business Law & Governance minor

Krystal

she/her/hers
Wheaton College
Women and Gender Studies major, Public Health, Ethnomusicology minor

Michelle

she/her/hers
Villanova University
Political Science and Spanish double major, Peace & Justice minor

Details

Start:
Thursday, March 18
End:
Friday, March 19
Events Category:

Venue

Virtual
PA United States

Organizer

Women 100

Additional Info

Event Sponsor
The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company
Registration required
Yes