NIU’s inaugural Sista Summit set for Sept. 14

Women of color are invited to attend the inaugural Sista Summit, a one-day conference for NIU women-identified students on Sept. 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center, 231 N. Annie Glidden Road.

“The Sista Summit is about personal and professional growth,” Anne Edwards, acting director of NIU’s Center for Black Studies, said. “We are excited to create a brave space and to make this kind of dialogue available for students on campus.”

Ariel Owens, assistant director for Women and Gender Programs at NIU’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, shared the sentiment.

“It is very important for women of color at NIU to have a space where they can be vulnerable and inspired and empowered,” Owens said. “We want to do our part in creating that type of space.”

And they have.

Mikki Taylor
Pamela R. Macklin

The action-packed day includes small group sessions aimed to increase self-awareness and develop professional branding. Nationally renowned guest speakers include author and Essence magazine editor at large Mikki Taylor and former Essence fashion director Pamela R. Macklin, who is founder of lola lilies inc. and adjunct instructor at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Another key component to the summit is the opportunity for women to network and build relationships that will continue after the conference.

“There is value in belonging to a network of other women of color – personally and professionally – and we want attendees to realize how meaningful this can be,” Owens said. “Our goal is that this will start a lot of organic relationship building that will continue through friendships and other programming opportunities at NIU.”

Edwards agreed, adding that the event has been a true collaboration of women from across diversity sectors at NIU.

“NIU’s commitment to diversity – especially as it relates to gender – can be seen throughout this event,” Edwards said. “We believe that Huskies are world changers; what better place to learn those essential personal and professional world changer skills than right here at your own institution.”

The free event includes snacks and lunch. There will be random giveaways throughout the day and the first 20 students to register and attend Sista Summit will receive a copy of the Mikki Taylor’s book “Editor in Chic.”

Register here by Sept. 10. For more information, visit Sista Summit.

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