Equity Summit Agenda

4th Annual Equity Summit and Awards Ceremony

Intersectionality: Gender, Race, & Systemic Implications for Black Girls

September 26-27, 2019


Day One: Thursday, September 26, 2019 (Alumni Hall, University of Pittsburgh)

8-9a Registration & Breakfast (Alumni Hall, Connolly Ballroom)


9-9:30a Welcome

Black Girls Advocacy & Leadership Alliance (BGALA)

Toni Silva, UPMC and Gwen’s Girls Board Chair

Dr. Betsy Farmer, Dean, School of Social Work, University of Pittsburgh


9:30-11a Gender Equity Commission, City of Pittsburgh

Jessie Ramey, PhD, Chair

anupama jain, Executive Director


Gender Analysis Report: Pittsburgh’s Inequity Across Gender and Race

Sara Goodkind, PhD, School of Social Work, University of Pittsburgh

Dominique Branson, Graduate Student, Department of Linguistics, University of Pittsburgh


11-12p Black Girls Equity Alliance History & Workgroup Update

Education: Amanda Cross, PhD, Office of Child Development, University of Pittsburgh

Juvenile Justice: Kim Booth, MA, Allegheny County Juvenile Probation and Sara Goodkind, PhD, University of Pittsburgh

Child Welfare: Angela Steele, MSW, Allegheny County DHS

Health & Wellness: Britney Brinkman, PhD, Point Park University


12-1p Lunch


1-2p Documentary Screening (Alumni Hall, 7th floor Auditorium): “PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools”


2-4p Post-Documentary Panel Discussion

Moderator: Andrea Joseph, PhD, Associate Professor, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Dr. Monique Morris, Author and Producer of “PUSHOUT”

James Harris, Superintendent, Woodland Hills School District

Cheryl Kleiman, Esquire, Education Law Center

Honorable Kim Clark, President Judge, Allegheny County

Angel Gober, Western PA Director, One Pennsylvania


Day Two: Friday, September 27, 2019 (University Club, University of Pittsburgh)

8-9a Registration & Breakfast


9-9:30a Welcome


9:30-10:30a Morning Plenary 1: Black Girls’ Healing in the Age of Trauma: A Mosaic for Liberation

Dr. Venus E. Evans-Winters, Professor of Education, Illinois State University


10:30-11:00a Motivational Break


11-12p Morning Plenary 2: Adultification Bias: Robbing Black Girls of their Childhood

Dr. Jamilia Blake, Associate Professor, Educational Psychology, Texas A&M University




Keynote Lunch: Black Girls Matter Is More Than a Hashtag

Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw, Professor of Law, UCLA and Columbia Law School


1:30-1:45p Break


1:45-2:45p Breakout Session #1 (University Club)


Ballroom A

Session Title: Centering Black Girls’ Voices in Sexual Harassment Research in Western Pennsylvania

Session Presenter(s): Dr. Britney Brinkman, Point Park University; José Garth, Planned Parenthood of Western PA;

Shacoya Bates, Point Park University; Orlandria Smith, Point Park University


Description: Black girls’ voices have often been minimized or neglected in research about sexual harassment. In this session, we will describe a community-based research project conducted by members of the Black Girls Equity Alliance to examine Black girls’ experiences of sexual harassment. We will detail the methods of centering Black girls’ voices in the research process, sharing themes from three focus groups conducted in the process of developing an online survey. We will also present data collected via an online survey from 133 girls throughout Western Pennsylvania, documenting their experiences of sexual harassment within schools.


Ballroom B

Session Title: Police Free Schools: Ending School Pushout

Session Presenter(s): Ghadah Makoshi, ACLU PA; Angel Gober, One PA; Paulette Foster, Education Rights Network


Description: Do police in schools make students safer or contribute to school pushout? Research has shown us that Black and Brown students and those with disabilities are being pushed out of our schools at a significantly higher rate than their peers. Find out what parents and community members can do to stop the over-policing of our schools and end school pushout.


Conference Room A 

Session Title: NYC ROSES (Resilience, Opportunity, Safety, Education, Strength) Theory and Models of Advocacy for System Involved Girls (Part I)

Session Presenter(s): Genevieve Sims, NYC ROSES; Christina Ducat, NYU RISE; Renata Lyrio, NYC ROSES/RISE Lab


Description: NYC ROSES (Resilience, Opportunity, Safety, Education, Strength) is a community-based, strengths-focused and trauma-informed program pairing girls involved with, or at risk for involvement with, the justice system with a highly trained advocate for 10-15 weeks. Advocates work with clients by providing access to resources and education, helping girls define individual goals through a youth-driven framework, supporting the development of self-efficacy skills, encouraging girls’ engagement with multiple social contexts, and promoting contextual competence to reduce justice system involvement. NYC ROSES will present on our existing model and implementation of advocacy in New York City with respect to models and frameworks that have informed our interventions, as well as implications for the dissemination of advocacy in social service and academic settings. Session attendees will be able to learn about the particular gender-specific pathways of girls entering the juvenile justice system, guiding frameworks of the NYC ROSES advocacy model, the four main stages of advocacy interventions, and the data we have collected and analyzed over the last three years of the programs implementation. Note: This is Part I of a two-part session. Part II will occur during Breakout Session #2.


Conference Room B

Session Title: Facilitating the Voices of Our Youth (Youth Session)

Session Presenter(s): Melanie Comans, YSP Unit; Shantey Good, YSP Unit; Donni Black, YSP Unit; JoVanna Robinson, YSP Unit


Description: This workshop builds on the expertise of Girls by helping them shape the narrative of their story based on the information that they will learn from the power of the Equity Summit. Girls will be split into groups and asked to build a strength-based working agreement. The story they will tell will weave a web that will compel adults to make systemic change.


Gold Room

Session Title: Sounding Guilty from the Schoolhouse to the Jailhouse: African American Language and Black Confinement

Session Presenter(s): Dominique Branson, University of Pittsburgh Department of Linguistics


Description: Black Americans represent 13.4% of the U.S. population, but make up 37.6% of incarcerated individuals (U.S. Census Bureau, 2018; Federal Bureau of Prisons, 2019). Despite the importance of language in determining guilt or innocence in legal and other high stakes situations, the relationship between the over-representation of Blacks in confinement systems and use of African American Language (AAL), a variety of English spoken primarily by Blacks in the U.S., is severely under-investigated. This session presents an overview of the history and development of AAL as well as its use by Black Americans in various settings from the classroom to the courtroom and shows connections between use of AAL and harsher legal and disciplinary outcomes for its speakers, especially Black girls.


Conference Room C

Relaxation Room


2:45-3p Break





Breakout Session #2 (University Club)


Ballroom A

Session Title: Adolescent Relationship Abuse, Gender Equitable Attitudes and Sexual Health among Minority Young Women

Session Presenter(s): Dr. Ashley Hill, University of Pittsburgh Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine; Taylor Paglisotti, University of Pittsburgh Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine; Namita Dwarakanath, University of Pittsburgh Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine


Description: Sisterhood 2.0 is a stakeholder-engaged intervention designed to integrate a critical analysis of social norms that condone sexual violence (SV) and adolescent relationship abuse (ARA), sexual health promotion, and increasing skills in bystander intervention. This program uses a multi-pronged approach to combine SV/ARA prevention with sexual health promotion and is tailored for African American adolescent females in community-based settings in the U.S. The program has demonstrated reductions in violence, development of more equitable gender attitudes, and a reduction in sexual risk behaviors among young adults aged 18-25. We will review the successes of this program implementation in Pittsburgh, PA and highlight best practices for sustainable intervention of this 18-hour curriculum designed for implementation in community-based youth-serving agencies.


Ballroom B

Session Title: Just Discipline and Restorative Practices at Woodland Hills School District

Session Presenter(s): Dr. James (Jay) Huguley, University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work; James Harris, Superintendent Woodland Hills School District; Dr. Shanté Stuart McQueen, University of Pittsburgh; Rachelle Haynik, University of Pittsburgh


Description: Evidence has shown that exclusionary discipline practices in schools such as suspensions have negative effects on students and schools alike. In response, the Just Discipline Project is a research-to-practice collaboration with the Woodland Hills School District designed to advance achievement for all students by implementing and evaluating school‐based relational climate and restorative practices. In this session participants will hear about school-specific and district-wide efforts to implement relational climate programming, as well as more restorative responses to conflicts and discipline problems. Both the approaches involved and results to date will be discussed.


Conference Room A

Session Title: NYC ROSES (Resilience, Opportunity, Safety, Education, Strength) Theory and Models of Advocacy for System Involved Girls (Part II)

Session Presenter(s): Genevieve Sims, NYC ROSES; Christina Ducat, NYU RISE; Renata Lyrio, NYC ROSES/RISE Lab


Description: Please see above. This is Part II of a two-part session. Part I will occur during Breakout Session #1.


Conference Room B

Session Title: The Power of Sisterhood (Youth Session)

Session Presenter(s): Kelli Shakur, FroGang


Description: This session will discuss the importance of a sisterhood and the power that comes from it. Conversely, factors that keep black women from reaching a sisterhood and ways we can overcome that will also be discussed.


Conference Room C

Relaxation Room


4-4:30p Closing Remarks (Ballroom A)