November 4, 2017  •  8AM – 1:30PM  •  Chatham University


A half-day symposium for scholars, students, community leaders, movement organizers, policy makers, and the community. Presented by the Chatham University Women’s Institute, featuring the Pittsburgh Gender Scholars Consortium and the leaders of local community organizations and social movements. Free and open to the public with registration.

Over 50 speakers will work in teams to facilitate active conversations in breakout sessions on a wide range of issues related to women, girls, and gender equity (see below). The morning will conclude with a luncheon and keynote by the national social justice leader, Ms. Jennifer Epps-Addison, Network President and Co-Executive Director of the Los Angeles based Center for Popular Democracy!


The symposium brings together a rich cross-section of academics, practitioners, leaders, and activists, and is open to everyone interested in issues related to gender equity in Pittsburgh and beyond. The sessions will be highly interactive and engage all participants in dialogue around questions such as:

  • What does gender equity look like in your corner of Pittsburgh? What kind of change needs to happen?
  • What issues are you working on (or would like to work on) in your organization, movement, or neighborhood?
  • How do we work together to set an intersectional agenda to advance gender equity in the city and beyond?


Registration begins at 8AM and the Welcome begins promptly at 9AM. Since this is a dialogue based event with much to cover in just a half-day, participants should plan to attend the full morning (welcome, breakout sessions, and keynote luncheon). You will be finished right after lunch, around 1:30PM. There is no partial registration: we ask that everyone come for the full event, share your wisdom, and be a part of making intersectional change happen.


Sessions will be led by teams of 50 scholars and community leaders. Scholars hail from: Chatham University, University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Robert Morris University, Duquesne University, Carlow University, Point Park University, and Edinboro University. Community leaders represent organizations including: Gwen’s Girls, Center for Women’s Health Research, Inclusant, PAAR, Strong Women Strong Girls, New Voices for Reproductive Justice, Planned Parenthood, Women and Girls Foundation, Women’s Law Project, YWCA Greater Pittsburgh, SEIU, OnePennsylvania, Education Rights Network, Pittsburgh Center for Autism Advocacy, CORO, FISA Foundation, Innovation Works, Black Urban Gardeners, UPMC Children’s Hospital, the Pittsburgh Black Breastfeeding Circle, SisTersPGH, Bethlehem Haven, and the CEDAW Coalition.


BREAKOUT SESSION A  (you will choose one of the following when you register):

“Girls, Empowerment, and the Commodification of Feminism”
Dr. Jocelyn Horner, Executive Director, Strong Women, Strong Girls
Dr. Lauren Rauscher, Director, Women’s Leadership & Mentorship Program, Associate Professor, Sociology, Robert Morris University


The Truth about Diversity Initiatives: Achieving Radical Progress in Institutional Policy”
Dr. anu jain, Executive Director, Gender Equity Commission, Mayor’s Office, City of Pittsburgh
Dr. Niq D. Johnson, Visiting Scholar, Chatham University


“Bodies, Gender, Politics, and Reproductive Justice”
Sue Frietsche, Senior Staff Attorney, Women’s Law Project
Dr. Lisa Tetrault, Carnegie Mellon University
Lexi White, Philadelphia Organizer, New Voices for Reproductive Justice


“Women’s Economic Security, Retirement, and the Feminization of Poverty”
Olivia Benson, Community Engagement Director, Women and Girls Foundation
Peggy Morrison Outon, Executive Director, Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management, Robert Morris University


“Race, Gender, Disability and Intersectional Representation in the Media”
Chaz Kellem, Senior Director, Advocacy for Race & Gender Equity, YWCA Greater Pittsburgh
Dr. Maurine Greenwald, Department of History, University of Pittsburgh


“Social Justice Movements: #BlackLivesMatter, #EnvironmentalJustice, #FightFor15, #WeStandWithLove and Beyond”
Dr. Robin Brooks, Associate Professor of Africana Studies, University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Kathy Glass, Department of English, Duquesne University
Angel Gober, Director of Community Organizing, OnePennsylvania
Dr. Anne Rashid, Department of English, Carlow University


BREAKOUT SESSION B (you will choose one of the following when you register):

“The Black Girls Equity Alliance”
Dr. Britney Brinkman, Psychology, Chatham University
Dr. Kathi Elliott, Executive Director, Gwen’s Girls
Dr. Sara Goodkind, School of Social Work, University of Pittsburgh


“Gender and Tech: Access to Venture Capital, Queer Women of Color, and On-Line Gender Expression”
S.L. Nelson, Ph.D. Student, Department of English, University of Pittsburgh
Jenn Van Dam, Digital and Community Engagement Manager, Innovation Works


Current Realities in Women’s Healthcare and Research”
José Garth, Peer Education Coordinator, Planned Parenthood of Western PA
Christine Gordon, Planned Parenthood of Western PA
Dr. Elizabeth Miller, MD, PhD, FSAHM, Director, Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
Jonna L. Morris, BA, BSN, RN Predoctoral Scholar, School of Nursing, University of Pittsburgh


“Legislating Equity through Policy: From Pittsburgh’s CEDAW New Ordinance to State #PaidFamilyLeave”
Marcia Bandes, Chair, Pittsburgh for CEDAW Coalition
Dr. Melissa Bell, Social Work, Chatham University
Carey Cummings, Esq. Statewide Campaign Director, Women and Girls Foundation


“Gender, Race, and Equity in Food Systems and the Agricultural Sector”
Raqueeb Bey, Founder and Senior Project Director for The Black Urban Gardeners and Farmers of Pittsburgh Co-op
Dr. Alice Julier, Director, Center for Regional Agriculture, Food, and Transformation (CRAFT) and Director, Food Studies, Chatham University


“Religion and Gender Based Violence”
Dr. Rebecca Denova, Department of Religious Studies, University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Sharon Higginbothan, Chief Operating Officer, Bethlehem Haven; Community Advisor, Duquesne University Theology Department Pathways Team
Dr. Elisabeth Vasko, Associate Professor of Theology, Duquesne University


BREAKOUT SESSION C (you will choose one of the following when you register):

“Education Rights for Girls: Gender, Race, and Disability in Schools”
Dr. Josie Badger, Board Member, FISA Foundation; #IWantToWork Campaign Manager
Cori Frazer, Education Rights Network Member, Executive Director, Pittsburgh Center for Autistic Advocacy
Dr. Amanda Godley, Professor, Language, Literacy and Culture in Education, University of Pittsburgh


“Transformative Leadership and Diversifying Women’s Entrepreneurship”
Rebecca Harris, Executive Director, Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship, Chatham University
Sabrina Saunders Mosby, President and CEO, Coro Center for Civic Leadership, Pittsburgh
Dr. Marsha Tongel, Point Park University


“Inclusion and Privilege in Women’s Wellness, Childbirth, and Breastfeeding”
Dr. Karen Faulk, Visiting Scholar, Chatham University
Dr. Candace Skibba, Department of Modern Languages, Carnegie Mellon University
Ngozi Tibbs, Founder, Pittsburgh Black Breastfeeding Circle


“Now What? Gender and Political Action in the Wake of the 2016 Elections”
Lisa Frank, Vice President Strategic Campaigns, SEIU Healthcare PA
Dr. Kris Kanthak, Political Science, University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Jennie Sweet-Cushman, Political Science, Chatham University


“Centering Trans and Queer Youth on our Campuses and Beyond”
Dr. Elizabeth Rodriguez Fielder, Department of English, University of Pittsburgh
Jess Klein, Coordinator, Gender Programs and LGBTQ+ Initiatives, Carnegie Mellon University
Ciora Thomas, Founder, SisTersPGH


“Gender Violence Prevention”
Dr. Judy Chang, Magee-Womens Research Institute
Julie Evans, MSW, Director of Prevention & Victim Response, Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR)
Dr. Irene Hanson Frieze, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh



Epps-Addison_Jen B&W

Jennifer Epps-Addison serves as the President and Co-Executive Director of the Center for Popular Democracy and CPD Action’s network of 43 partner organizations in 30 states. As President, Jennifer leads CPD’s racial justice campaigns, and works closely with its network of local affiliates. Prior to joining CPD, Epps-Addison was the Chief Program Officer for the Liberty Hill Foundation, a social justice foundation in Los Angeles that funds grassroots community organizing campaigns for social change. A native of Milwaukee, WI, Epps-Addison helped coordinate the Fight for $15 campaign as the Executive Director of Wisconsin Jobs Now.

Epps-Addison is the recipient of the 2013 Edna Award from the Berger-Marks Foundation, which honors an outstanding young woman each year for her leadership in fueling social change. In the same year, she was named an ‘Activist to Watch’ by Bill Moyers. She earned her BA in Political Science and Women’s Studies and her JD from the University of Wisconsin. Prior to her return to organizing, Jennifer was a trial attorney in the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office.

Epps-Addison, a leader who has deep experience building power in communities from the ground up, joins the Center for Popular Democracy at a time when local community voices matter more than ever in creating a nation-wide movement to fight for dignity and opportunity for all people. She brings with her a commitment to supporting and growing black-led organizations, strengthening investments in power-building efforts in communities of color, and deepening organizing strategies that build power with the white working class by addressing racism head-on and building authentic alliances based on shared interests and shared values.