The 2017 Women of Color Traiblazers Leadership Conference

Keynote speaker, Staceyann Chin. Image used with permission.

"Empowering Voices: Breaking Boundaries, Making Change"

Featuring keynote speaker Staceyann Chin, this conference will consist of workshops that focus on the topics of peer networking, professional and personal development, and leadership opportunities. Most importantly, this conference will provide a space to celebrate the lives and accomplishments of women of color. The Keynote address is open to the public and free for all MHC students, faculty, and staff and $5.00 for Five-College and non-conference attendees. Interested individuals who self-identify as women of color can register for the conference.

The SGA Students of Color Committee prides itself in creating spaces where students can continue to question, challenge and cultivate their minds in order to advance personal growth, commitment, and social advocacy for historically underrepresented communities.

In addition, we strive to encourage open dialogues and raise consciousness about issues and intersections prevalent in modern day society regarding race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and many more identities. This year, we will continue this tradition by opening the event to all individuals self- identifying as women of color across the Five­ Colleges, including faculty and staff, members of the Pioneer Valley Community, and beyond.


  • $10.00 - Five College students, faculty, and staff, 
  • $15.00 - Non-Five College students, faculty, and staff. 
  • For Group Discounts, contact or call 413-538-2550.

Scholarships are available for all MHC Students who register for the conference and complete the scholarship application by March 29, 2017. 

Conference At A Glance

  • 9:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.  Registration and breakfast- catered by Panera Bread
  • 10:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Welcome and Charge of the Conference
  • 10:45 a.m.–11:45 a.m. Workshop Sessions I
  • 11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Lunch-catered by El Comalito of Amherst, Ma
  • 1:15 p.m.–2:15 p.m.  Workshop Sessions II
  • 2:15 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Business Expo
  • 2:15 p.m.- 2:45 p.m. Networking Opportunity
  • 2:45 p.m.–3:15 p.m. Highlight Workshop - Celine Mudahakana, MHC class 2017
  • 4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m,  Keynote Address- Staceyann Chin (open to the public)
  • 5:00 p.m.–5:15 p.m. Closing Remarks (Book-signing will follow)
  • 6:00 p.m.-6:45 p.m. VIP Meet and Greet with Staceyann Chin (Registered WOCTLC attendees ONLY)

 Workshop Sessions I





3 B's Breaking through, Breakdown, Break the Shell

Dept. of Res. Ed. (UMASS Amherst)

Crystal Norwood, Oprah Jrenal, Liz Annette Perez

Blanchard Campus Center Room 227

Bold, Educated, Empowered, Sisters

Diversity & Multicultural Affairs Office at Salem State University

Nayeli Lopez, Shaneé LeBaron

Skinner Hall 212

Breaking Barriers for Women of Color in the White, Male World of Construction

Sisters in the Brothers, Wester Mass Carpenters Union

Lisa Clauson, Tyeka Robsinson, Selea Vazquez, Samantha Clinton-Aimable, Stephanie Stephens

Blanchard Campus Center Room 213

Imaginary Enemies: How to Keep Sisterhood Strong in Today’s America

Tayllor L Poetics

Tayllor Johnson, “15

Skinner Hall 202

Demystifying The Stigma Of The Strong Black Women While Creating Mindset For Change To Overcome Baggage

Project Resilency Movement

Althea Bates

Blanchard Campus Center Room 226

A Girls Guide to Revolutionary Love (ages 7-16)

MHC Community Based-Learning and C.A.U.S.E.

Angelica Castro

Mary Woolley Hall, New York Room

Rise, Resist, Rebel

Mount Holyoke College Alum, '15

Dianna Tejada

Skinner Hall 21

Workshop Sessions II





Asian-American Activism and the Myth of the Model Minority


Jai Pemmaraju, Mritthika Ghosh

Blanchard Campus Center Room 227

"Real World" White Supremacy: Navigating the Working World as Queer Women of Color

MHC Office of Admissions

Jacqueline (Jackie) Cosse, Leigh Pinkston

Blanchard Campus Center Room 318

Using Mindful Meditation to Empower Your Voice and Break Barriers

MHC Career Development Center

Ju Hong, Roshonda Degraffendreid

Skinner Hall 210

Radical Acts of Resistance: Self-Care and Self-Love

Center for Counseling and Psychological Health at UMASS Amherst

Courtney Tucker

Skinner Hall 212

The Powerful Convergence of Politics and Actvitism

Mount Holyoke College Alum, '16

Courtney Brunson

Skinner Hall 202

#PoeticJustice: Exploring the Healing Power of Spoken Word to Define Your Most Authentic Self (age 7-16)

Mount Holyoke College Alum, 15

Melanie Wilkerson

Mary Woolley Hall, New York Room

Breaking Boundaries to Design YOUR Life

Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, MCLA

Karen M Cardozo, Ph.D

Blanchard Hall Room 213

 Business Expo

This year, the WOCTLC is sponsoring the 1st People of Color Business Expo, highlighting business of color. If you are a business owner and would like to participate, please fill out this form.

For more information about the People of Color Business Expo, contact Latrina L. Denson, Assistant Dean of Students at ldenson or call 413-538-2550.

Sponsored by the Student Government Association Students of Color Committee, Division of Student Life, Conscious Poets, Asian American Students In Action, Undocumented Students Alliance, FAMILIA, LaUnidad, Weissman Center, History Department, Multicultural Community and College Life, Psychology Department, Biological Science, Theatre Department, Program in Critical and Social Thought, Mathematics and Statistics, Dance Department

Staceyann Chin

Keynote Speaker and Fulltime Artist

Staceyann Chin

Staceyann Chin is a resident of New York City and a Jamaican National, she has been an “out poet and political activist” since 1998. From the Nuyorican Poets' Cafe to one-woman shows Off- Broadway to acting in Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe and performing in both the stage and film versions of Howard Zinn’s Voices of a People's History of the United States, to starring in the Tony nominated, Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, Chin credits the long list of "things she has done" to her grandmother's hard-working history and the pain of her mother's absence.

Celine Mudahakana

Highlight Workshop Presenter

Since the 1994 genocide, Rwanda has made a remarkable recovery in rebuilding itself through projects to promote peace, economic stability, and women’s rights. As a young Rwandan, Celine Mudahakana founded Weaving for Peace in 2013 to help Rwanda reach this vision and to participate in the rebuilding of her country. Weaving for Peace brings together young Rwandans no longer divided by different ethnic groups to do a craft and to create a community as Rwandans in a peaceful and creative setting. Celine is currently a senior at Mount Holyoke College, pursuing a degree in Sociology, and Development Studies.