University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education

Women of Color in Higher Education: Resilience and Empowerment Amidst Twin Pandemics

View all Penn GSE Virtual Institutes

Program Dates: 3/8/2021 - 3/10/2021

Penn GSE Virtual Institutes bring Penn's faculty and resources to educators and leaders across the globe. This Institute offers synchronous sessions and community programming to foster an environment of inclusivity and support.

Participants who complete this Virtual Institute will receive a Penn GSE Certificate of Participation.

About the Program

Penn Graduate School of Education's Office of Student Services and Center for Professional Learning are excited to announce the Women of Color in Higher Education: Resilience and Empowerment Amidst Twin Pandemics Virtual Institute. This annual program is open to Penn Faculty, Staff, and Graduate Students who identify as a woman of color or non-binary person of color.

We are living in a time of renewed vigilance in the fight for racial equity, a pandemic that opened the wound of race-based health disparities and food insecurities, and a political/social environment that reflects insidious social injustice across the country. As such, the Women of Color in Higher Education program seeks to unite and strengthen networks and form mentorships for the Penn community* of both women of color and non-binary people of color.

*Please note that this program is exclusive to Penn faculty, staff, graduate students, and alumni.




Program Schedule


Please see below for the most up-to-date program schedule.


Monday, March 8

5:00 - 7:00 PM ET



Opening Ceremony and Keynote Address

Tuesday, March 9

9:00 AM - 1:00 PM ET

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM ET



Circle Sessions*


Circle Sessions*


Wednesday, March 10

9:00 AM - 1:00PM ET




Circle Sessions* and Closing Ceremony and Fireside Chat

*Circle sessions are small concurrent group discussions about resilience led by faculty and staff.

What You'll Gain
  • Build supportive networks within and across sectors
  • Engage in reflection on practice and mechanisms that foster resilience
  • Expand capacity to recovery quickly from adversity
  • Celebrate self and other women and non-binary leaders of color
  • Validate adversities and share strategies to foster resilience
  • Gain insight into how to design professional environments that foster thriving of women and non-binary people of color in leadership roles

Who Should Enroll

This event is exclusive to Penn Faculty, Staff and Graduate Students who identify as a woman of color or non-binary person of color.

Mentor Program

In conjunction with this program, Penn GSE Office of Student Services is organizing mentoring opportunities for students and staff beginning the week of March 8, 2021. This opportunity was created for students and/or staff to share wisdom about navigating the higher education environment

Mentor matches will be based on self-selected interests and mentor groupings will include no more than 3 people per group.

Program Speakers

Dr. Mamta Motwani Accapadi

Vice Provost for University Life
Penn Division of the Vice Provost for University Life (VPUL)

Dr. Carmen Guerra

Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Diversity and Inclusion, Medicine
Associate Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Abramson Center

Advisory Dean, Dr. Helen O. Dickens House

Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. Joann Mitchell

Senior Vice President for Institutional Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer
Penn Office of the President

Dr. Maria Oquendo

Ruth Meltzer Professor of Psychiatry
Chairman of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine
Psychiatrist-in-Chief, University of Pennsylvania Health System

Dr. Iris M. Reyes

Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine
Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. Antonia M Villarruel

Professor and Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing
Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics
Penn Nursing



Registration Close Date: March 4, 2021

Please note that in order to register you will have to create a PennPath account. This is different than your PennKey. Click here to access detailed instructions.

Event Features
  • Keynote Speakers
  • Small-Group Circle Sessions
  • Mentorship Matches


Thanks to the support of various Penn organizations, this program is 100% subsidized for program attendees.



Penn GSE Certificate of Participation



Contact Us
Please contact or with any questions about this program .