Young Educated Ladies Leading

Young Educated Ladies Leading

May 18, 2024, 8:30am-2:30pm — Highline College, Building 8



Ladies First: reSIStance & Revolution


To empower and motivate our young women of color to excel in academics and to accept nothing less than excellence from self.


  • Critique life, education and careers social norms that inhibit young women of color from being recognized for their success.
  • Highlight the achievements in spite of the obstacles/barriers that they face.
  • Contextualize their self-identity socially, culturally, historically, and politically by giving the women of color a sense of self and value of self.

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8:30 - 9:00 am Registration & Breakfast
9:00 - 9:15 am Opening
9:15 - 10:15 am Keynote Address with Q&A: Linda Sarsour
We Are All We Got: Young Women of Color Making Their Mark

Linda Sarsour will weave her personal experiences and identities as a Palestinian American Muslim woman of color and how she navigates difficult terrain as an activist and leader in her community and progressive movements nationwide. You will leave equipped with the wisdom, confidence, and will to be your full unapologetic self despite the challenges and obstacles faced by young women of color. We will explore identity, power, privilege, and solidarity, and our responsibility to hold space for young girls following in our footsteps.

10:30 - 11:45 am
Darnesha Weary
Crown Your Confidence

Together we will Dive into a majestic discussion about embracing Black girl magic. Strike your power pose, queens! A regal playlist shall accompany this empowering royal time. Share your magic moments and let your crown shine!

Diana Muuru
Purpose and Passions

From a small black-owned business perspective, learn how to use your passion to connect with the community, network, and get exposed to different career fields. Our passion posters activity exposes participants to current events and subjects they care deeply about and want to bring a change or awareness towards.

Bonita Lee
Center In Community Care

Students creating a foundation of self-care in a world that focuses on productivity is vital. In this space we support your authenticity, share brave space, and center in community care. In this workshop, we will explore maintenance, self care, community care, and how they are intertwined. You will leave this co-created space with a personalized care contract.

Sala Sataraka
My Idols Lied to Me: Embracing the Joys of Being Womxn of Color

In a world where womxn of color are expected to be resilient, life can often feel heavy. Our workshop was formed to act as a rest stop to “put down” the weight of oppressive systems, such as sexism, racism, etc. The conversation will center on personal experiences with internalized oppression, “imposter syndrome”, and burnout (from life, work, school, etc.). We will offer historical context to frame our discussions, but will focus on joy, community, art and reflection throughout.

Jessica Ramirez
Echale Ganas Mija/Give it your best Sis!

In this workshop I will share my story as a first generation Latina, and how I navigated the education system and wanted to give up at times. I often heard my mothers words of echale ganas mija and that motivated me to push through and finish my bachelors degree. This will be an interactive session to a discussion on the expectations of women of color with a lens on Latina women.

Mousy DeVilla
Exploring Mixed Media Collage

In this workshop, attendees will be guided in the art process of mixed media collage to enhance their artistic self.

Donny Brock
Brand Empowerment: Creative Strategy for Future Leaders

Understanding Your Brand Quick discussion on the importance of personal and professional branding for female POC leaders. Creative Strategy for Branding on key concepts of creative strategy in branding. Building Your Brand Toolkit. Overview of practical tools and resources for brand development and management. Quick tips on creating compelling visual content and engaging with the audience.

Jasmin Faulk-Dickerson
Uncensored Women

Women’s rights have been and remain historically under attack in the United States and around the world. Why do we continue to see such resistance to liberating women and hearing their voices? This workshop will address that question and will motivate young women to use their stories to find their voices, it will inspire them to build their resilience through their challenges, and it will empower them to affirm their rights in a society that seeks to censor and silence their triumphs. Using storytelling, reflection, and dialogue, this workshop is an uncensored space where women can safely address the many barriers they face and feel encouraged to stand in the spotlight of their own lives.

Dr. Joan King
Leveraging Our Cultural Lenses for Success: Begin to Overcome Historical Trauma

This workshop will educate women of color on how to enhance their cultural lenses to better navigate their careers and educational environments. Participants will be inspired to reclaim their power as group identity members and to self-advocate unapologetically. They will learn how to begin their healing journey from possible intergenerational trauma and to acknowledge the work their ancestors have set forth as women to pave the way for them today. They will understand how to reject societal conditioning for women of color and learn how to speak out.

Heba Qatrani
Women holding space; a guide to interpersonal professional communication

Focusing on the importance of young women creating and holding space for themselves in professional settings, attendees will engage in professional development activities targeting specifically presentation skills and professional communication. We will go over the experiences and history of women in the workplace and have attendees share their experiences in higher education creating a space for safe and open discussion regarding the setbacks women face, especially in historically male dominated spaces. We will discuss institutional and social barriers that’ve barred women in the past and highlight the struggles BIPOC women are faced with. While emphasizing on creating tools for networking and advocating for oneself in the face of these antagonistic factors.

12:00 - 1:00 pm Leadership Activity: Samora Covington
Leading with Soul: A SoulCollage Retreat

Step into a journey of self-discovery and leadership exploration with "Leading with Soul: A SoulCollage Retreat." In this creative arts workshop, we'll delve into the transformative power of SoulCollage as a tool for personal and collective empowerment. SoulCollage—a process that combines intuition, imagination, and self-reflection—is a unique form of expressive art that involves creating collaged cards using images that resonate with different aspects of our inner selves. This retreat invites us to step into our power by honoring our experiences, identities, and voices. Throughout the workshop, we'll explore how embracing our individual and collective stories can fuel our journey towards resistance and revolution. Together, we will engage in the practice of liberating our inner wisdom, harnessing our strengths, and embracing our unique leadership potential.

1:00 - 1:15 pm Closing
1:15 - 2:30 pm Lunch & Resource Fair


Registration for the 2024 Y.E.L.L. Conference is now closed. Please email us if you have any questions.

Frequently asked Questions


Do I need to register for the summit?


When I tried to register, it said that registration had closed. Is there a waitlist I can get on?

Unfortunately, we are unable to have a waitlist for the summit. Registration is capped at our capacity plus 30 percent, which takes into account the substantial number of no-show attendees on the day of the summit.

I forgot to register/registration is closed. Can I just show up to the summit?

Only registered students will be guaranteed admittance to the summit. If an unregistered student shows up on the day of the summit, they will be required to wait in the will call area until all registered students have been processed. In the event that there is still space available after all the registered students have been admitted, unregistered students will be admitted in the order that they arrived. After we have reached capacity, any remaining unregistered students are required to leave the campus for liability purposes.


Why can’t middle school aged students attend?

Although we have allowed 8th grade students to attend in previous years, the summit is now reserved for high school students only for the following reasons:

Maturity level: The planning committee strives to bring presenters and topics to the summit that speak to current events and issues important to young students of color. As many of the topics discussed revolve around the dense and multi-faceted issue of social justice, many middle school students do not have the comprehension level needed to both engage in, and respect, this dialogue.

Behavior: Attending the summit requires students to have the strong personal responsibility and critical listening skills that are more common in older students; we simply do not have the staff or the ability to continuously monitor individuals who need to be reminded consistently to behave appropriately.

How long is the summit?

The summit is an all-day event, from approximately 8:00am to 4:00pm.

What if I arrive late?

We cannot facilitate late arrivals. Our registration and check-in tables open at 8:00 am sharp and close promptly at 9:15 am when the keynote speaker begins. IF YOU ARRIVE AFTER 9:15 AM, EVEN IF YOU HAVE REGISTERED, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ATTEND THE SUMMIT.

Cost, Location, and Programming

How much does it cost to attend?

The summit is FREE to attend.

Where is the summit?

The student summit is located in the Student Union Building (Bldg 8) on the Highline College campus, with adult chaperone programming located in Building 7. Individual student workshops are held in various classrooms on campus; students are escorted by summit volunteers to and from these classrooms.

Do I need to bring my own food?

No. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be provided for you.

What workshops will I be attending?

Workshops will be assigned as students are processed through the registration table the day of the summit.

I want to see a particular workshop presenter. How can I ensure a seat in her specific workshop?

To ensure equal workshop sizes, students are assigned a workshop. Students are not able to choose their workshops. However, workshop presentations are thoroughly screened by the Y.E.L.L. Planning Committee to ensure each workshop is equally informative, engaging, and impactful.

For Adult Chaperones

I’m an adult chaperone for a school/organization but I don’t know which students I’m bringing yet. Can I just hold some spots?

No. All attendees (both students and adults) must be registered individually to attend. We can NOT hold spots under any circumstances.

I’m a chaperone and some of the registered students I was supposed to bring can’t come. Can I substitute different students in their place?

No. If a student or adult has registered but is unable to attend, they cannot substitute another individual.

As a chaperone, will I stay with my student throughout the day?

No. Adult chaperones/attendees and students are on different activity tracks in different buildings. The summit is for the students and part of the impact of the summit comes from being able to have real, open dialogue. Please respect this space and understand that you will be reconnected with your students at the close of the summit.

I’m a chaperone who is bringing multiple students. Can I send you a list of the students attending instead of registering them all?

We greatly appreciate attendees or adult chaperones registering themselves and/or their students. Having attendees or chaperones directly enter their information increases accuracy, so we politely ask that you register attendees individually.

I want to see a particular workshop presenter. How can I ensure a seat in her specific workshop?

As the summit is geared focused and created for high school aged females, chaperones are not permitted to sit in on these workshops; adult chaperones are able to view the keynote speeches remotely but have a fixed adult chaperone agenda in an adjacent building.

This is a valuable, transformative event that I want to be a part of. How can I get involved?

If you would like to volunteer at this year’s or a future Summit, please contact Tanisha WIlliams or Rickitia Reid.

My students received a t-shirt/lanyard/giveaway item. Do adult chaperones also receive giveaway items?

Unfortunately, adult chaperones are ineligible to receive giveaways. As Highline absorbs the entire cost of the summit, we decided to limit giveaways to students to increase the quality and quantity of items they receive.

Will all my students stay together if I bring a group of students?

One of the values of the summit is to encourage meaningful conversations and create new friendships. In order to facilitate this, students are assigned to workshops by individual rather than by school. Some students in you group may end up in the same workshop by chance, but it is highly unlikely that you student group will stay together for the entirety of the summit.

keynote speaker

Linda Sarsour

Linda Sarsour is one of the country’s leading voices in the fight for racial, economic, gender, and social justice. The Brooklyn-born Palestinian Muslim American community organizer and mother of three is globally-recognized for her award-winning intersectional work on key civil rights topics, including the impact of domestic policies that target Arab and Muslim American communities, mass incarceration and criminal justice, Middle East affairs, immigration policy, and voter registration.

Linda served as national co-chair of the Women’s March, helping to organize one of the largest single-day protests in U.S. history. She is the former executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, co-founder of Muslims for Ferguson, and co-founder of the first Muslim online organizing platform, MPower Change, a grassroots movement of Muslim Americans working to build social, spiritual, racial, and economic justice for all people. She is also the co-founder of Until Freedom, a national racial justice organization focused on direct action and power building in communities of color.

Linda is the author of two books, We Are Not Here to Be Bystanders: A Memoir of Love and Resistance with a forward by Harry Belafonte who writes, “While we may not have made it to the Promised Land, my peers and I, my brothers and sisters in liberation can rest easy that the future is in the hands of leaders like Linda Sarsour.” She’s also penned an empowering young readers’ edition of her memoir, We’re in This Together.

Linda was honored by President Barack Obama as a Champion of Change for her work empowering Arab and Muslim Americans nationally through civic engagement, direct service, and advocacy campaigns. She was recognized as one of Fortune’s 50 Greatest Leaders and featured as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. Still, she remains rooted in racial justice and civil rights organizing, inspiring audiences to get off the sidelines and raise their voices in the fight for equity and justice for all.


Y.E.L.L. DJ: DJ Nia

DJ Nia is a skilled DJ with top-notch equipment and an extensive music library. She can tailor her playlists to fit any occasion, from corporate events to intimate gatherings. With her expertise, she can capture the hearts of any audience and make your event unforgettable.

Y.E.L.L. Emcee: Kaitlen Taoipu

Kaitlen Taoipu is the proud daughter of Sasa’afamali’i Mativa Taoipu and Taloapatina Leapai Fetoa’i. She has roots planted in the islands of American and Independent Samoa, hailing from the villages of Pago Pago, Solosolo and Apia. Kaitlen graduated from Highline High School, and headed to Highline College where she has been a part of working with and supporting youth in the community for the past 6 years. She is now the new Director of membership for the YMCA, running and creating youth and family enrichment programming.

Diana Muuru

Diana is a Youth Director at Black Coffee Northwest Grounded. They've led a variety of youth internships and mentorships, facilitated youth panels, and led community events strived on youth development and leadership. Their goal at the nonprofit Grounded is to create a space where young minds can expand, become inspired to create and take charge in a safe space.

Bonita Lee

Bonita Lee is an author, community connector, educator, motivational speaker, and co-founder of Noir Preneurship. She has worked with schools and non-profits for over twenty years, focusing on individual, student, and family access through empowerment. Be sure to check out Bonita’s first children’s book: “Go on Lil’ Sista, Go On,” a poetic anthem to Black girls, everywhere.

Darnesha Weary

Meet Dar’Nesha Weary, the powerhouse behind Black Coffee Northwest in Seattle. With over two decades of nonprofit experience, she's not just serving coffee – she's crafting a caffeinated movement. As the CEO, recognized as the Seattle Magazine Changemaker of the Year and Alignable Business Woman of the Year, Dar’Nesha blends her passion for community service with a rich cup of coffee, turning sips into positive change. From leading the Northside Step Team to dancing with LIZZO(!), she's a coffee queen with a side of rhythm and a heart devoted to diversity and inclusion in the greater Seattle area. Every cup poured by Dar’Nesha is a sip toward community empowerment.

Dr. Joan King

A national Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) conference presenter and consultant, Dr. Joan King has a BA in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing, an MA in English, and a Doctorate in Education. She is a published author and former high school teacher for Washington state. Her articles regarding Asian American voices have been published in, Mochi Magazine, Memoir Magazine, and Writerly Magazine

Sala Sataraka

I am a mother, educator, student, and advocate born and raised on O'ahu, Hawai'i. I have lived in South Seattle for the last 13 years, where I raise my daughter and dog. For the last 8 years, I have worked at University of Washington as a Senior Manager for an AmeriCorps-funded program, Jumpstart, and now as the inaugural interim Community Liaison & College Navigator for the College of Education. In this role, I continue to support the advancement of the early learning education field by advocating for systems and policy changes in higher education spaces. I am also a full-time graduate student in the Executive Master of Public Administration at the UW Evans School of Public Policy & Governance, where I get to strengthen my racial equity lens and build my leadership skills.

Cecelia DeLeon (Mousy DeVilla)

Seattle born, White Center raised, Cecelia DeLeon is a multidisciplinary public artist working under the alias Mousy DeVilla. Often switching back from digital works using Procreate, Adobe Software to acrylic paintings, mixed media arts and collage artworks. She draws inspiration from the neighborhoods, cities she’s lived in and continues to serve her community as a Teaching Artist, working with Arts Corps, Urban Artworks, Creative Justice and Coyote Central. The social justice themes explored in her bold and colorful work weave in the conversation around welcoming immigrants, uplifting BIPOC communities, and paying homage to Washington where she was born, while celebrating her cultural identity as “Chicana”, the hyphen in Mexican-American. She’s created artwork for traffic boxes around King County, a mural for Food Lifeline, and has had work shown at the Tacoma Art Museum.

Donny Brock

Interdisciplinary creative with experience in graphic design, paid media, branding, and art direction.

Jasmin Faulk-Dickerson

Jasmin Faulk-Dickerson is a social and behavioral researcher, author, speaker, podcaster, educator, and cultural identity advocate. Born in the Middle East to an Arabian father and Italian mother, Jasmin has lived the intersectionality of her identities though challenges and triumphs as the product of the first generation of bi-cultural children and a female in a conservative and isolated Saudi Arabia of the 1970s/80s and from which she successfully escaped in 1999, as she highlights in her Memoir, The Last Sandstorm. Jasmin’s areas of expertise are Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), social identity, social/cultural oppression, multi-cultural perspective, global DEI, feminism, leadership, and social/professional bias.

Heba Qatrani

Heba Qatrani is a student leader at Green River College, pursuing a career in law. She serves as President of the Arab Student Association, President of the Speech and Debate Society, and is an officer of the Muslim Student Association. With a passion and dedication for discussing current and cultural events, Heba works to foster connection and cultural awareness in her community.

Jessica Ramirez

Jessica Ramirez is a Higher Education Practitioner with ten years of experience in Student Life and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Jessica holds an Associates of Arts from Centralia College, a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communication Studies with a Minor in Diversity in Higher Education from Western Washington University, and a Master’s of Science in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Colorado State University. She seeks to share the theory of Cultural Wealth to students so they can realize the wealth that they bring with them into the spaces they occupy on campus. Jessica will share her own experience as a first generation, immigrant child, being Mexican American who grew up in rural America. She will also speak of the experience of navigating her experiences in the education system to the full circle of working in higher education.

Samora Covington, PsyD

Samora Covington, PsyD, is a Clinical Psychologist, Psychology Professor here at Highline College, and Founder of Liberated Radiance Restorative Healing Services. With a passion for utilizing the creative arts to promote healing and liberation, Dr. Covington’s philosophy of care integrates expressive arts with liberation psychology. Creating decolonized, culturally affirming, and liberating spaces for healing are amongst her core values and goals. These frameworks align with her view of people as intrinsically linked and relational beings striving for meaningful awareness, balance, and connection in life. Through various modalities and healing practices, she works with individuals and organizations to help folks access their higher selves and delve into their personal narratives. Dr. Covington also serves as a mental health expert on a participatory action research team that developed THRIVE—a theater-based mental wellness program to build social emotional learning skills for middle and high school students. Lastly, Dr. Covington is a nationally certified Mental Health First Aid facilitator, having trained hundreds of community members in recognizing and supporting folks living with mental health challenges.


Highline College is located at:

2400 South 240 Street, Des Moines, WA 98198

All Summit sessions will take place on the first floor of the Highline Sudent Union (Building 8)

View campus map →

Please email us if you have any questions.