Young Educated Ladies Leading

Young Educated Ladies Leading

Each Wednesday in May, 2021, 1 – 4 p.m. via Zoom

Y.E.L.L. Presents: Moving from Listening to Action: White-Identified Young Women Advocating for Change



Moving Into Our Essence. #Passion #Purpose #Power


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.

View proceedings from the 2019 and 2018 Summits

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We acknowledge that students may be overwhelmed with virtual school and we’re asking them to attend the summit during the school day.

As an incentive for attending the summit series, students will have the opportunity to earn two college credits (College 100: College Success Seminar). Students must attend all five days to be eligible to receive college credit. More details will be sent out after registration opens. We are hopeful that this opportunity will encourage the young women to attend all days of the summit and we’re especially thankful for the schools supporting this event and the students attending.

May 5: Theme — I’m Speaking

1:00 - 1:15pm Welcome
1:15 - 2:30pm Keynote: Rosa Clemente w/ Q&A
Moving into our Essence: The Power of Community Activism and Organizing

This interactive keynote will provide a history of select social justice movements of the last 50 years. It will show how building movements provide space for people to work together for a common social, political and cultural goal. Weaving the personal narrative of Rosa’s 25 years of organizing and engaging in scholar activism, it will outline how we move from social media moments and viral hashtags to building decentralized movements centering women, girls and LGBTQ people. What is needed for an idea to be transformed from an idea of the few to the idea of many? How do we build movements that are non-hierarchical? How do we make sure these organizing efforts are inclusive of the multiple identities that we all carry? The keynote will also provide tools that we should use to inspire and engage young people to become community activists and organizers, no matter where they reside.

2:30 - 2:45pm BREAK
2:45 - 3:45pm Panel: Women in Politics Panel
View more about this session

This session will be a panel on politics that will include some of Washington state's most influential women of color in state and national congress. US Representative Marilyn Strickland, WA. Representative My-Linh Thai, WA Senator T'wina Nobles, Shukri Olow, Community Organizer and Candidate for King County Council District 5, and Cynthia Delostrinos Johnson, Tukwila Councilmember will be live to share their stories and answer questions during an inspiring panel.

3:45 - 4:00pm Closing

Speaker Bios

Rosa Clemente

Rosa Alicia Clemente is an organizer, independent journalist, producer and scholar activist. A Black Puerto Rican born and raised in the Bronx, NY she has dedicated her life to organizing, scholarship and activism. From Cornell to prisons, Rosa is one of her generations leading scholars on the issues of Black-Latinx identity. Rosa is the president and founder of Know Thy Self Productions, which has produced seven major community activism tours and consults on issues such as hip-hop feminism, media justice, voter engagement among youth of color, third party politics, United States political prisoners and the right of Puerto Rico to become an independent nation free of United States colonial domination. She is a frequent guest on television, radio and online media, as her opinions on critical current events are widely sought after. Her groundbreaking article, “Who is Black?”, published in 2001, was the catalyst for many discussions regarding Black political and cultural identity in the Latinx community. She is creator of PR (Puerto Rico) On the Map, an independent, unapologetic, Afro-Latinx centered media collective founded in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. She is currently completing her PH.D at the W.E.B. DuBois Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Rosa was the first ever Afro-Latina women to run for Vice-President of the United States in 2008 on the Green Party ticket. She and her running mate, Cynthia McKinney, were to this date the only women of color ticket in American history. On January 8th, 2018 Rosa and 6 other women of color organizers joined actresses from Hollywood as part of the Times Up initiative and the #metoo movement. Rosa was the guest of Oscar winner Susan Sarandon and stated that evening, “We are human beings who deserve the right to dignity, whether we are working on a Hollywood set, or working at Wal-Mart, whether we’re a mother in the South Bronx, or a mother in Beverly Hills. So, we are here not only to walk the red carpet we are here to work the red carpet and give voice to the many millions of women who are often marginalized.” Recently Rosa was a producer for the Warner Brother movie Judas and the Black Messiah (release date 2021) produced by Ryan Coogler, Charles King and written and directed by Shaka King. Rosa was instrumental in getting both Fred Hampton Jr. and his mother, Akua Njeri on board. The movie is inspired by true events of the life of Illinois Black Panther Party chairman and eventual assassination carried out by the Chicago police and the FBI on December 4th, 1969 in Chicago.

T’wina Nobles

Sen. T’wina Nobles represents the 28th Legislative District, which includes the cities of Fircrest, Lakewood, Steilacoom, Dupont, University Place, Tacoma, Anderson Island, Ketron Island, McNiel Island, as well as Joint Base Lewis McChord. Sworn into office in 2021, she is the first Black state senator to serve in a decade. Sen. Nobles brings two decades of experience in education and community leadership to her role as vice chair of the Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee as well as vice chair of the Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee. She also sits on the Transportation Committee and the Behavioral Health Subcommittee. Education has been central to Sen. Nobles’s life. She attended Tacoma Community College before transferring to the University of Puget Sound, where she earned her undergraduate degree as well as a Master of Arts in Teaching. She then taught at Stadium High School and Lincoln High School. Since 2016, Sen. Nobles has served on the University Place School Board, where she has worked to make sure every voice is heard and every child succeeds, by focusing on equity, inclusion, and transparency. As a state senator, Sen. Nobles remains committed to creating and supporting legislation that emulates the shared values of the 28th Legislative District. She has used her experience to address the pressing issue of broadband access to ensure all students can have access; she is also passionate about creating opportunities for community to access continued learning. Sen. Nobles plans to focus this session on the issues that concerns her constituents, such as housing stabilization, environmental justice, and accessible transportation. Sen. Nobles originally moved to the 28th Legislative District when her family was stationed at Joint Base Lewis McChord (formerly Fort Lewis). She now resides in Fircrest with her family, and has lived in the district for nearly two decades.

My-Linh Thai

State Representative My-Linh Thai (D, LD 41, Position 2) is a former Bellevue School District President, a healthcare professional, and an award-winning PTSA parent who is committed to improving education, opportunity, and quality of life for all Washingtonians. At the age of 15, My-Linh Thai immigrated to Washington state as a Vietnamese refugee with her family. She graduated with honors from Federal Way High School and from the University of Washington School of Pharmacy. She is proud to be the first refugee elected to serve in the Washington State House of Representatives. Rep. Thai is a passionate education advocate who is committed to ensuring equity and access for all. This commitment springs both from the early support she herself received as a student, and as the parent of two children who currently attend Bellevue schools. Prior to serving in her current role, she has served as a PTSA parent volunteer and received the Washington State PTA Outstanding Advocate Award in 2013. She was elected as the School Board Director for the Bellevue School District, and later elected by her fellow Board Directors to serve as Vice President of the Washington State School Board Directors Association (WSSDA) in 2017. Rep. Thai is the Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus. She also serves on the Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee, Finance Committee, Housing, Human Services, & Veterans Committee, and the Rules Committee.

Marilyn Strickland

Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland proudly represents Washington’s 10th Congressional District, which covers Pierce County, Thurston County and parts of Mason County. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Strickland is the first African-American to represent Washington State at the federal level, and one of the first Korean-American women elected to Congress in its 230-year history. Raised in the South Sound, Strickland graduated from Tacoma Public Schools and earned her B.A. in Sociology from the University of Washington. She went on to earn an MBA from Clark-Atlanta University, a Historically Black College and University. Strickland’s father, who fought in World War II and Korea, met her mother while he was stationed in Korea after the war. Strickland’s parents endured discrimination and hardships that she could never imagine. They wanted her to have opportunities they were denied and taught her to work hard, fight for what’s right, serve the community, and to stand up for the underdog. Those values continue to inspire Congresswoman Strickland every day as she advocates for Washington’s 10th Congressional District in Congress. Prior to Strickland’s election to Congress, she served as Mayor of Tacoma, where she helped transform a city and economy crippled by a deep recession into a destination for families, workers, artists, tourists and entrepreneurs. In addition to attracting over $1 billion in investment for housing and businesses, she was instrumental in investing over $500 million in infrastructure for roads, bridges, transportation, and the Port, creating over 40,000 new jobs in the Tacoma region. A firm believer that there is dignity in all work, Strickland led successful efforts to raise the minimum wage and pass paid sick leave, paving the way for statewide action. Her city-wide Environmental Action Plan set goals to improve our air, water, and health. She launched an award-winning summer jobs program for high school students that led to the Tacoma Tideflats Certification Program, creating a pipeline for students to fill high-demand jobs in the maritime and construction trades. She and her team raised the high school graduation rate in Tacoma from 55% to 89% by making education a civic priority. Strickland was proud to stand with the LGBTQ community in support of Marriage Equality and transgender rights, and pass background checks for gun sales in Tacoma before statewide action. Strickland serves as a Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in addition to the House Armed Services Committee. She is also a Member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), the Bipartisan Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Caucus, Democratic Women's Caucus, and the New Democrat Coalition. Congresswoman Strickland resides in Tacoma, Washington with her husband.

Shukri Olow

Shukri Olow is a mother, a community organizer, a doctoral candidate, and a candidate for King County District 5 (covering the cities of Kent, SeaTac, Tukwila, Burien, Normandy Park, Des Moines and Renton). For the last 14 years, she has worked directly in service to the residents of South King County working on a variety of issues including housing, education and human services. She mentors youth through several programs, pushing the systems from the outside so that we can all get to collective liberation. She previously worked at Neighborhood House, Seattle Housing Authority, Seattle Public Schools and currently works at King County. In addition to serving on several boards like Kent Youth and Family Services, Kent YMCA, One America Votes, Somali Health Board, she is passionate about creating a pipeline for young people to access opportunities and provide exposure to new experiences. In the coming weeks and months, Shukri looks forward to hearing and actively listening. Most importantly, she is excited about the opportunity to co-create a platform with the community and center their voices and their valuable lived experiences.

Cynthia Delostrinos Johnson

Councilmember Delostrinos Johnson (Tukwila Councilmember, Council Position No. 4) is currently the Manager of the Supreme Court Commissions with the Administrative Office of the Courts. Her work focuses on statewide projects and policies related to addressing racial equity, gender equity, and language access in the courts. She received her law degree from Seattle University School of Law and her undergraduate degree from the University of Washington. Councilmember Delostrinos Johnson serves on the board of the Tukwila Children’s Foundation. She is also a board member of the Filipino Lawyers of Washington. She is passionate about mentoring students of color who are interested in pursuing careers in law, policy, and public service. Councilmember Delostrinos Johnson’s interests include: Public Safety and Justice; Racial Equity; Immigrant and Refugee Rights; Children, Youth and Families; Civic and Community Engagement; Affordable Housing; Economic and Community Development. Councilmember Delostrinos Johnson lives in Tukwila with her husband James and two sons.

May 12: Theme — Where the Money Reside$

1:00 - 1:15pm Welcome, Land Acknowledgment/Labor Acknowledgement, Expectations and Announcements
1:15 - 2:30pm Keynote: Mehrsa Baradaran
The Color of Money: Understanding the Racial Wealth Gap

When the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863, the black community owned less than one percent of the United States’ total wealth. More than 150 years later, that number has barely budged. The Color of Money pursues the persistence of this racial wealth gap by focusing on the generators of wealth in the black community: black banks. Studying these institutions over time, Mehrsa Baradaran challenges the myth that black communities could ever accumulate wealth in a segregated economy. Instead, housing segregation, racism, and Jim Crow credit policies created an inescapable, but hard to detect, economic trap for black communities and their banks. The catch-22 of black banking is that the very institutions needed to help communities escape the deep poverty caused by discrimination and segregation inevitably became victims of that same poverty. Not only could black banks not “control the black dollar” due to the dynamics of bank depositing and lending but they drained black capital into white banks, leaving the black economy with the scraps. Baradaran challenges the long-standing notion that black banking and community self-help is the solution to the racial wealth gap. These initiatives have functioned as a potent political decoy to avoid more fundamental reforms and racial redress. Examining the fruits of past policies and the operation of banking in a segregated economy, she makes clear that only bolder, more realistic views of banking’s relation to black communities will end the cycle of poverty and promote black wealth

2:30 - 2:45pm BREAK
2:45 - 3:45pm BIPOC Women Entrepreneurs
View session description

The Entrepreneurial spirit has been strong amongst women of color for centuries in this country and around the world. Here in our community, we also have many women of color entrepreneurs! In this session, we will host panel discussions where these entrepreneurs will share about their personal backgrounds, what inspires them, and how they use their special skill sets to bring something special to our community. The panelists work in a variety of fields including as artists, cooks, consultants, farming, fitness, personal wellness, and beauty. Bring your questions because they are here to share with you!

3:45 - 4:00pm Closing

Speaker Bios

Mehrsa Baradaran

Mehrsa Baradaran is a Professor of Law at UCI Law. She writes about banking law, financial inclusion, and racial inequality, and is the author of How the Other Half Banks and The Color of Money.

Arrionna Townsel

Arrionna Chinel considers herself The Artist and The Muse. She is a black, queer, self-taught multidisciplinary creative and model based in Washington state. She describes her style as "a little bit of everything." She has many passions that include: photography, fashion, poetry, graphic design, and community outreach. She emphasizes the idea of work is play and allows that to show through her work.

MeKayla Burnett

Kay Brittany is a multifaceted model with a plethora of skills within the fashion & Beauty industry. She boasts expertise in skincare, modeling and content curation. In May of 2020 she created Kay’s Coffee Scrub to introduce the world to a cruelty-free way to show love to your skin, using plant-based ingredients & coffee grounds. Kay has since been breaking barriers in beauty industry and does not plan to stop anytime soon.

LaShirrelle Fisher

Lashirrelle Fisher is the founder and owner of a cosmetics company called The Sugar Case. I love supporting and uplifting people, which is the foundation of my company. I created an amazing brand and small business of high-quality makeup and handmade bath treats. The Sugar Case brand is built on integrity, all of my products are paraben-free, cruelty-free, and made in the U.S.A.

Isabella Anderson

Isabella has been writing for the newspaper for four years now, and working as Editor-in-Chief for an accumulated two-to-three years. She is currently finishing up the last two classes for her Bachelors of Applied Science in Integrated Design degree, which focuses on Multi-Media. She is also a Type 1 Diabetic with ADHD, and has had to find creative ways to succeed throughout her life with these physical and mental obstacles. Isabella resides in Federal Way with her tiny, goofy looking, Pomeranian-Miniature Pinscher dog.

Erica Daniels

Erica Daniels is a Seattle based portrait, wedding and event photographer. Emazing Photography is a woman and minority owned small business.

Tiera Bates

Seattle’s own Tiera Bates is your go-to girl when it comes to fashion style and all things glamorous! Early memories of her mother delicately styling women's ministry events still fuel her passion today. Tiera would always follow her mom around observing every detail and happy to help her vision come to life. Tiera likes to reminiscence about times with her grandmother, Thursday was girl’s day, they would put on their best fashions and have a shopping day at Nordstrom‘s followed by a five-star steak dinner. She made sure Tiera was cultured and experienced beauty and luxury in every way. 2016 is when the "Divarocks" event journey began after hosting/styling her best friend's baby shower. That's when she realized her passion and love for events. Having worked many jobs in the hospitality industry to support her dreams, today Tiera is bringing her dreams to life as a mom and the go-getter that she is. She's passionate about showing her son that he can do anything he sets his mind on, including being an entrepreneur. Tiera's goal and satisfaction is to use her creative mind in bringing your event vision to life and enabling long-lasting memories.

Domonique Price

Domonique Price is an experienced attorney whose law firm, Price Law focuses on corporate, entertainment and charitable giving issues affecting small businesses, nonprofit organizations and influencers. Ms. Price got her start working as the youngest Attorney to advise an NBA team, the Portland Trailblazers, working on all of their corporate sponsorship, Intellectual Property monitoring and overall contract issues. With a personal goal to help educate not only her clients but her community on the importance of creating a legal legacy and creative ownership.

Aaliyah Janeé Freeman

Aaliyah Freeman, a recent University of Washington-Tacoma graduate with a BA in Business, is a young entrepreneur and blogger. She works with clients by providing fashion styling, lifestyle, health & fitness consulting, and social media management. Aaliyah can share with young women of color that balancing education, work life and personal passions can lead to success with determination, patience and faith in yourself.

Aigalesala Afalava

I am a licensed mental health therapist, I work with the Seattle YMCA as a therapist and I also have a private practice - New Hope Counseling PLLC. I am a mom of two boys and married to my best friend for 15 years. This year I will be starting my doctoral program at Northwest University.

LaTaunya Witherspoon

LaTaunya Witherspoon is a Certified Personal Trainer, Owner and Founder of SpoonFed Training in Renton, WA. She trains One-On-One, offers Small and Large Group Training Classes as well as a speed and agility class for kids ages 6-17. As an Alumni of Washington State University with a B.A. in Sociology and M.A. in Elementary Education, LaTaunya has always shared a passion for motivating and supporting others to live and share a healthier lifestyle.

Cynthia Nguyen

Cynthia is the Owner and Food Stylist behind Graze Together, a local small business that creates charcuterie and grazing arrangements for special celebrations within the Greater Seattle area. While making charcuterie boards started as a hobby and something Cynthia did for her family and friends, it quickly became a passion project that allowed her to be creative, build community, and bring people together. Prior to Graze Together, Cynthia worked as a Catering Coordinator and Event Planner coordinating corporate catering at Amazon. With a background in catering and events and now pursuing Graze Together, Cynthia truly believe there’s something so special in bringing people together over great food.

Shay Moore

I am a 21-year-old content creator from the small state of Arkansas. I am the only one in my small city and of local city’s in my area to ever reach the amount of following and social media exposure I have today and it sort of happened over night. I am a music lover, a big dreamer, and a hard worker.

Jasmyne Spencer

Jasmyne Spencer is a Long Island native and former All-American at the University of Maryland. She has been playing in the NWSL since its inception in 2013 and currently plays for the OL Reign. Jasmyne is a Board member for the newly founded Black Women's Player Collective. She is also the founder of Jas it Up, a sustainable lifestyle brand, whose mission is to uplift communities, empower the youth, and protect the environment.

Chera Amlag

Chera Amlag is founder and co-owner of Hood Famous Bakeshop and Hood Famous Cafe + Bar. Born in the Philippines, Chera immigrated to the US as a child and grew up in Bremerton, graduating from the University of Washington in 2002. A longtime community organizer with a career background in education, Chera co-founded the monthly Seattle Filipino pop-up dinner series Food & Sh*t in 2013, which featured her desserts. In 2014, Hood Famous Bakeshop spun off, evolving from pop-ups to wholesaling and catering, then opening its first brick-and-mortar location in Ballard in 2016. In 2019, Hood Famous Cafe + Bar opened in Chinatown-International District, which garnered Chera a 2020 James Beard Semi-Finalist nomination. She lives Seattle, with her husband and two children, continues to run Hood Famous Bakeshop alongside her team, and currently works with the City of Seattle.

Kerstin Torrescano

Kerstin is a Seattle born native who attended the University of Washington and received her BA in social work and then continued on to receive her master’s degree in social work from the University of Kentucky. Kerstin is a co-director of Team Awesome Basketball Leadership Academy (TABLA), which empowers girl athletes by developing communication, leadership, and advocacy skills through basketball. She sits on the board of directors for the Young Work Foundation and enjoys coaching girls AAU basketball in the local area.

May 19: Theme — #SayHerName

1:00 - 1:15pm Welcome, Land Acknowledgment/Labor Acknowledgement, Expectations and Announcements
1:15 - 2:30pm Keynote: Khurshida Begum
From Slavery to Bravery

Audience will learn more about the hidden crime of human trafficking in our own backyard.

2:30 - 2:45pm BREAK
2:45 - 3:45pm Indigenous Women Panel
More information on this panel to come

More information on this panel to come

3:45 - 4:00pm Closing

Speaker Bios

Khurshida Begum

Khurshida Begum is an authentic and powerful speaker who adapts her many life experiences into insightful and engaging presentations. Recognized for being vulnerable and brave, Khurshida has been a international keynote speaker bringing light to human trafficking and how we can prevent it.

Sui-Lan Ho'okano

The daughter of George Ho'okano and Lucille Fernandez-Fraticelli Sui-Lan Ho'okano is from the Island of Hawaii, Hilo and is Kanaka, Taino Indian, Puerto Rican, Africana, Chinese ancestry. Sui-Lan Ho'okano current journey is as the Cultural Program Director for the Enumclaw School District and works collectively with the surrounding Indigenous communities, districts, and educational institutions. Sui-Lan is an alumni of University of Hilo Hawaii. Sui-Lan has over 25 years working collectively with community locally, nationally, and globally in honoring and reestablishing understanding of Indigenous pedagogical pathways, cultural wealth, and its traditional shared values in education.

Lydia Moira Faitalia

Talofa and Malo e lelei, my name is Lafaitele Lydia Faitalia; I am Samoan and Tongan. I am the Kina'ole and King County Against Hate and Bias Program Manager for United Indians of All Tribes Foundation. I am working towards being #AGOODANCESTOR.

Diana Luz Morales Alvarez

Diana Morales is a P'urhépecha artist born in Santa Cruz Tanaco, Michoacan, Mexico raised in Santa Ana, California unceded Tongva territory. She is the creator of Arte es Medicina a digital platform dedicated to sharing P'urhépecha oral stories and collective efforts through art. Diana creates her artwork to celebrate and bring visibility to P'urhépecha communities in the diaspora. As an artist, Diana believes creative work is powerful and sacred. Reimagining our world and strengthening our collective memory through visual art is medicine.

Samara Almonte

Samara Almonte is a first-generation Chicana born in the United States, with a transnational upbringing between her ancestral home of Michoacán, Mexico and occupied Coast Salish territory, or what is known as Western Washington state. Samara holds a B.A in Urban Planning and Sustainability Development, with a specialization in Environmental Justice and Education, from Western Washington University. Samara is the creator and host of the storytelling platform Raíces Verdes (Green Roots), which focuses on validating, archiving, and sharing the experiences of Black, Indigenous, People of Color in connection to the environment.

Joannie Romero

Joannie Romero is from the Pueblo of Cochiti, New Mexico. She serves as the Executive Director for Laguna Community Foundation and is the Founder of Corn Pollen Consulting, LLC. a 100% Native American, Woman-Owned Small Business. She is currently pursuing Doctorate of Education at the University of Washington. Joannie is also a wife and proud momma to four amazing children.

May 26: Theme — Reclaiming My Time

1:00 - 1:15pm Welcome, Land Acknowledgment/Labor Acknowledgement, Expectations and Announcements
1:15 - 2:30pm Keynote: Elle Ross
The Damaging Effects of Racism on Physical & Mental Health in Urban America

Black Americans in the U.S are subject to severe and persistent racial disparities in health coverage, chronic health conditions, mental health, and mortality. These disparities are not a result of individual or group behavior but decades of systematic inequality in American economic, housing, and health care systems. This presentation sheds light on some of the most persistent inequities facing African Americans or Black Americans dating since early slavery and some solutions we can implement. Alleviating health disparities will require a deliberate and sustained effort to address social determinants of health, such as poverty, segregation, environmental degradation, and racial discrimination. Greater awareness and knowledge of these disparities as a community is the first step to create change. Next we must work to educate others to implement new guidelines within our current health care systems. Making enough noise to get the attention of Congress. We have accomplished so much as a people, and we will continue to do so if we fight.

2:30 - 2:45pm BREAK
2:45 - 3:45pm Nicole Hoyes Wilson
Reclaiming our mental and emotional health as an act of resistance

Being a young woman of color while trying to navigate systems not designed for you, is challenging to one’s body, mind, and soul. This past year and half of COVID and social injustice has only added to this reality. Racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of oppression are traumatic. Finding hope and reclaiming our mental and emotional health in the midst of struggle is an act of resistance. During this interactive session we will explore a variety of strategies and resources for health and healing. We will learn about mindfulness practices, wellness apps and websites, community resources, and other forms of healing that you can incorporate into your daily life.

3:45 - 3:50pm “Freedom” Spoken word by Tia Nache' Yarbrough
3:50 - 4:00pm Closing

Speaker Bios

Elle Ross

Elle is a best-selling author of two books: "The Blueprint" and "The Habit Reset"; branding and marketing coach with a passion for all things fitness, nutrition and wellness. Founder of B-FIT with Elle & The Brand Trainers. Prior to starting her own businesses she was jobless and led an unhealthy lifestyle. Since then Elle transformed her life and spent years helping transform the lives of others through personal training and online fitness and nutrition coaching. She now teaches others how to master their success habits so they can thrive in their life and their business.

Nicole Hoyes Wilson

Nicole Hoyes Wilson currently serves as a Faculty Counselor at Highline College. In addition to providing leadership for the counseling center, she also provides individual mental health counseling, outreach, and education to the Highline community. She has a passion for social justice, building community, and helping others reach their goals and find healing. Much of her work has focused on the intersections of oppression and mental health; namely, the impacts of racial trauma, sexism, and homophobia on one’s sense of self. Nicole is originally from Washington and grew up in Puyallup and Federal Way. Nicole earned a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English and Social Work from Pacific Lutheran University, her Masters of Social Work (M.S.W.) with an emphasis on multi-ethnic practice from the University of Washington, and most recently her Masters of Education (MEd) in Community Counseling from Seattle University. Prior to becoming a counselor, she worked as a case manager for families experiencing homelessness and domestic violence. In addition, she has over 20 years of student affairs experience at Everett Community College in the Diversity & Equity Center, and most recently at Seattle University.

Tia Nache' Yarbrough

Proudly born and raised in South Seattle’s Rainier Valley, Tia Nachѐ is a dynamic and influential Spoken- Word Artist and educator. A self-proclaimed “Church Kid,” Tia’s performances are powerful spiritual encounters. Drawing from her background of growing up in the “Black Church”, and passion for Social Justice, she leaves audiences awed and longing for more. Whether it's writing tributary poems for Gospel Greats, sharing stages with National Recording artist, or rubbing shoulders with other Social Media influencers, Tia Nachѐ transforms any space with her creative poetic style. A local Seattle Public School Vice-Principal, a community organizer, a wife and mother. Tia Nachѐ is slated to release her first children’s book and collection of poems this spring.


Register now for the 2021 Y.E.L.L. Conference »

Please email us or call (206) 592-3301 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 topicspect, 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 Rashad Norris 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.