WWU's Sislena Ledbetter to keynote the 22nd Annual Women of Color Empowerment Dinner May 11

The 22nd Annual Women of Color Empowerment Dinner (WOCED) will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, May 11, in the VU Multipurpose Room.

The event theme is centered on wellbeing and includes a line from Maya Angelou’s poem, Phenomenal Woman, “I’m a woman phenomenally.” The event will begin with a variety of wellness tables from 5-6 p.m., followed by a buffet dinner, keynote speakers, student performers, and scholarship and award presentations.

The 22nd Annual Women of Color Empowerment Dinner (WOCED) will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, May 11, in the VU Multipurpose Room.

The WOCED is a signature annual event that highlights the voices and experiences of women of color who help to strengthen the WWU campus. At this event women learn about themselves on a deeper level through shared struggles, triumphs, and experiences. Together they lift each other up to achieve their goals.

All funds raised at the event go to the WOCED scholarship endowment.  An annual scholarship and award will be presented at the event.  Learn more about the scholarship and award at https://wp.wwu.edu/woced/.

This year’s keynote speaker is Sislena Grocer Ledbetter, a social psychologist, researcher, lecturer, author, and life coach. She received a bachelor's degree in psychology from North Carolina Central University and her master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology from Howard University.  Her post-graduate studies include educational leadership training at Georgetown University Graduate School of Professional Studies and Harvard University Graduate School of Education. She has received several fellowships and internships, including an internship during the Clinton administration.

Western's Sislena Ledbetter will keynote this year's dinner.

Ledbetter has held many higher education leadership roles, including assistant professor of Psychology, executive director of Counseling, Health and Wellness, director of Counseling and Student Development, and associate vice president of Student Development. She's written and attracted millions of dollars in grant funds for behavioral health issues addressing HIV-AIDS, substance abuse, suicide prevention, and domestic violence.

As the Associate Vice President of Counseling, Health, and Wellbeing at Western Washington University, Ledbetter led the institutional adoption of the Okanagan Charter. For almost 10 years, she was the host of the DC Cable Television program "A Healthy Mind," where she interviewed guests on wellbeing and mental health topics. Her research interests include exploring wellbeing, power, and leadership for women of color at home and in the workplace and exploring factors that enhance healthy intimate relationships in the Black community.

Please join us on Thursday, May 11 at 6 p.m. as we hear Sislena Ledbetter’s powerful and inspirational keynote address.

Tickets will be available soon at tickets.wwu.edu.

If you are unable to attend, please support by donating to the scholarship at https://wp.wwu.edu/woced/scholarships/.

To learn more about the Women of Color Empowerment Dinner, contact Joan Ullin, WOCED Chair, ullinj@wwu.edu or at 360-650-7443.