The Women of Color Task Force is excited to host its 41st annual career conference this year on March 3, 2023. Pre-registration is required to participate in all events and sessions. Morning conference sessions will be presented virtually. The keynote luncheon and afternoon sessions will be in-person at the Michigan Union. All session times are in Eastern Standard Time Zone.
The keynote presentation will take place at 12:00 pm EST at a luncheon in the Rogel Ballroom at the Michigan Union. Please review the information below for workshop descriptions, speaker details, and the full conference schedule.
Please ask your supervisor for professional development leave now so that you may attend this valuable conference opportunity!
All U-M staff, faculty, students, and the public, regardless of gender or ethnicity, are invited to register to attend this inclusive professional development event.
The deadline to register is February 28th, at 12:00 pm EST.
Friday, March 3, 2023
Ritu Bhasin [RIH-thoo bah-SEEN], LL.B., MBA is the CEO and Founder of bhasin consulting inc. (bci) and an award-winning speaker, author and internationally recognized expert in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), authentic leadership, anti-racism, and personal empowerment for people from equity-seeking communities.
Since 2010, Ritu has worked with hundreds of top organizations and senior leadership teams around the world, and as a professional speaker, she has presented to hundreds of thousands of people globally. Ritu is also a certified cultural competence coach and a certified neuro-strategies coach who has personally coached over a thousand people, and very shortly she will complete a trauma professional certification program. As a passionate advocate for authenticity, inclusion and empowerment, Ritu has won numerous awards for her work, including SUCCESS Magazine’s Women of Influence Award, The Women’s Center Leadership Award, the South Asian Bar Association (SABA) Diversity Award and the City of Toronto’s William P. Hubbard Award for Race Relations. She regularly appears on national television and radio in the U.S. and Canada as an expert on leadership, inclusion, personal empowerment, authenticity, and antiracism.
Ritu’s Amazon-bestselling book, The Authenticity Principle, was released in the fall of 2017. She is also the co-author of the ground-breaking research study, Sponsor Effect: Canada, with the Center for Talent Innovation (now Coqual), which examines the experiences that People of Color, Indigenous peoples, and women have with advocacy and sponsorship in the workplace. She is currently writing her second book, which is slated to be released in 2023.
Before founding bci, Ritu spent ten years in the legal profession, first as a civil litigator and then as the director of legal talent for the preeminent Canadian law firm, Stikeman Elliott LLP.
Ritu, who is also a yoga and mindfulness teacher and practitioner, lives in Toronto, Canada, but travels all over the world to eat, swim, hike, dance, and work.
Jessica Burmeister is a Sr. Financial Consultant at TIAA, a Fortune 100 financial services organization, a Fortune 100 financial services organization and leading provider of asset management and retirement services for the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.
In her role as a Senior Financial Consultant at TIAA, Jessica is focused on helping participants plan for their financial well-being and retirement readiness. She meets with employees one-on-one and provides personalized counseling, education and advice, including specific asset allocation and fund selection recommendations based on the plan’s investment options.
Jessica began her financial services career in 2006 and has been with TIAA since 2012. She serves our institutional clients in the State of Michigan from the local Ann Arbor TIAA office. She serves the following institutions: University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University and Albion College.
Jessica holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Finance from Central Michigan University and a Master of Business Administration from Eastern Michigan University. She holds FINRA Series 7, 63, and 65 registrations while maintaining Life, Health and Variable Annuity licenses from the States of Michigan, Ohio and Florida.
Dr. Patricia Coleman-Burns is a University of Michigan Assistant Professor Emerita of Nursing and affiliated faculty in DAAS. PCB began her career in the 70s studying Black & Black Women’s social movements. Appointed by former Dean of the UM School of Nursing Rhetaugh Dumas in 1991 as director of the Office of Minority Affairs; and trended renaming administrative centers as “Offices of Multicultural Affairs”. She founded the GENESIS Projects (1999 – 2011), creating “peer facilitated study groups” and residential boot camps for the recruitment and retention of persons from economically and educationally disadvantaged populations into nursing. After receiving her BA at Wayne State University in 1969, she worked for Motown Records in Detroit from 1969-1972 in public relations before resuming studies that culminated in her MA (1976) and PhD (1987) degrees in communication and rhetorical criticism at WSU. A long-time advocate for the right of all persons, and specifically women and their children, to be free from gender oppression, age discrimination, sexism, racism, and domestic violence, she has served as President of the Board of Directors of the Women’s Justice Center in Detroit and Member (1989-1994), Board of Directors and Executive Board, Washtenaw County SafeHouse Center, Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Prevention and Crisis Services, Ann Arbor, MI. (2011-2017).
Her scholarship focuses on intersecting identities across safe policing, social justice, health equity, social determinants of health, and health promotion and disease prevention. Her research and science center on community impact and access of citizens to evidence based knowledge and skills. She conducts workshops on anti-racism and anti-Blackness narratives & schemas; microaggressions across intra-personal, interpersonal, institutional and cultural domains; and “accomplices & co-conspirator” interventions. She collectively developed the EPIC Model of Giving and Receiving Feedback for empowering people to self-advocate in the process of obtaining skills and competencies in challenging dialogues.
Vance K. Jackson, Jr. serves in the Mayor’s Office as a Social Impact Development Officer. In this role, he serves on a 5-member Development team that has raised more than $1 Billion Dollars in public, private, philanthropic, and corporate investment.
In his role, he integrates his background in Banking and Philanthropy to advise government leaders, corporate executives, and philanthropic leaders on the implementation and execution of Mayoral priorities to strategically serve the residents of the City of Detroit.
Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office in 2018, Vance served more than a decade at J.P. Morgan, where his financial career spanned across the breadth of the global bank. In his last role, he served in J.P. Morgan’s Commercial Bank—Middle Market Treasury, where he specialized in constructing Global Treasury solutions for Multi-National Middle Market Corporations with annual revenues ranging from $100 Million – $2 Billion, as a Treasury Analyst of J.P. Morgan’s Michigan Middle Market Treasury Team.
Prior to advancing to the Commercial Bank, Vance served as a Wealth Management Vice President—Financial Advisor, where he managed a multi-million dollar investment book of business. In this role he led, developed, and coached investment sales teams to provide a vast array of investment solutions for clientele across the Detroit market.
Vance has been fortunate to serve as an Executive Board Member for several National Non-profit and For-profit organizations. Currently, Vance serves as a National Board Member on the For-Profit ‘Emerging Leaders Advisory Board’ of Huntington Bank a $150 Billion Publicly-Traded Bank where he advises on industry insights, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) recommendations, and strategic execution of National Banking strategy.
Vance K. Jackson, Jr. holds a Bachelor’s Degree and Masters of Social Work (MSW) from the University of Michigan — Ann Arbor, and currently serves on the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work Alumni Board of Governors as one of the School’s Board Members. Vance is married to Nina Jackson, for more than 13 years and they reside in Detroit, MI with their 2 children.
Marlana Landeros is responsible for developing initiatives and practices designed to lead and promote a diverse and inclusive workforce in the Division of Public Safety & Security (DPSS), at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Among her core responsibilities, she advises leadership about strategic diversity, inclusive planning efforts and is responsible for the overall design, implementation and management of DPSS student programs.
Marlanna is also an adjunct lecturer at the University of Michigan School of Social Work and Schoolcraft College. She is passionate about serving students and providing them with tools and resources to maximize their potential. Her goal is to widen the array of student experiences that promote leadership development.
Marlanna serves as a board/council member in numerous organizations that support education, social work and the success of women and women of color. Marlanna holds a master of social work and bachelor degree in sociology from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
Terrence G. Quinn is an expert in estate planning, probate, and elder law throughout the state of Michigan. He trains lawyers on a national level how to navigate the many ins and outs of this practice of law. Terrence attended the University of Michigan where he fulfilled his life-long dream of playing football for the Wolverines when he became a starter for 1997 University of Michigan Championship football team. He graduated Law School in 2002. Since 2015, the National Black Lawyers have consistently named Terrence among the Top 100 Black Attorneys in Michigan. He was also named among their Top 40 Under 40. Terrence also serves as a contributor, speaker, and faculty member for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education’s (ICLE) Probate and Estate Planning Institute and ICLE’s Elder Law Institute. In addition, he serves on the executive board of ICLE’s executive committee. Terrence has also served on the State Bar’s character and fitness committee.
Terrence is dedicated to spreading the message and awareness of estate planning: “What you don’t know can actually hurt you!” He understands that by providing sound counsel on proper estate planning, such as building a trust and selecting powers of attorney, his clients can protect their assets from probate court and keep their loved ones in charge of financial and medical decisions. He believes in treating people well; that all deserve the peace of mind knowing that their material assets and their loved ones will be taken care of in their absence. Through sharing his personal experiences of starting his own firm during the recession of 2008, his extensive knowledge, and his charismatic presence, he captivates audiences with engaging and informative disquisitions.
Mishelle Rodriguez, PhD has more than 12 years of experience providing counseling in university counseling centers, community mental health settings and private practice. She is often sought out by clients who are reluctant to try counseling (including people of color, men, athletes, and survivors of complex trauma). Mishelle is passionate about working with clients through times of intense difficulty, as well as everyday stressors and goals for growth. Her areas of specialization include family of origin issues, relationship concerns, self-esteem, perfectionism, sport psychology, multicultural issues, and trauma.
Mishelle approaches counseling from a relational cultural perspective, with the goal of understanding each client as a whole person, with an appreciation for their intersecting identities, relationships, roles, and the environments they are navigating. She is trained in multiple approaches that promote healing and growth by focusing on the brain-body connection, including Brainspotting and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. She integrates tools like self-compassion, shame resilience and mindfulness with other therapeutic frameworks including Dialectical Behavioral (DBT) and Acceptance and Commitment (ACT). Mishelle is also a Certified Daring Way™ facilitator. She uses the The Daring Way™ methodology, based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown, to help individuals, work teams, and organizational leaders examine the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that are holding them back and identify the new choices and practices that will move them toward living and leading more authentically.
Mishelle served two years as the president of the Metro Detroit chapter of the Association of Black Psychologists. She is the founder of The Melanin Collective, an organization that serves as an online educational resource and host of local events for Black mental health and well-being. Through The Melanin Collective she is able to utilize her passion for incorporating Black films, television shows, music and art as a tool for opening up discussions about Black mental health concerns, and bringing the Black community together to use its internal strengths and wisdom for healing and growth. Mishelle does training and speaking engagements related to Black mental health, cultural trauma, self-care for activists, stress related to the socio-political climate, trauma-informed counseling, and multicultural consciousness/competence.
Kim C. Lijana, PhD, leads the University of Michigan’s Center for Educational Outreach. She is responsible for supporting and advancing U-Ms commitment to pre-college learners and under-served schools in the state of Michigan. Dr. Lijana is passionate about providing life-changing opportunities for students and has developed a strong track record for increasing post-secondary education access and success for low-income, first generation, and underrepresented students.
Dr. Lijana holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Miami University, a Master of Arts in Teaching from The John Hopkins University, and a PhD in Higher Education from the University of Michigan. She also co-authored two books, Left Behind: Urban High Schools and the Failure of Market Reform and Using Action Inquiry in Engaged Research: An Ongoing Guide.
WCTF extends special thanks to TIAA, our Platinum Plus corporate sponsor, for its generous support of the 2023 Women of Color Task Force Conference.
The 41st Annual WCTF Career Conference is organized in partnership with the Office Of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) and the following schools, colleges, and units who demonstrate their strong commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and staff development through their support of this conference:
With additional support from:
U-M Precision Health
U-M School of Social Work
U-M Taubman Institute
The Women of Color Task Force appreciates the support of our conference attendees, presenters, and volunteers. Your participation ensures the success of this event. We also acknowledge our U-M and community sponsors for their special contributions to the annual career conference and our other professional development activities.
The Women of Color Task Force (WCTF) is a University of Michigan staff organization, founded in 1979, that provides professional development, networking, mentoring, and training opportunities for employees, with a focus on addressing the needs of women of color staff.
For more than 40 years, the WCTF has served as a support network and a forum for the exchange of information about the status of women of color staff at the University of Michigan.
For additional information about joining WCTF or participating in its staff development events, please contact Robin Pankey, WCTF Program Coordinator via email at WCTFfirstname.lastname@example.org.