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Empowerment, health focus of Women’s Leadership Conference

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Leaders in areas such business, education and nonprofits will share stories about personal and career success during the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s 2022 Women’s Leadership Conference.

It will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 24, at the Student Union. UL Lafayette’s Office for Campus Diversity will host the conference, which is in its 15th year. It is designed to empower women, provide opportunities for networking, and recognize several for longstanding success.

The conference is held in conjunction with national Women’s History Month. The theme for Women’s History Month this year is “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.” Speakers and breakout sessions for the Women’s Leadership Conference will emphasize physical and mental health. Topics such as autonomy, education, leadership, and professional development will also be covered.

Hang Thi Yen Black, Dr. Valin S. Jordan and Angela Morrison will be featured speakers.
Each have long track records of “encouraging and uplifting women, are incredibly successful and know their worth, but are amazingly humble,” said Kiwana McClung, the University’s interim chief diversity officer.

Black’s career began as a process engineer at Advanced Micro Devices, where she earned multiple patents in semiconductor manufacturing. She was also technical marketing engineer for Cisco before starting her own company as a sales and marketing consultant.

Black speaks internationally about topic such as sales and leadership and is the author of “Embrace Your Edge.” In the book, Black, a Vietnamese immigrant, shares her story of overcoming adversity to become a tenacious woman, mother and Silicon Valley leader.

Dr. Valin S. Jordan, an academic and social justice educator, is the founder of Yoga4SocialJustice. The organization provides workshops combining yoga practices and social justice work to support transformative change.

She is the national director of learning with the non-profit Sponsors of Educational Opportunity. Jordan began her career as an elementary special education teacher in New York City. From 2017-2020, she was an assistant professor of diversity education at UL Lafayette.

Morrison is community development manager for Meritus Credit Union. She has held positions with the Lafayette Parish School System, United Way of Acadiana, Lafayette Consolidated Government and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Acadiana.

Morrison serves on the UL Lafayette Alumni Association’s Past President’s Council. She is also a board member for Inclusiv, One Acadiana, the Hospice of Acadiana Foundation and Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center. The Lafayette City-Parish Council appointed

Morrison a trustee for the Lafayette Public Trust Financing Authority, and recognized her as a Woman of Excellence.

Three women will be recognized during the conference’s awards presentations.

The Sarah Brabant Trailblazer Award recognizes a leader’s longstanding contributions to her community and profession. It was established to honor Brabant’s commitment to advancing women’s equity. She is professor emeritus of sociology at UL Lafayette.

The Emerging Leader and Rising Leader awards will each be given to a woman who has made substantial contributions to advancing gender equity because of their dedication, and ability to collaborate and provide inspirational leadership. The awards recognize, respectively, women at the middle and early stages of their careers.

A “Wellness Walk” will be held in conjunction with the Women’s Leadership Conference. That event will take place from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 26, at Cajun Field. The event is open to anyone who registers to participate.

Learn more about UL Lafayette’s 2022 Women’s Leadership Conference and how to register.

Caption: Dr. Valin S. Jordan, Hang Thi Yen Black and Angela Morrison will be featured speakers during the upcoming Women’s Leadership Conference hosted by UL Lafayette’s Office for Campus Diversity. Image credit: University of Louisiana at Lafayette