Empowering workshops offered during Women’s History Month

Sarah Webb

Sarah Webb

The Pacific community will explore new perspectives, learn strategies for personal and professional growth and honor the achievements of women on campus and in our community through a series of engaging speakers and workshops in celebration of Women’s History Month.

The robust lineup begins March 2 with a presentation by Sarah Webb, a scholar and founder of Colorism Healing. Webb created the global initiative in 2013 to raise awareness and find solutions for colorism—the systemic oppression of people with darker skin tones. 

“A lot of people still don’t know or understand what colorism is,” Webb said. “Some have never heard of it, and others severely underestimate the significance, the scope and the stakes of colorism as a global, cross-cultural problem. 

“My first mission is to always be raising and expanding that awareness. In this talk, I’ll also help people reflect on their experiences, biases and attitudes around skin color and how we can all start creating change from the inside out.”

Webb has been featured by media around the country, including Forbes, regional NPR stations and Fox Soul TV. Her presentation will be held in the Presidents Room at 5:30 p.m. 

Two other signature events will take place March 25 in the DeRosa University Center ballroom: The Women’s Empowerment Conference and Women of Distinction Awards.

The conference will bring together women, non-binary and transgender people from all experiences and backgrounds.

“This event is designed to inspire and empower attendees through an enriching series of programs and activities,” said Mario Enriquez, director of the Center for Identity and Inclusion. “We hope it serves as a catalyst for students and community members to make positive changes in their personal lives and communities.” 

The university’s annual Women of Distinction Awards will be presented during the conference. The awards recognize trailblazing students, faculty, staff and community members who have advanced gender equity and demonstrated exceptional leadership.

The conference is free for Pacific students and $30 for all others. Registration is now open.

ASuop, Pacific’s student governing body, will present a series of films including “Aftersun” on March 3, “Women Talking” on March 10, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” on March 24 and “She Said” on March 31. All films will be shown at 8 p.m. in the Janet Leigh Theater on the Stockton Campus.

"This year’s selections touch on both the artistic singularity of female driven storytelling and the issues that women face across societies today and in recent memory," said Jose Flores-Jimenez, ASuop director of diversity, equity and inclusion. "The films selected are all major independent releases from last year directed by female filmmakers, including three historical dramas ("Women Talking," "Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody" and "She Said") and our month’s opening film, the semi-autobiographical, "Aftersun."

"What the DEI team hopes audiences will take away from these selections is a deeper appreciation of the "female gaze," an enthusiasm about the careers of the filmmakers highlighted and understanding of the urgency in the ongoing fight for women's rights and what that looks like today."

Two additional events are focused on women in the workforce. A panel of Pacific alumnae will share their experiences as Asian, Pacific Islander and Desi women in a virtual event March 6 from 5 to 6 p.m. Women and other underrepresented groups can learn how to celebrate personal and professional achievements in a workshop on March 8 at 5:30 p.m. in the William Knox Holt Memorial Library and Learning Center. 

The workshop is part of a Google initiative called “I am Remarkable,” which was created to overcome cultural or gender expectations that may prevent people from self-promotion—a major hurdle in closing the leadership gap.

See the calendar for the full schedule of events.