• Sun

    The Power of the Sisterhood

    2:00 PM - 6:00 PM

    URU The Right to Be Presents

    “Building Bridges – The Power of Sisterhood”


    Building Bridges – The Power of the Sisterhood is a two-day forum designed to advance all women in STEM professions via a multicultural, cross-disciplinary group strategy. This is an opportunity for accomplished women in STEM to critically examine their professional experiences and explore ally-building across racial-ethnic and cultural groups. The goals include creating a “virtual work group” to benchmark progress, define success and continue the conference’s work.

    This gathering will explore how White women can harness their individual skills, experiences, strengths and gifts into a collective effort with Black and brown women; an effort that will connect and empower the entire spectrum of STEM professions as a whole and helps all women in STEM advocate for one another.



    Christie Sahley

    Professor, Associate Head and Office of the Provost, Purdue University

    Laura Bottomley, Ph.D.

    Director, Women in Engineering and The Engineering Place, North Carolina State University

    Dr. Laura Bottomley is a Teaching Associate Professor in the Colleges of Engineer and Education at NC State University and the Director of Women in Engineering (WIE) and The Engineering Place (TEP) for K-20 Outreach. Under Bottomley, NC State’s Women in Engineering program is successfully boosting the number of women engineers in academia and industry. Dr. Bottomley has served on the National Assessment of Educational Progress assessment for engineering and technological literacy, various IEEE extension projects and with the National Academy of Engineering to guide the Implementation of K-12 Engineering.

    Christiane Maertens

    National Geographic Exploror/Host IMAGINE IF Podcast

    Christiane Maertens has a palpable zest for life. For over 15 years, she has been building values-driven brands that create a positive impact around the world. At the Walt Disney Company, she pioneered the integration of STEM education throughout the enterprise. In 2017, she was named a National Geographic Explorer for hosting the original podcast Imagine If. At the NAAEE, Maertens built a professional team that facilitates the largest and most diverse environmental education network in the world.


    2:00 PM

    Meet And Greet (take Your Shoes Off And Hug A Sister), Light Refreshments

    • Broad topics to be explored during the workshop will include (click for details):
      • What exactly is the power of sisterhood?
      • How do we “ally-build” among racial, ethnic and cultural groupings? What does it take to be an effective ally?
      • How can white women in STEM grow to understand themselves better, while recognizing and acknowledging the nuances that impact their Black and brown counterparts differently?
      • How do women experience STEM and the STEM ecosystem differently than men, particularly powerful White men?
      • How have women overcome marginalization throughout history, especially in light of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage? How can we capitalize on the moment of the #MeToo movement?
    • The workshop will be followed by breakout sessions of smaller groups who will explore the topic, “What does White fragility mean to me?” Topics to be explored during small group sessions include (click for details):
      • Sister or competitor?
      • Scapegoats
      • The myth of the “strong Black woman”
      • What kind of power do we have, individually and collectively, to effect change in our circumstances?
      • The psychology of attitudes and self-reflection

    5:30 PM

    Sand Ceremony

    • An expression of coming together into a new paradigm.

    6:00 PM

    Dinner Catered By Something For Everyone