Women of color unite at summit

By Ellie Aguilar - Staff Reporter

Young ladies of color are looking to make noise later this month.

Highline will host its fourth annual Y.E.L.L summit to empower and motivate young women of color.

The Y.E.L.L (Young Educated Ladies Leading) female summit will being at 8 a.m. in Building 8 on May 20.

"This is truly just to provide a space for women to talk about their shared experiences," said Rashad Norris, director of Community Engagement and Outreach Services at Highline. "When 70 percent of students are of color we need to take a holistic approach. What does it mean to be a woman of color at Highline and in society?"

Last year, 450 attendees came to campus on a Saturday to participate in this summit, and this year will be no different, Norris said.

This year's keynote speaker will be activist and musical artist Rocky Rivera.

"Rivera is a female activist who demands change through her music," Norris said.

She does live shows and now has an international fan base. Rivera's music is what her website calls "a soundtrack for social justice and a rallying cry to challenge the dominant norms of society."

After Rivera's speech, there will be a professional women of color panel.

The group will then be broken up into 11-15 rooms. There, they will have the opportunity to ask to questions of three panelists. The panelists will be women from different careers and will offer their insights.

After a 45-minute lunch, each attendee will go to a workshop that was previously selected for them.

At the summit, there will be 11 workshops. These workshops are all different and will be presented by different women of color.

This event is free to attend as long as you register. High school students as well as college students can register online on the Y.E.L.L female summit website. Registration is now open and is on a first come first served basis. It will close on May 12 or when they have reached its capacity, whichever comes first.

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An alert Highline staff member and local public safety officers helped stop a potential suicide on campus last week. While a staff member was working, he noticed a suspicious male wandering the East Lot around 6:25 a.m. May 25. The staff worker called Highline Public Safety who responded to find the individual running around with a rope in his hands, looking for a place to possibly hang himself. This prompted Public Safety to contact Des Moines Police and South King County Fire and Rescue. By the time first responders came to the scene, the distraught man climbed into a tree near Building 99, ready to use the rope on himself. First responders talked to the man, successfully convincing him to come down from the tree. After the turmoil settled the individual was transported to a nearby hospital for an evaluation. Sgt. George Curtis of Public Safety said this was the first time he has encountered someone attempting to endanger their own life on campus.

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