I am a LEADer Conference Schedule
The 2024 I Am a LEADer Conference pre-registration is now open Sponsored by: Intercultural Engagement (i.e.), LBGTQ+ Services, Women and Gender Services (WXGS), and Student SOLE
2024 I am a LEADer Schedule
Monday, January 29th
12:00 pm Opening
1:00 pm Advocating for Your Queer Rights
- This workshop aims to encourage thoughtful discussion & create a space where students are able to equip themselves with the necessary tools to better advocate on behalf of queer issues they're passionate about on large and small scales, and meet their needs as a queer-identifying person
- Presenters: Audrey Leopold (they/she), Graduate Assistant of LBGTQ+ Services
3:00 pm Steering with Purpose: Pioneering Diversity in the Fast Lane
- Join me in "Steering with Purpose," a workshop chronicling my journey as the first female president of the Harvard Undergraduate Automotive Society. Overseeing 500+ members, I have navigated the intricacies of leadership in a traditionally male domain - and it isn't my first time doing so in such a field! This session will unpack strategies to cultivate respect and assert authority amidst entrenched gender dynamics. I’ll share how I transformed challenges into a platform for promoting Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI), leading with civic responsibility and fostering a more inclusive club culture. Attendees will leave empowered with actionable insights for driving change and harnessing diversity as a pivotal force for organizational success. Let’s explore the roadmap to equitable leadership together.
- Presenters: Namirah Quadir (she/her)
4:00 pm Advocating for Reproductive Justice
- What is reproductive justice? How do we achieve it? This workshop will take a deep dive into what it means to be a change agent for reproductive justice. We will touch on different elements involved in reproductive justice advocacy, including storytelling, lobbying political and organizational leaders, and grassroots organizing.m.
- Presenter: Dakota Armstrong (she/her), Graduate Assistant of Women and Gender Services (WXGS)
6:00 pm How our histories teach us who we are: Building historical perspectives into our student organizations
- Away from home, students often struggle to find where they belong, both on campus and within broader society. This talk will emphasize the importance of understanding our history to inform the progression of our morals, values, and careers. We will focus specifically on building robust cultural
- Presenter: Sarah Syed (she/her/hers)
Tuesday, January 30th
12:00 pm Antisemitism and Jewish Inclusion on Campus
- Jewish students, as a minority group, are encountering much of the same discomfort that other minorities face on campus and in the world, in that they don’t feel heard or acknowledged. This training is designed to help MIT Student Leaders better understand the history of Judaism, the diversity of Jewish students/the Jewish community and how the rising climate of antisemitism, anti-Zionism and anti-Israel activity are impacting MIT students and their feeling of being included in/excluded from campus life.
- Presenter: Rabbi Michelle Fisher (she/her) and Andrea Floersheimer (she/her)
3:00 pm Intersectional Leadership in Engineering: Elevating Underrepresented Voices for Civic Impact
- This workshop will explore the intersection of engineering leadership and diversity, with a focus on how intersectional leadership can elevate the voices of underrepresented groups within the engineering field, ultimately driving civic change. The workshop will be highly interactive, with a combination of presentations, group discussions, case studies, and Q&A sessions. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations and hands-on activities that encourage them to reflect on their own roles as intersectional leaders within the engineering community. By the end of the workshop, I want participants to have gained a deeper understanding of how intersectional leadership can make a significant impact in engineering. They will leave with actionable strategies to elevate underrepresented voices, drive civic change, and promote inclusivity within their respective engineering communities.
- Presenter: Oluwabusolami Marcus (she/her)
5:00 pm Rest as Radical Resistance
- According to Tricia Hersey, rest is a form of resistance because it disrupts and pushes back against the expectations of capitalism and the history of white supremacy. Participants in this session will learn about how resting can be a form of radical resistance and understand why it is important for activism work.
- Presenters: Jeremy Torres (he/they), Assistant Director of LBGTQ+ Services
7:00 pm Deconstructing the "Model Minority" Myth: Examining the Asian Student Experience in Higher Education
- This workshop aims to critically examine and challenge prevailing assumptions regarding the Asian Model Minority construct and its influence in higher education. The presentation component will trace the historical roots of the term and explore its intersection with issues of race, class, and culture. Through a panel discussion, the presenters - comprising students from various Asian backgrounds - will share their stories to contextualize their diverse experiences often obscured by this widespread yet problematic paradigm. In doing so, we seek to illuminate the voices of Asian communities often reduced and defined by this concept. Ultimately, attendees will gain a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the complex social realities behind the model minority myth and how it impacts Asian American students navigating the contemporary higher education landscape.
- Presenters: Kelly Song (she/her), Jessica Cai (she/her), and Cynthia Liu (she/her)
Wednesday, January 31st
12:00 pm Participatory Decision Making for Diverse Groups
- This process makes space for divergent thinking, while also creating a path for a common goal or outcome. Having a toolkit to manage this process allows group members to advocate for their individual ideas and remain mindful of the collective needs of their colleagues, classmates, teammates, neighbors, etc. This workshop will answer these questions: Why create shared responsibility for decision-making? How might we challenge the notion that inclusive and participatory decision making is in conflict with efficiency? What strategies and frameworks can be used to support this process? This workshop will be a mix of presentation, small group discussions, large group discussions, and personal reflection.
- Presenters: Molly Mclnerney (she/her), Assistant Director for Community Learning, Institute Community and Equity Office (ICEO)
3:00 pm Community building: Creating Space for healing during cultural conflicts
- Creating space for attendees to heal from current event conflicts on MIT campus and beyond
- Presenter: Nandini S. Choudhury (she/her) Assistant Director of Women and Gender Services (WXGS) and Dr. Alma Jam (she/her) Assistant Director of Intercultural Engagement
4:00 pm Islamophobia
Islamophobia is defined as the exaggerated fear, hatred, and hostility towards Islam and Muslims that is perpetuated by negative stereotypes resulting in bias, discrimination, and the marginalization and exclusion of Muslims (and those mistakenly perceived to be Muslim) from America's social, political, and civic life. This presentation will delve into the causes of Islamophobia in the US and the tools one can use to alleviate it.
- Presenter: Nada El-Alami and Barbara Sahli
7:00 pm Beyond Assumptions, Before Labels
- In a world where first impressions are often hinged on appearances, the cost of premature judgments can be high. Often times, opportunities for connection and understanding suffer when we allow our own preconceived assumptions to cloud our perception of others. We end up assigning made-up stories, instead of listening for understanding. As leaders, it is one of our core civic responsibilities to be respectful and inclusive in our interactions with each other. It is only through this that we can build strong communities and a society that thrives on the richness our diverse experiences instead of using our diversity to divide us.
- Presenter: Humaira Shaikh (she/her) Graduate Student EMBA
Thursday, February 1 st
12:00 pm Elevating Organizational and Community Well-Being: Advancing Psychological Safety and Inclusive Leadership
- In the pursuit of fostering a workplace culture that prioritizes both individual well-being and collective success, the focus turns to advancing psychological safety and embracing inclusive leadership practices. This imperative journey involves creating an environment where every team member feels valued, heard, and empowered, transcending traditional leadership paradigms to cultivate a space where innovation thrives, collaboration flourishes, and diversity is celebrated. Hun Pin will share his personal journey both in the corporate world and personal journey. He will shared his community service and effort in making an impact in Asia, Africa and Americas through various engagement through the community and indigenous people. In the corporate world of one of the Fortune 500, he strongly advocates psychological safety and inclusive leadership to inculcate a inclusive environment. His vision is to promote diversity, make an impact and make the world a better plac
- Presenter: Hun Pin Lim, Sloan Fellow MBA '24
1:00 pm Playful Leadership: The Value of Leading with Joy and Purpose
- In this session, we will discuss the value of play in leadership as well as explore activities and strategies you can use to implement play into your leadership.
- Presenter: Kat Waxstien (she/her/hers), Assistant Dean of SOLE
4:00 pm Latino, Latina, & Latine: A Conversation on Inclusive Language
- This workshop will aim to explore the history of inclusive and gender neutral language in a gendered language and society. We will focus on conversations surrounding the effects of gendered language on our ways of being and academia to create a better environment.
- Presenters: Connor Perez (they/them/theirs) and Ana Lucens Navarro (she/her/hers)
7:00 pm Mother' of the Movement- African American Mothers who are leading the charge against violence in their communities
- Every day across America, groups of African-American women gather to commemorate the death of loved ones lost to police and community violence. These women channel their pain into a larger societal purpose, reshaping the conversation about African American motherhood and justice in America. African Americans account for 31% of police killing victims, even though they make up just 13% of the U.S. population. These racial disparities have fueled criticisms of law enforcement over the past few years, changing the national discourse on police brutality. Other high profile incidents such as Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice, among countless others, has given rise to the Black Lives Matter movement. In this weekshop we will have conversations with the women leading this movement.
- Presenters: Brad Bailey
Friday, February 2nd
12:00 pm Periodic(ally): Addressing Menstrual Equity with Data Analysis and Technology
- Menstrual equity impacts us all. While working on my high school robotics team’s initiative to bring period products to nearly every competition, I was inspired to continue tackling this international health challenge. Our community too can address menstrual equity through advocacy and by creating or using technology: we should not only highlight education and access in our own communities, but also explore how we can actively make a difference on a national or even global scale. This presentation will introduce topics such as period poverty and current menstrual equity initiatives. It will also include an introduction to Periodic(ally), a personal initiative that aims to shed light on period poverty using both hardware and software solutions.
- Presenters: Alison Soong (she/her)
1:00 pm African American LGBTQ+ Men who are combating stereotypes in their communities
- Stories from the Crisis- Perspectives of African American LGBTQ+ Men who have are social change leaders in their communities. Many of these individuals have survived the AIDS crisis and others have tried to combat racism,homophobia, and stigma in urban and rural communities around the country. In this panel we will discuss the current challenges of the community and these activists.
- Presenter: Brad Bailey
2:00 pm Micro Activism: Creating Change on a Small Scale
- Creating change as an activist doesn't have to be something done on a large scale. There are many ways - large and small - that you can contribute to making change that feels right for you. All are welcome to attend this discussion-based workshop on understanding what is micro activism, what that looks like for you, and some skill building activities you can apply to the communities you're a part of.
- Presenter: Lauryn McNair (they/she), Assistant Dean of LBGTQ+, Women and Gender Services and Nina DeAgrela (she,her,hers), Assistant Dean of Intercultural Engagement
4:00 pm Closing
Want more? Have follow up questions? Check out the DLC (Departments, Labs, and Centers) involved in this year's conference: