You are currently viewing Meet YWCA’s ‘Pushing Back, Moving Forward’ Panelists

Meet YWCA’s ‘Pushing Back, Moving Forward’ Panelists

On Thursday, September 9, YWCA Central Carolinas will be live streaming our racial justice and advocacy forum, ‘Pushing Back, Moving Forward: A Solutions-Based Discussion on the Criminalization of Black & Brown Girls in the Educational System,’ at 6pm. You can register in advance here.

In U.S. public schools, Black girls make up 14% of out-of-school suspensions and 47% of suspensions among female students while only representing 8% of student enrollment. These statistics along with a number of images of Black and Brown girls being arrested and assaulted by those in positions of power in educational spaces have not only saturated our media but also impacted our own minds.

Join YWCA Central Carolinas for an engaging conversation with educational leaders and researchers as we discuss the criminalization of Black and Brown girls in schools from a solutions-based lens.

Panelists will be Dr. Susan McCarter, UNC Charlotte professor, Kristen McCollum, West Cary Middle School’s assistant principal, and Pam Yuen, YWCA USA’s director of government relations. The panel will be moderated by YWCA Central Carolinas’ community engagement manager, Jamila Green. Meet our panelist below:

Dr. Susan McCarter, UNC Charlotte, professor, education, education advocacy

Dr. Susan McCarter, PhD, MS, MSW

Dr. Susan McCarter’s career began as an adolescent mental health counselor, juvenile probation officer, and policy analyst and advocate in Virginia. For over 25 years, she has served as a Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) Scholar (now Racial and Ethnic Disparities (RED)) and a forensic practitioner. Nationally, Dr. McCarter serves as a juvenile justice forensic expert, on the board of the National Organization of Forensic Social Work, and chairs the Society of Social Work and Research’s Criminal and Juvenile Justice Interest Group. Regionally, she co-chairs the NC RED Subcommittee and the Charlotte

Racial Justice Consortium (a collaboration of UNC Charlotte, Johnson C. Smith, Queens University, Johnson and Wales University of Charlotte, and Central Piedmont Community College) dedicated to truth, racial healing and transformation. She also helped to found Race Matters for Juvenile Justice and serves on their leadership team as well as their Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) Team. Susan teaches at UNC Charlotte where she co-facilitates the UNC Charlotte Racial Equity Skill Building Caucus; leads multiple funded research studies examining the School-to-Prison Pipeline (STPP), Juvenile Diversion, and Racial Equity; and speaks and trains nationally on these topics.

Kristen McCollum, education, advocacy, racial justice

Kristen D. McCollum, MSA

Kristen D. McCollum earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Winston-Salem State University. After which she moved to New Orleans, Louisiana to join the Teach For America Corps. In New Orleans she taught a variety of subjects in 4th – 6th grades at schools in the Mid-city and 7th ward communities. During that time, her passion for educational equity, fostering teacher growth and implementing strong school culture took root. She moved back to her home state of North Carolina where she then earned a Master of School Administration from North Carolina State University.

Kristen has served as a proud Assistant Principal at West Cary Middle School since 2018. In addition to her role as an Assistant Principal, she serves as a founding member of the #Equity4Wake organization, a grassroots group of educators who plan equity centered programming for North Carolina educators. Kristen is also one of eight Equity Fellows for the Wake County Public School System and is currently earning her Doctorate of Educational Leadership from North Carolina State University. She is committed to building positive school communities that support, uplift, and empower students, families, and staff.

Pam Yuen, YWCA USA, YWCA, government advocacy

Pam Yuen, MPS

Pam Yuen is the Director of Government Relations at YWCA USA where she focuses on national policies relevant to YWCA’s mission to eliminate racism and empower women. She has almost a decade of government relations and advocacy experience and regularly liaises with Capitol Hill on a diverse range of issues ranging from racial and gender-based violence and economic security to childcare and appropriations strategy. Prior to joining YWCA, Pam served as the Senior Government Relations Coordinator at the American Association of University Women (AAUW), where she led the work

with key stakeholders and advocates to advance the organization’s public policy platform on Capitol Hill and within the Administration. Before joining AAUW, Pam served as a staffer on Capitol Hill for over three years.

Pam is a graduate of The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management where she earned a dual degree in strategic public relations and political management. She also holds a bachelor’s degree from Douglass College, Rutgers University.

Jamila Green, YWCA Charlotte, YWCA Central Carolinas, racial justice, social justice, community engagement manager

Jamila Green, MA

Jamila Green serves as the community engagement manager at YWCA Central Carolinas. She has been actively involved in nonprofit work focused on education and youth for the majority of her professional life, working as a site coordinator with Communities in Schools of the Midlands in Columbia, SC prior to her YWCA role. Jamila graduated from Winston- Salem State University with a bachelor’s degree in psychological science. She holds a master’s degree in community social psychology from the University of Massachusetts and a certificate in nonprofit management from the University of North Carolina Charlotte.

Jamila’s education, experience and passion for supporting diverse communities make her a strong advocate for educational access, equity, and opportunities for those with limited access to resources related to successful outcomes.