WU Sept 24, 2020 Speaker Series

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Women United September 24, 2020 Virtual Zoom Speaker Series - Social Justice and Racial Equity

We're thrilled to announce that our popular Women United Speaker Series is back! Join us September 24th for a BYOB (Bring Your Own Breakfast!) Virtual Zoom Speaker Series for a topical discussion on Social Justice and Racial Equity. Best of all - it's FREE to attend with advance registration! 

A panel of three amazing women will share their experiences regarding race and how it has impacted their lives. Join us and learn about each woman's unique journey of learning, growing, and committing to social justice and racial equity. Our panelists will share stories of how they have effected change in their lives, at work, at home, and within their communities. They will also offer suggestions on how we can work together to provide a more just and equal society. 


  • Marsita Ferguson, Founding Member, Black Lives Matter Lake County 
  • Mary Goss-Hill, Program Coordinator, Women’s Center, Lakeland Community College 
  • Amanda Petrak, Corporate Responsibility Officer, KeyBank 


  • Kathleen Buse, Ph.D., President, Advancing Women in the Workplace

For more information on our panelists, click here or scroll down.

Don't miss this fascinating discussion! Register now. 

Date:  Thursday, September 24
Time: 8 am - 9 am
Registration: Free - Advance Registration Required by September 23 at 12 Noon
Zoom Link: We will send this to you 1-2 days prior to the date (The email will be sent from tlewis@uwlc.org. If you don't see the email, check your clutter or junk email, or contact tlewis@uwlc.org)


While the Speaker Series is free, should you wish to donate, gifts will gladly be accepted in support of either Black Lives Matter Lake County or The Fine Arts Association Minority Scholarship Fund. To give, use the "Notes" field at the bottom of the donation form and type BLM to indicate that your gift is for Black Lives Matter Lake County or type FAA to indicate that your gift is for The Fine Arts Association Minority Scholarship Fund. Click here now to donate. Note that the donation form is a different from that the speaker series registration form. To register for the speaker series, click here or click the orange Registration button above.

Panelist Bios

Marsita Ferguson, Founding Member, Black Lives Matter Lake County

Marsita has been a resident of Painesville City for over 20 years. Ms. Ferguson earned her Bachelor’s of Science and MBA from Lake Erie College and is currently the Supervisor of Probation Services for Cuyahoga County’s Juvenile Court.

In addition to founding Black Lives Matter Lake County, Marsita currently sits on the boards of United Way of Lake County, the Lake County Branch NAACP and is a member of the Begin the Conversation Committee. Ms. Ferguson takes the most pride in the opportunities she has had as the Advisor of Lake County Branch NAACP Youth Council and the founder of Shades of Success. Both programs are dedicated to improving the lives of youth and young adults within our community through education, volunteering and youth development.

Mary Goss-Hill, Program Coordinator, Women’s Center, Lakeland Community College

Mary is a graduate of Cuyahoga Community College and Ursuline College, where she earned a Bachelors of Arts in Healthcare Management. Ms. Goss-Hill earned an MBA from Tiffin University and is currently working towards completing her PhD in Community College Leadership from the University of Toledo.

Mary serves as Program Coordinator for Lakeland Community Colleges Women’s Center, where she has been employed since 2008. Mary’s role has evolved through many creative paths, including extending student support for new and returning female students of Lakeland Community College who have aspirations for “making changes in their lives” while pursuing a post secondary credential. An essential part of the Women’s Center includes providing opportunities and programs centered around equity, inclusion and diversity matters, in addition to initiating academic scholarships to aid and financially assist women.

Mary’s experience in higher education extends over 20 years. Prior to Lakeland Community College, she was employed at Cuyahoga Community College as an Academic Advisor, Workforce Development Recruiter and Grants Manager. Additionally, her combined past work history included over 15 years in the healthcare field, housing and manufacturing. 

Amanda Petrak, Corporate Responsibility Officer, KeyBank

Amanda is KeyBank's Corporate Responsibility Officer for its Northeast Ohio and Toledo Markets. Among other responsibilities, she is part of the enterprise wide corporate responsibility team that oversees implementation of KeyBank’s National Community Benefits Plan. The plan outlines mortgage and small business lending in low-to-moderate income communities, community development lending and transformative philanthropy.

Amanda joined KeyBank in 2016 and most recently served as Senior Manager of Corporate Initiatives and Community Relations. In this role, she partnered with KeyBank’s Regional Corporate Responsibility Officers (CROs) to develop and implement local programs to create awareness of business and philanthropic community investments, both internally and externally. She also worked with Key’s CROs to establish and deepen relationships in low-to-moderate income communities across Key's footprint.

As a lifelong Clevelander, Amanda has always had a passion for the city. She is actively involved in neighborhood revitalization efforts in Glenville and serves on the boards of Youth Opportunities Unlimited, Cupid Charities Inc., and the David Wesley Foundation. Amanda earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism/mass communications from St. Bonaventure University, where she played four years of varsity basketball for the Bonnies.