Release Date: 
Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Excellence of the Black Woman Conference 2023

Event Date: 
Fri, 10/20/2023 - 8:30am to 4:30pm
Andrew A. Mazarra Administrative Services and Conference Center (ASCC) (Bldg. L)
Keynote speaker Lisa D. Givan.
Lisa D. Givan, Vice President of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Belonging at the Indiana Institute of Technology, is the keynote speaker at the third annual “Excellence of the Black Woman Conference” on Friday, Oct. 20.

The HFC Black Male and QUEENS Focus Group (BMQFG) will host its third annual “Excellence of the Black Woman Conference” on Friday, Oct. 20, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Lisa D. Givan, CDE, CP-HIL will be the keynote speaker. There will be numerous other presentations throughout the day.


Henry Ford College Main Campus
Andrew Mazzara Administrative Services and Conference Center (ASCC / Building L)
5101 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128

The conference is free and open to the public. Both a continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Register here by Friday, Oct. 13

NOTE: The presentations may be recorded. By registering, you consent to attending an event whose presenters and Q&A sessions will be recorded.

For questions or more information, contact any of the following:

Full Conference Schedule, 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

(A one-page summary of the conference sessions will be available for download)

Opening Ceremony/Declaration of Sacred Space, 8:30 a.m.

Dr. Kalvin DaRonne Harvell (Keeper of the Tradition/Coordinator of the BMQFG)

Greetings from the Deans of the HFC School of Liberal Arts:

Other Presentations

In addition to the keynote address, other presentations and activities during the conference include:

  • Members of HFC’s Pre-Education, Ophthalmic Technology, Public Health, Respiratory Therapist, and Radiographer departments will give presentations about their respective disciplines.
  • Ferris State University Placement Coordinator of the Eastern Region Jeff Bean will give a presentation, “Making Business Aware of Women’s Reality.”
  • Michigan State University College of Education Equity and Literacy Specialist Dr. Theodore S. Ransaw (the keynote speaker for the 2021 conference) will give a presentation, “College and Career Advice for Black Women from NABISCO, the Fortune 500 Company.”
  • HFC alumnus Byron Brooks will give a presentation (details TBA).
  • A virtual tour of historically Black colleges and universities (details TBA).

Transfer opportunities from university admissions representatives

Admissions representatives from universities will have informational tables and meet with students about transfer opportunities.

Registered institutions include:

Representatives from Transfer Bridges to the Humanities @ the University of Michigan – a joint effort between HFC and the U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA) – will also be present to answer questions and provide information about the program.

This list is subject to change.

Keynote Speaker: Lisa D. Givan

With nearly 30 years of combined experience in the corporate sector and higher education, Lisa D. Givan has been frequently described as a Cultural Navigator, an Inclusion Specialist, and a Transformation Agent.

As the Vice President of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Belonging at the Indiana Institute of Technology, Givan is responsible for leading efforts to develop and maintain a welcoming environment that embraces, supports, and celebrates diversity. She actively steers and coordinates leadership on equity issues across campus. She also advances the implementation of a strategic plan for inclusive excellence, aligned with the university’s overall strategic plan.

Prior to Indiana Tech, Givan served as Associate Director of Diversity Training at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio for three years. She worked in a variety of positions at Kent State for 10 years. She began her career in higher education at the University of Akron (UA) in Akron, Ohio in 2007.

A member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE), Givan is the president of its Lower Midwest Regional Chapter. In 2024, she will be installed as the national secretary.

Givan has worked with a diverse range of organizations across various industries, including the corporate, nonprofit, and educational sectors. She has developed a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with diversity, equity, and belonging, and has successfully developed strategies that cultivate inclusive environments where individuals can thrive.

A Certified Diversity Executive® through the Institute for Diversity Certification in Indianapolis, Givan understands the importance of building strong relationships and fostering trust within organizations by using a collaborative and empathetic approach. She uniquely engages and motivates individuals, bringing diverse stakeholders together to create a shared vision of inclusivity.

As a Certified Practitioner in High Impact Leadership (CP-HIL™), Givan is committed to making a positive difference in the realm of leadership development, equipping leaders with the skills and mindset needed to create a lasting impact, inspire others, and drive organizational success.

With a reputation for excellence, Givan is dedicated to staying at the forefront of leadership practices and continuously expanding her knowledge. She maintains professional certifications, engages in ongoing professional development, and leverages her diverse industry experience to deliver exceptional results for her clients.

Givan earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology and corrections and her master’s degree in education from UA. She is a licensed qualified administrator of Intercultural Development Inventory and holds a certificate in conflict management.

“Through building relationships, I am confident that we will continue to foster a culture that values and celebrates diversity in all of its forms, thus providing a dynamic experience for our scholars,” said Givan.

Welcome from Chardin Claybourne, Black Male and QUEENS Focus Group Advisor

Dear friends, colleagues, and guests,

Welcome to the Henry Ford College (HFC) Black Male and Quintessential Unique Essence of Ebony Necessary Sisters (QUEENS) Focus Group (BMQFG) third annual "Excellence of the Black Woman Conference"! We are thrilled to have you join us for this momentous occasion as we gather to celebrate, empower, and honor the incredible achievements, contributions, and resilience of Black women.

In a world that often fails to recognize the invaluable role that Black women play in our society, this conference serves as a platform for us to come together, amplify their voices, and shine a spotlight on their remarkable accomplishments. It is an opportunity for us to collectively acknowledge this year’s conference theme: The Black Woman deserves Celebration, Excellence, Voice, and Agency!

Throughout the duration of this conference, you will have the chance to engage with a diverse and dynamic group of attendees, including college and university faculty, staff, administrators, and students. Additionally, we are delighted to welcome community members who share our commitment and vision.

During the proceedings, you can expect to participate in a series of thought-provoking discussions, insightful workshops, and inspiring presentations led by esteemed speakers and experts in their respective fields. We are excited to have a keynote address from Lisa D. Givan, who we expect will energize and enlighten with her message. Together, we will explore topics such as leadership, advocacy, education, art, and culture all through the lens of celebrating and empowering Black women.

We encourage you to actively participate in the sessions, ask questions, share your perspectives, and foster connections with your fellow attendees. The power of this conference lies in the exchange of ideas and the forging of relationships that can drive real change in our communities and institutions. Together, we can create a more inclusive and equitable world where the talents and contributions of Black women are fully recognized and appreciated.

Thank you for being a part of this important event. We look forward to the enriching discussions and connections that will undoubtedly emerge from our time together.


Chardin Claybourne
Faculty Director, Learning Lab and Tutoring Services
Faculty Advisor, Black Male and QUEENS Focus Group
Henry Ford College

HFC President Russell A. Kavalhuna letter of support

Welcome to Henry Ford College!

We are extremely proud to host the third annual statewide Black Male Retention and Success Conference on our campus.

The conference was created by Dr. Kalvin DaRonne Harvell, sociology faculty member and leader of the Black Male and QUEENS Focus Group. In addition to Dr. Harvell, Mr. Chardin Claybourne, Faculty Director of the Learning Lab and Tutoring Services, and Dr. Courtney Matthews, English and Honors Program faculty member, have been instrumental in their leadership to the success of the BMQFG and this conference. This group has consistently demonstrated the Henry Ford College mission of “transforming lives and building better futures” for Black men and women. And that transformation extends well beyond our campuses. The students influenced by this group will go on to become leaders across every industry and field. They will be innovators in their communities, and in civic and service roles around the world. They will make this College proud.

I know Dr. Harvell personally, and if you have not met him, you are in for a treat. One of the most valuable aspects of his work is that it comes from a place of abundance and access. In serving underrepresented minorities, Dr. Harvell sets the highest standards for hard work and success. He is able to translate rigorous academic study and sociological insight into action-based goals and positive outcomes.

Dr. Harvell and his students do not settle for a modest level of success. They want to excel in and beyond the classroom. They don’t demand excellence, they inspire it. They understand that access, support, and equity are keys to leveling the field for everyone.

At today’s conference, I hope all of you will find like-minded colleagues who aspire to similar goals and who can share their initiatives and metrics for success, as well as the challenges they face. I am excited about Dr. Harvell’s vision of a state-wide network dedicated to the promotion of Black students’ academic and career success. Hopefully, you will all join in that effort.

Our Black students deserve our best. They are worthy of every effort to meet them where they are, to challenge, encourage, and support them in reaching the life-transforming excellence that shows their highest capabilities. Your conference theme today is “Excellence of the Black Woman. ” All of us at Henry Ford College eagerly join with you in carrying this work forward. Thank you for attending the conference. I hope you find it inspiring, informative, and energizing.

Best wishes,

Russ Kavalhuna, J.D.
Henry Ford College

Options to defray cost

Like all conferences, there are numerous expenses associated with this event. You are welcome to attend the event at no charge. If you wish to make a contribution to help defray the costs of this conference, please go to the HFC donations page and select "Black Male Retention and Success Conference" as the recipient of your gift.

We are grateful for your support!

Conference Organizers