Elevating Lives 2021

YW Boston’s two-part fall virtual event, free-of-charge

Demystifying Critical Race Theory: Tuesday, October 26th, 9:00AM – 10:30AM

Measuring Equity and Inclusion: December 8th, 9:00AM – 10:30AM


Our registration form has now closed.
To register, please email Dominique Calixte at dcalixte@ywboston.org.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Demystifying Critical Race Theory: How CRT can support organizational diversity, equity, and inclusion

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM | Interactive, virtual event

Critical Race Theory is the buzzword of summer 2021. Much of its popularity has been driven by state legislators who have introduced, or passed, bills to ban Critical Race Theory from being taught in public schools. These efforts continue despite teachers’ assertions that this graduate-level legal theory is not being taught in K-12 schools. There are many popular misconceptions about CRT and its place in our schools, workplaces, and organizations. CRT is not a diversity and inclusion “training” but a practice of interrogating the role of race and racism in society.

Please join YW Boston and Critical Race Theory scholar Patricia J. Williams for the first installment of our 2021 Elevating Lives virtual event series. Patricia J. Williams is a University Professor of Law and Philosophy, and Director of Law, Technology and Ethics at Northeastern University. She has published widely in the areas of race, gender, and law and has appeared in publications including the Guardian, Ms., the New York Times, the New Yorker, and the Washington Post.

During this event, we’ll take a closer look at Critical Race Theory, explore corporations’ responsibility to support racial justice, and understand how CRT can help organizations better determine where to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work.

Beth Chandler

President and CEO, YW Boston

Beth Chandler joined YW Boston in November 2012, with more than 20 years of experience in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors. In August 2018, she was appointed President & CEO. Her breadth of work experience encompasses program development, delivery and evaluation, business development, and operations. Prior to working at YW Boston, Beth served as vice president at the Achievement Network, a national non-profit dedicated to helping urban public and charter schools close the achievement gap. Beth also held positions at Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, the largest funding source for civil legal aid programs in the Commonwealth and Neighborworks America, one of the country’s preeminent leaders in affordable housing and community development. Beth also worked as a corporate banking associate with Bank of America in corporate banking and began her career as a research and evaluation analyst with the Urban Institute. Currently, Beth serves on the Eastern Bank Board of Advisors, The Museum of Fine Arts Board of Advisors, TSNE-MissionWorks Board of Directors, the Women’s Workforce Advisory Council and the Leadership Circle of Hope Central Church. A former professional basketball player, Beth received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Patricia Williams

University Distinguished Professor of Law and Humanities at Northeastern University School of Law

Patricia J. Williams is a graduate of Wellesley College and Harvard Law School. She began her career practicing law as a consumer and health law advocate for the Western Center on Law and Poverty, and as a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Los Angeles. Upon leaving practice, she served on faculties of the University of Wisconsin School of Law, Harvard University Women’s Studies Program, and CUNY Law School at Queen’s College, and is Professor Emerita at Columbia University. At present she serves as University Distinguished Professor of Law and Humanities at Northeastern University, with appointments in both the school of law and the department of philosophy. She also holds the title of Director of Law, Technology and Ethics Initiatives. As a parallel career, Professor Williams has pursued journalism. Her award-winning column, “Diary of a Mad Law Professor,” has appeared in The Nation Magazine for two decades. In 1997, she delivered the annual Reith Lectures, the BBC’s highest honor in radio journalism. She has authored five books, and hundreds of chapters, essays, book reviews, and articles for journals, popular magazines and newspapers. In 2000, Williams was awarded a MacArthur « genius » fellowship. She is the recipient of six Honorary Doctorates and has received numerous awards including from her alma maters–an Outstanding Alumna Award from Latin School in Boston, an Alumnae Achievement Award from Wellesley College, and a Graduate Medal from Harvard University. Her book, The Alchemy of Race and Rights was named one of the twenty-five best books of 1991 by The Voice Literary Supplement; and one of the “feminist classics of the last twenty years” that “literally changed women’s lives” by Ms. Magazine. Her 1988 article, « On Being The Object of Property, » remains one of the most cited pieces ever published in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. In 2013, in honor of its 25th anniversary, « On Being The Object of Property » was the subject of a symposium sponsored by the Columbia Law School’s Center for Gender and Sexuality, as well as of a special edition of Columbia’s Journal of Gender and Law. In 2018, a day-long symposium honoring The Alchemy of Race and Rights was sponsored by Northwestern University; and in 2019, it was again honored with a symposium at the College of William and Mary. She is an elected fellow of the American Philosophical Society, and has held fellowships at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the School of Criticism and Theory at Dartmouth College, the Humanities Research Institute of the University of California at Irvine, the Institute for Arts and Civic Dialogue at Harvard, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. She has served on many boards, including the Council for Responsible Genetics, Wellesley College, Medgar Evers College, Conjunction Arts, Studio In A School, the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Andy Warhol Foundation, the Society of American Law Teachers, and the Sarah Parker Remond Center at University College London.





Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Measuring Equity and Inclusion: Using Data for Organizational Change

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM | Interactive, virtual event

Please join YW Boston for the second installment of our 2021 Elevating Lives virtual event series. After learning how frameworks such as Critical Race Theory can help organizations better determine where to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work during our first Elevating Lives event, we will explore the importance of measuring behavioral change as a key indicator of successful equity and inclusion initiatives in the workplace. Drawing from YW Boston’s unique approach and findings from our extensive DEI Services, we will explore the key drivers to behavioral change and how organizations can go about measuring new and existing workplace inclusion initiatives.

Anouska Bhattacharyya, Ph.D.

Director of InclusionBoston, YW Boston

Dr. Anouska Bhattacharyya is the Director of our InclusionBoston program. Anouska is deeply invested in issues of race, gender and equity in higher education and healthcare. Anouska was the director of Harvard’s international program, managing incoming students’ immigration status, funding and curriculum development against a backdrop of increasing state violence and xenophobia. She assisted in the overhaul of the university’s core curriculum, and organized faculty protests at the decision to end DACA in 2017. She brings over a decade of expertise in higher education to YW. Prior to YW Boston, Anouska was heavily involved in the University of Pennsylvania’s MSTP: a program designed to diversify the physician-scientist community in Philadelphia and beyond. She is an award-winning teacher at Harvard, Northeastern and MIT. Anouska received her Ph.D. in history of science from Harvard University in 2013 as a result of her research examining the genealogy of mental health in the British Empire, specifically what it means to be simultaneously colonized by the state and by medicine. She received her bachelor’s degree in natural sciences, and an M.Phil. in history of science, medicine and technology, both from Cambridge University, UK.

Sarah Faude, Ph.D.

Director of Research and Evaluation, YW Boston

Dr. Sarah Faude joined YW Boston in July 2019 to serve as Director of Research and Evaluation. Sarah comes to YW with nearly a decade of research, writing, and teaching experience at the intersection of public urban contexts and racial inequality, particularly in education. Sarah received her Ph.D. in sociology from Northeastern University in 2019. Her dissertation research, entitled “The Road to Registration: Bureaucracy, Inequalities, and the Paradox of Compulsory Choice,” examined the role of institutional actors, practices, and processes in the reproduction of raced, classed, gendered, and linguistic inequalities in Boston Public Schools’ intra-district choice process. Her research has been published in the journals Educational Policy and Sociology of Education and featured in the Boston Globe and Chalkbeat. Sarah has also worked in both the out-of-school time and higher education spaces in the Boston area including: Northeastern University’s Sociology and Human Service department; 826 National; Breakthrough Greater Boston; and Boston Public Schools’ departments of Engagement, Opportunity and Achievement Gap, and Expanded Learning Time. She is an Advisory Committee member of The Identity Project, a creative documentary arts intervention for underserved youth. Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Skidmore College and was part of the founding class of inter-group dialogue facilitators, where she co-led a white racial identity dialogue with a cohort of her peers. She also holds an M.S.Ed from the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania and had the honor of teaching middle and high school English in two schools in North Philadelphia.




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Our 2021 Sponsors


Arbella Insurance



HUB International New England


HUB International New England

Vertex Pharmaceuticals



Cambridge Savings Bank


Harvard Pilgrim

Hinckley Allen




Compass Planning Associates


Sponsorship Opportunities

With sponsorship questions, reach out to Dominique Calixte at dcalixte@ywboston.org.


Previous Elevating Lives Events:

Elevating Lives 2020: Delivering on Promises of Racial Justice

Location: Two-part virtual event

An unprecedented number of organizations, large and small, have released public statements condemning racism and promising action in support of Black Lives Matter and social justice. We applaud those who have taken a public stance, and as the nation grapples with systemic inequities and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we emphasize the importance of holding ourselves accountable to promises of action and change. This fall, YW Boston invites business leaders, employees, and the broader community to join us for Elevating Lives 2020: Delivering on promises of racial justice. Our 2020 Elevating Lives series will feature two virtual events focused on creating change, both internally and beyond the workplace.





Wednesday, December 2, 2020

The Future of DEI: How to sustain organizational change

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM | Interactive, virtual event

Join YW Boston and leading experts for the second part of our 2020 Elevating Lives series, “The future of DEI: How to sustain organizational change.” Hear success stories, challenges, and strategies from organizations that are committed to delivering on their promises of racial justice and corporate social responsibility. During this virtual event, we’ll explore the evolution of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiatives and how leaders can be responsive in adapting DEI efforts for long-term sustainability. We will be joined by John Hancock President & CEO, Marianne Harrison, and McKinsey & Company partner, Sara Prince. Our panelists will share how they are holding themselves accountable and how they managed to successfully turn aspirational social justice statements into concrete plans for more equitable organizational change.  

Sara Prince

Partner, McKinsey & Company

Sara joined McKinsey in 2005 as an Associate. She has partnered with clients in various industries with a primary focus on addressing multi-faceted organizational, sales, pricing, and marketing challenges in consumer and other companies. Sara is a leads in McKinsey’s North America Sales and Marketing capability building efforts. In the continued pursuit of helping clients broadly in the areas of talent and capability, Sara recently co-authored McKinsey’s ground breaking work, “Diversity Matters”, linking financial performance and levels of gender and ethnic diversity in a company’s leadership team. Sara holds an M.B.A. from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia where she was recognized as a Shermet Scholar.

Marianne Harrison

President & CEO, John Hancock

Marianne Harrison is President and Chief Executive Officer of John Hancock, the U.S. division of Toronto-based Manulife Financial Corporation. She also is a member of Manulife’s Executive Leadership Team. Ms. Harrison, who is based in Boston, has responsibility across all aspects of John Hancock’s operations. Before taking on her current role in 2017, Ms. Harrison served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Manulife Canada, Manulife’s Canadian Division. Ms. Harrison serves as President and Chairman of the boards for John Hancock’s insurance companies, including John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.) and John Hancock Life Insurance Company of New York.







Thursday, November 12, 2020

Making Caregiving Work: COVID-19 and women’s advancement in the workplace

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM | Interactive, virtual event

We’re facing a critical moment that will determine the future of women, and particularly women of color, in the workforce. Fueled by disappearing service-sector jobs and a lack of childcare options, the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis has triggered a nationwide “shecession.” 865,000 women left the workforce last month—four times the number of men who’ve left the paid workforce—out of those, around 37% were Latinx women. 

With the closure and disruption of schools and care centers, more often than not, women are shouldering the burden of caregiving responsibilities. Women of color, in particular, are facing compounded disparities during this pandemicLatinx and Black mothers are more likely to be their family’s sole breadwinner or to have partners working outside the home during COVID-19. 

Companies risk losing women in leadership. In order to retain employees and strengthen leadership pipelines, employers must provide adequate support for women and caregivers in the workplace. In doing so, companies will address barriers to more inclusive work cultures and promote greater employee engagement, retention, and productivity. 

Join us for this virtual event as we explore how to address COVID-19’s impact on women and caregivers in the workplace. Beth Chandler, YW Boston President and CEO, will be joined by expert speakers Pamela D. Everhart, Dr. Christian Weller, and Lauren Birchfield Kennedy to discuss ways to implement more inclusive practices for caregivers and, ultimately, create more opportunities for women to remain and succeed in the workforce. Dr. Anouska Bhattacharyya, YW Boston’s Director of InclusionBoston, will provide opening remarks.



Pamela D. Everhart

SVP, Head of Regional Public Affairs and Community Relations, Fidelity Investments

As a 26-year Fidelity Investments veteran, Pamela Everhart is the head of Regional Public Affairs and Community Relations in Fidelity’s Communications, Public Affairs and Policy Group. In this role, Pamela oversees the firm’s state and local government relationships, public affairs, and community relations activities at its Boston Headquarters and across Fidelity’s regions in the U.S. Previously, Pamela led the firm’s advocacy strategy and engagement with government officials in Washington, DC on federal regulatory policy matters that could impact Fidelity’s ability to serve its clients and customers, its products and services, and the firm. Pamela is also a member of all of Fidelity’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and serves as a Senior Advisor for the Women’s Leadership Group (WLG) and a Co-Executive Sponsor for Aspire, Fidelity’s Latino and Black ERG. Pamela received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin and a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School. As a leader in the community, Pamela is active in several community service organizations and sits on several not-for-profit boards. She is one of the 19 MA Black and Brown executives who launched the New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund to help drive transformative social changes to address systemic racism and racial inequity.

Dr. Christian Weller

Professor, McCormack Graduate School, University of Massachusetts Boston

Dr. Christian Weller, Professor, Department of Public Policy and Public Affairs, McCormack Graduate School. His areas of expertise include Retirement Income Security, Wealth Inequality and Asset Development, Financial Institutions, and International Economic Development. Prior to joining the University of Massachusetts faculty, Professor Christian Weller was a senior economist at the Center for American Progress, where he remains a senior fellow. He has also worked at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., Center for European Integration Studies at the University of Bonn in Germany, under the Department of Public Policy of the AFL-CIO in Washington, D.C., and in banking in Germany, Belgium, and Poland. Dr. Weller is the author of a May, 2020 article in Forbes Magazine called, “Women Hurt More Than Men In The Recession, But It’s More Complicated Than That.”

Lauren Birchfield Kennedy

Co-Founder, Neighborhood Villages

Lauren Birchfield Kennedy is the co-founder of Neighborhood Villages. Prior to co-founding Neighborhood Villages, Kennedy was the Director of Health Policy at the National Partnership for Women & Families in Washington, D.C., where she directed the organization’s health policy portfolio and oversaw advocacy strategy for key policy initiatives, including implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and comprehensive health care payment and delivery system reform. Kennedy has worked extensively on health policy at both the federal and state levels and is an expert on ACA, Medicare, and Medicaid policy.

She has held senior policy positions at Boston Medical Center, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation. From 2014-2017, Kennedy served on the board of Family Medicine for America’s Health.

Kennedy graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles. She holds a law degree with honors from Harvard Law School. Kennedy resides in Massachusetts with her husband and two children.


Elevating Lives 2019

Dates: Wednesday, October 30th and Thursday, November 21st

Location: UMass Club, One Beacon Street, 32nd Floor

YW Boston’s 2019 Elevating Lives Series will focus on institutional racism, barriers to racial equity in Boston, and successful interventions towards building more equitable spaces.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Conversation: Understanding what you can do to promote racial equity

8:30 AM – Registration and coffee open | 9:00 to 10:30 AM – Breakfast and Program

Fireside Chat featuring Dr. Robert W. Livingston

Join us for a fireside chat with YW Boston President & CEO Beth Chandler and Dr. Robert W. Livingston, Lecturer of Public Policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, as we explore ways to further racial equity in Boston.


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The making of an inclusive leader: How to drive change in Boston

7:30 AM – Registration and coffee open | 8:00 to 9:30 AM – Breakfast and Program

Inclusive leadership is essential for achieving success in our increasingly diverse world, but how does one become an inclusive leader? Learn from our panel of experts about what it takes to become a more inclusive leader, how to leverage diverse view points, and how to drive lasting change in the City of Boston.

Beth Chandler, President and CEO, YW Boston, will moderate a panel that will include:

  • Julie Goodridge, Founder & CEO, NorthStar Asset Management, Inc.
  • Josh Herron, Assurance Partner, PwC
  • Donna Levin, Executive Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, WPI and Co-founder, Care.com


Elevating Lives 2018

Thursday, December 6, 2018 Fireside Chat – Diversity: The Value Side of the Equation

7:30 AM – Registration and coffee open | 8:00 to 10:00 AM – Breakfast and Program

Join us for a fireside chat with YW Boston’s President and CEO Beth Chandler and Sara Prince, Partner at McKinsey & Company and one of the authors of McKinsey’s ground-breaking reports linking financial performance and levels of gender and ethnic diversity in a company’s leadership team. This will be followed by an interactive session with the audience.

Report Link: 2018 Delivering through Diversity Report


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Closing Racial and Gender Gaps, Strategies That Work

7:30 AM – Registration and coffee open | 8:00 to 9:30 AM – Breakfast and Program

Diversifying leadership in organizations large and small can seem daunting. We continue to see reports that women, people of color, and particularly women of color are not advancing into management and leadership positions.

What are concrete strategies that are having an impact?

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from recognized experts who bring both external and internal insights and real life practices for hiring and retention.

Maureen Alphonse-Charles, Managing Director at Koya Leadership Partners, will moderate a panel that will include:

  • Kim Dukes, Managing Director and Co-Founder, DSP Executive Search
  • Zena Lum, Senior Consultant, Lois L. Lindauer Searches
  • David Margolius, Vice President of Retail, Shawmut Design and Construction
  • Bob Selle, Chief Human Resource Officer, Ocean State Job Lot