Panel Discussion - Virtual Series - September 10, 2020

  • 09/10/2020
  • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Virtual Zoom Event


Registration is closed

“Unconscious Bias – Unveiling Racism” –  A Panel Discussion – Virtual Series – Sponsored by the SECT Women's Network

      Sept. 10, 2020 – The Southeastern CT Women’s Network is sponsoring a panel discussion on the topic of “Unconscious Bias – Unveiling Racism” - a free Zoom event on Thursday, September 10th from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Members of the panel include: Camilla Ross, President of Emerson Theater Collaborative, LaQuana Sheppard, LMSW, Social Worker and Leadership Coach, and Kolton Harris, Executive Director of Writers’ Block, InK. The panel will be moderated by Adriane Jefferson, Director of the Department of Arts and Cultural Affairs for the city of New Haven. Please join us for this special and timely event. This panel is the first in a series of monthly panels focusing on Unconscious Bias. The October 8th’ panel will discuss voter registration and suppression and the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment.

Open to the public. To join the panel discussion, go to the Zoom Link:

The Network strives to create a dynamic and diverse membership, which promotes powerful, personal, and professional relationships through the advancement and education of its members.

For more information go to

For more information, contact: Lisa Giordano,; (860)861-3743

     Camilla Ross is President and Chairman of Emerson Theater Collaborative. To thine own self be true—Camilla Ross’s resourceful, versatile life is a testament to this ideal. Passionate, loving and giving, she’s led and gathered a host of loyal students, colleagues and champions throughout her life to achieve great works, and empower the spirits and well-being of others. “To be a catalyst for social change is really where it’s at for me,” Camilla said. “I believe theater should always be a venue for social change. I love the art of live theater and love what it does to the human soul and spirit. It moves us to look at life differently. To leave off the rose colored glasses and really see the human condition.”
    ETC is a shining example. Founded in 2008 to give voice to actors’ innate talent for character development, Camilla has since produced more than 20 inspired, original performances. Emerging and professional cast and crew have blossomed under her guidance. And together they’ve created profound, can’t-ever-forget shows that illuminate social issues, and transform audience curiosity into concern and action.
     The art of performing is also ingrained in Camilla’s soul. “God gave me the gift when I was born, I just discovered its worth as I got older,” she added. Camilla has a deep well of experience and mentorship to tap into for her ETC roles—from her days at Emerson College, and then in regional theaters and commercials. Among her favorite portrayals? Capturing the heart, spark and essence of Harriet Tubman in the one-woman show Harriet Tubman’s Dream.

     LaQuana Sheppard is a licensed master’s social worker and certified school social worker for the State of Connecticut. LaQuana has a specialty in trauma recovery and empowerment through self-love strategy and holistic practices. LaQuana has received a Masters of Social Work from Springfield College. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Social Work with a minor in sociology from Southern Connecticut State University. LaQuana has over ten-years of intentional experience working with vulnerable populations. She has worked in outpatient health centers, in-home clinical services, homeless shelters, an elementary school serving as a School Social Worker, higher education; where she served as a Social Integration Specialist serving students on the Autism Spectrum- among other neurodevelopmental disorders, providing social learning programming. Currently, LaQuana works contractually with a Behavioral Consulting Service providing ABA therapy to adolescents on the Autism Spectrum, and owns and operates Alter Wellness Services, LLC; focusing primarily on anxiety and stress management using meditation, affirmation work, and body healing; as well as trauma healing utilizing self-love strategies and confidence building for goal achievement. LaQuana serves on the board of directors for Writer's Block, InK with a focus on student wellness and care. LaQuana is the New Haven, Connecticut Chapter President for Black Girl Social Club organizing social events to include networking, educational and wellness workshops, as well as outdoor adventures for Black women professionals. LaQuana works actively to assist people to reclaim their self-love, redefine healthy mind, body, and spirit, and rediscover true self in efforts to reach their truest potential. LaQuana is also a mother to a creative and fun-loving human named Maxwell Sheppard.

     Kolton Harris is an artist, musician, director, facilitator, and creative visionary from Groton, CT. He has worked as an Arts Administrative Leader in various capacities for the past several years, developing Arts Integration curriculum focused on social justice and youth development. As a creative director, he has directed new works of theater, interdisciplinary events and community-based programming. Through his eclectic approach as a musician, he has positioned himself as a vessel through which hope and unity are expressed in the midst of the harsh realities of the modern world. As a fierce advocate for the centrality of art to the human experience, he has continued to build bridges between arts and different sectors to demonstrate the universal necessity for creativity in all fields and experiences. Graduating with honors from Connecticut College in 2014 with a BA in English, Kolton’s interest in the power of narrative led to his work with the New London-based nonprofit Writer’s Block InK, an organization that empowers youth to create new works of art for social change, where he serves as the Executive Director. His work centers on diversifying representation within arts-based industries and demonstrating the power of the arts to heal, transform and flourish humanity. 

     Adriane Jefferson is an Executive in Arts Administration and cultural equity with expertise in program design, event & media production, grant making, external affairs ,community partnerships, and new program initiatives. She specializes in professional development programming for young creative professionals, people of color and social change. She is a thought-leader, adviser and educator pertaining to issues of diversity, equity, access, and inclusion. She has dedicated her career to creating programs that result in a more equitable, vibrant and sustainable arts landscape. Adriane is currently the Director of the Department of Arts and Cultural Affairs for the City of New Haven prior to that she was an arts program manager for the CT Office of the Arts and the Executive Eirector of the Writers Block, InK in New London, CT.

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