Panel Discussion - Virtual Series - October 8, 2020

  • 10/08/2020
  • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Virtual Zoom Event


Registration is closed

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

      Oct. 8, 2020… The Southeastern CT Women’s Network in collaboration with the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) of CT is sponsoring a panel discussion on the topic of “Women and Voting” - a free Zoom event on Thursday, October 8th from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The panel will discuss the history of voting, the suffrage movement and the voting rights act of 1965. The event will feature panelist, Janice Mathis, Esq, the Executive Director of The National Council of Negro Women. Other panelists are Jean M. Jordan, President of the New London, CT Chapter of the NAACP, and Joanne Moore, Vice President of SECT League of Women Voters. Kia Baird, CESP, NCNW of New London County and Job Developer with the State of CT will moderate the panel. Please join us for this special and timely event. This panel is the 2nd in a series of monthly panels focusing on Unconscious Bias – Unveiling Racism.

The next panel on Thursday, November 12th will focus on antisemitism and will be moderated by Carin Savel, Executive Director of The Jewish Federation of Eastern, CT. 

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

    Janice L. Mathis (Featured Panelist) is the Executive Director of the 85-year old National Council of Negro Women and has broad-based experience as a lawyer, negotiator, advocate, administrator and team builder. Ms. Mathis is noted for her decades of work with Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. She served as General Counsel and Chief of Staff to the Rainbow PUSH coalition. She helped negotiate numerous diversity and inclusion pacts with Fortune 100 firms, served on the Coca-Cola and Georgia Power diversity advisory councils, orchestrated legislative-related efforts in Georgia and shareholder activism nationally. She campaigned for media decency and reform of the criminal justice system and led CEF’s financial literacy partnership with Wells Fargo. She also was managing partner of Thurmond, Mathis and Pickett, a general practice law firm in Athens, Georgia. Mathis earned a B.A. in Public Policy Studies from Duke University and is a graduate of the Lumpkin School of Law at the University of Georgia. The National Council of Negro Women is a Washington, D.C.-based international non-profit organization making a difference in the lives of women, children and families throughout the world through research, advocacy, and community-based services and programs. The organization was founded on December 5, 1935 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune. Dr. Dorothy Irene Height, President Emerita, led the organization for more than fifty years before passing in 2010. For more information, please visit

     Kia A. Baird (Moderator) is a Certified Employment Support Professional; she holds roles both as a Manager of vocational programming and as a Job Developer. Kia’s work allows her to fulfill her purpose of connecting people with opportunities. Ms. Baird serves as the President of the New London County Section of the National Council of Negro Women, an organization founded in 1935 by Mary Mcleod Bethune to work collectively for women’s rights and the rights of young people. Kia is a former Ambassador for the Eastern CT Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals and served the Chamber as a member of its Board of Trustees. In 2013 Kia Baird received the Young Professionals Community Service Award. In 2015, she was honored with her peers as one the region’s 40 Under Forty and in the follow years Kia was privileged to become one the SECT Professional Women of the Year and 100 Women of Color (CT, MA, RI). Kia is a founding member of the Eastern Connecticut Urban Professionals, an organization dedicated to Networking and Career Development for Professionals in the urban parts of our state. Kia is the President of OutCT, a 501c3 organization that works to build a community through educational and social programming that promotes acceptance and understanding of the LGBTQ community. Kia is also the Co-Chair of the Southeastern CT Re-entry Council, serving individuals that are returning to the community after incarceration. She is also on the Diversity Board for the Norwich Bulletin and has been featured several times as a guest columnist. Kia Baird is a classically trained soprano. She studied the business of music at the Historically Black College- Winston Salem State University (UNC) located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Kia studied both sacred and classical music and concentrated in jazz under the tutelage of D’Walla Simmons Burke, Richard Heard and Dr. David Legette. Among other memorable performances, Kia was the soprano in the Opera Barefoot, narrated by the Late Dr. Maya Angelou and is currently the featured Soloist for RPM Voices of Rhode Island. Kia is a former Board of Directors member of the Norwich Arts Center, where she created Miss Lottie’s Café, A jazz- theater series, named for art and community activist, Lottie B Scott in historic Norwich, CT and is the Founder of Girls in Jazz. Kia serves on the Executive Committee for the Southeastern CT Cultural Coalition. Kia’s dream is to connect people with passion and creativity to opportunities that develop exceptional business acumen, drive economic development and strengthening the community as a whole.

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