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STSI 2024 Day of Action 2024

Updated: May 3

A Resounding Success! 4/20/24 | Yonkers, NY


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Conference Recap:

Yonkers, NY, April 20, 2024 - Sister to Sister International's (STSI) 4th Annual Day of  Recognition, Education, and Action at the Grinton I. Will Public Library in Yonkers, NY, was a resounding success, drawing various members, workgroup leaders, and community partners who came together to make a collective impact throughout the county focused on STSI's four pillars. 


The day kicked-off with Cheryl Brannan, founder of STSI and the Westchester Black Maternal Child Center of Excellence (WBMCCE), setting the tone. Brannan explained the organization's mission, objectives, and the day's schedule, emphasizing the intersection of STEM education, health disparities, and their impact on Black and Brown women and girls. 


Featured speakers during the day included  Asha Castleberry-Hernandez, National Security Expert and Dr. Uché Blackstock. Castleberry-Hernandez spoke about her military career and journey and encouraged young attendees to explore career opportunities in cybersecurity, national security, and artificial intelligence. Recognition was a highlight where STSI applauded community partners for their support of their four workgroup pillars: Health & wellness and Black maternal health; Social and juvenile justice; STEM & STEAM curriculum and Entrepreneurship and pay equity; Westchester County Deputy County Executive, Ken Jenkins,  delivered greetings and elaborated on Westchester County's commitment to the Westchester Black Maternal and Child Center of Excellence and continuing to fund community partners as part of their joint effort to improve birth outcomes and promote birth equity in Westchester County. Ms. Brannan expressed gratitude to County Executive Latimer, the Deputy County Executive, and staff for their ongoing support of this initiative. Also, in attendance were Legislators  Terry Clements and Jewel Williams Johnson.


Next, participants were actively engaged in a dynamic Fireside Chat featuring Dr. Uché Blackstock, a distinguished physician, Founder and CEO of Advancing Health Equity, and a New York Times bestselling author.  The conversation was moderated by  STSI member physicians Stephanie Lovinsky-Desir, MD,  and Chiatogu Onyewu, MD PhD. Dr. Blackstock, renowned for her tireless efforts in advocating against systemic biases and racism within the healthcare sector, offered profound insights.   She shared her journey, emphasizing the importance of recognizing when to act and highlighting the dangers of oversimplification and disrespect. Additionally, she eloquently detailed the pivotal moments that heightened her awareness of the systemic racism faced by individuals of Black and Brown origins. Dr. Blackstock also captivated the audience by reading excerpts from her acclaimed book, Legacy, and engaging in an interactive and engaging question-and-answer session.

 NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins and Congressman Jamal Bowman, who typically attend this conference, were both in session. Another highlight was the workgroup break-out sessions focused on actions and next steps related to STSI's four pillars.   To join a workgroup or for additional information please email info@s2si.org.  We are excited to share that STSI has several upcoming events and initiatives planned to continue our mission of training, education, and empowerment.  Please log on to s2si.org for more information.


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