top of page

8th Annual Lesbians+ of Color Symposium (LOCS)


"Change the story and you change perception; change perception and you change the world." - Jean Houston

Postponed due to COVID-19 Pandemic - New Date(s) Forthcoming

proudly co-hosted by Harvard Law School Lambda, a student organization at Harvard Law School 

Pre-Registration (required) Open and Available through March 10th
FEC-Logos-High-Res_COLOR (2).png
Fenway Health Primary Logo.jpg
nclr logo.png
image001 (1).png
GLAD_Logo (1).png
meetingpoint logo-wide.png

Friday, March 20th | Legacy Opening Cocktail Reception | 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM


5:00 – 7:00 PM           

Registration + Speed Networking


7:00 – 9:00 PM   Opening Remarks + Keynote Address


Kristen McCallum Coley | Founder, SafeWordSociety - Legacy Guest of Honor 

Kristen McCallum Coley is a speaker, writer, and social impact founder & consultant who partners with mission-aligned artists, organizations & institutions to design and develop sustainable & scalable workshops, programs, and systems that enhance lasting collaborations and empowering engagement. Kristen is highly regarded for her ability to curate intentionally equitable spaces that highlight the significance of lived experiences through impactful dialogue with her authentic values-led approach. Some of Kristen’s current & past clients include the Obama Foundation, Ace Hotel New York, Peoplmovr and Shine Bootcamp.

Kristen is launching a dialogue-based curriculum in Spring 2020 that she co-designed with The Obama Foundation and is in the process of writing her first book.

Lily Zheng | Organizational Designer + Executive Coach - Keynote Speaker

Lily Zheng is a diversity, equity & inclusion consultant and executive coach who works with organizations around the world to create high-impact and sustainable change. A dedicated change-maker, speaker, and advocate, she writes frequently for publications including the Harvard Business Review, New York Times, and HR Executive, and is the coauthor of Gender Ambiguity in the Workplace: Transgender and Gender-Diverse Discrimination. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with a partner and can frequently be found wearing too much black.


Saturday, March 21st | MMXX LOCS II |9:00 AM – 4:00 PM


Special Guests Fireside Conversation  

Ericka Huggins | Educator + Former Leading Black Panther Party Member - Legacy Special Guest

Ericka is a  human rights activist, poet, educator, Black Panther Party leader and former political prisoner. For the past 36 years I’ve lectured throughout the United States and internationally. My life experiences have enabled me to speak personally and honestly on issues relating to the physical and emotional well-being of women, children and youth, whole being education, the incarceration of men and women of color, and the role of the spiritual practice in sustaining activism and promoting social change.

Renee Graham | Associate Editor + Columnist , Boston Globe 


Legacy Sessions I 11:00 – 12:00 PM      


Level Up: “Authentically” Advancing  in Your Career presented by  Bendita Cynthia Malakia, Esq.

Everyone has advice to give about how to advance in your career at your organization, but how do you do this when you do not look or embody the part?: you are not the older cisgender straight white man or woman that embodies leadership in society or your organization. Diversity and inclusion strategist, change agent, lawyer and certified professional coach Bendita Cynthia Malakia will explore oft-mentioned strategies for navigating your career authentically that tend to be under- or unexplained in the QWOC context.

Kink n Femme presented by Shanae “Honestly Nae” Adams

Mainstream depictions of kink center on men dominating femme submissives. This blatant erasure of femdom (femme domination) paints the misconception that femmes are only meant to submit. This workshop will expose participants to femme dominants and uncover the motivations and liberation within femme domination. 


 A TOMBOI Conversation presented by Toni Branson

A conversation exploring the liberation of masculinity and gender identity in fashion. 


12:00 – 1:00 PM          Legacy Luncheon Speaker Spotlight featuring


"Overcoming Stereotypes and Creating Your Personal Brand | Susu Wong | Principal Founder, Tomo360

In this talk, Susu Wong, will share her personal journey and discuss ways to help debunk stereotypes and emerge as your true self. Explore your communication styles to find your whole voice. Utilize technologies to help amplify your voice and advocate for yourself.


"Advancing Equality for LGBTQ Families" | Serena Johnson | Chief Program Officer| Family Equality

 A brief overview of the Family Equality and the services available to queer families of color. 

Legacy Sessions II 1:00 – 2:00 PM           


Ya Heard! presented by Jha D + Phree

 Some say that one’s greatest fear is public speaking. Ours is that we will not be Heard – that our trauma and triumph will not impact listening hearts. With over a decade of experience, we are fully convinced of the power of speaking your own truth and persuaded by the healing that comes from it.


“We Must Document Ourselves Now”: Methods of Self-Preservation presented by Zakiya Collier

Queer writers of color, Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, and Beverly and Barbara Smith, understood the importance of caring for themselves and remembering, documenting, and sharing their stories. Within the library, archives and museum profession there has been continuing discussion on collecting and preserving queer of color narratives. However, there has not been sufficient focus on the digital self-documentary practices that these communities employ as a means to both document their lived experiences and as a method of survival itself. This workshop explores creative approaches to self-preservation through the sharing and demonstrations of my own personal archiving practices as a black-queer woman – including periodically downloading social media archives, blogging, establishing naming conventions for files and photos, digitizing journals, collecting and digitizing family and community materials, web-archiving meaningful resources for queer communities of color, archiving screenshots, and creating digital zines.


Play to Your Strengths presented by Karen Bayard

 Most people would agree that play is fun and beneficial....for children.  But can it be useful for adults?  Can it leverage the upheaval many of us feel in trying times?  Is it possible to be more productive at work and in life while playing?  Will it be of any support to those of us who are ill?  The answer to each of these questions is a resounding YES!  Join me as we explore the possibilities & positive ripple effects of playing to your strengths!                                 


2:00 – 3:00 PM            Keynote – Kay Martinez | Diversity & Inclusion Consultant

3:00 - 4:00 PM        QTPOC in the Academy Roundtable Participants 

Marya T. Mtshali, Ph. D.

Lecturer, Studies of Women, Gender and Sexuality | Harvard University

Marya T. Mtshali, Ph.D. is a Lecturer on Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Harvard University. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Boston College under the tutelage of Dr. Zine Magubane. She obtained her B.S. in Sociology, B.S. in Marketing with an emphasis in international business, and a minor in Women and Gender Studies from Arizona State University.


Her areas of interest include intersectionality, sexuality, and inequality. Her most recent research project focused on the roles that race, gender and racialized gender ideologies play in how members of heterosexual Black/White intimate couples navigate racial difference in managing negative public interactions, intra-relational discussions of race, and childrearing. Her next planned research project will focus on the experiences and identities of bisexual Black women, and how they create and incorporate a bisexual identity into their lives within a society with rigid constructs of femininity, race and sexuality. Outside the realm of academia, she worked at companies such as MassMutual and Vanguard, as well as in the non-profit sector.


Phylicia Coley, M.Ed.

Associate Dean, Off Campus Common | Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 

Phylicia is passionate about curating empowering environments to support positive student experiences and promote equitable student engagement. Her career achievements span the areas of student & professional development, curriculum & program design, and community outreach. Phylicia received her master’s degree in Educational Administration and Policy and a dual-bachelor’s degree in Biology and Women’s Studies from The University at Albany, SUNY. Phylicia has also shared her expertise in Educational Counseling and Psychology as an undergraduate lecturer at her alma mater. 

Phylicia speaks openly about her dedication to promoting access and mentorship for students, prioritizing those facing adversities, as a queer Black woman in higher education leadership. She enjoys making connections in the field and sharing information about normalizing learning spaces that affirm ever-changing student populations, on-campus and off. "

Kim Salas Harris, Ph.D.

Assistant Director, Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging | Harvard Kennedy School 

MAP logo_orange.jpg (1) (6).png
bottom of page