Cici Battle

Opportunity to engage at symposium

By Ashley A. Williams

Opportunity to engage at symposium

By Ashley A. Williams
Senior Manvi Seth provides an inside look at the Whitely Women’s Leadership Symposium, a conference focused on positive change through leadership, community, and wellness.

“I am… She is… We are enough,” is the theme of this year’s seventh annual Whitely Women’s Leadership Symposium (WWLS).

Manvi Seth, chair of the WWLS committee for the second year, said this is a space for participants to feel empowered, celebrated, and engage in conversations that will help them appreciate their personal passions, strengths, and achievements.

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, the event hosted by the Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership provides a full day of dialogue and activities for individuals to engage with their peers—with participation across the gender spectrum encouraged.

“I honestly believe that a lot of times when people hear that it’s a women’s leadership symposium, the men seem to back out of the room,” said Seth, a senior double majoring in mathematics and international studies. “But I don’t think that we can have a conversation about women’s empowerment without everyone’s voice at the table, and that includes men and everyone across the gender spectrum.”

Participants have the opportunity to engage in up to four “positive and powerful” workshops – including wellness breakout sessions – in addition to networking and a keynote presentation by Christin “Cici” Battle, director of People for the American Way Foundation’s Young People For. Battle, of Miami, is a youth engagement professional.

WWLS seeks to highlight and explore authentic relationships across the UM community. Seth is especially proud to have watched the program grow since her first year on campus.

Seth, a self-proclaimed introvert, said, “I have been involved in this symposium since my freshman year. This really helped me hone in on what’s important to me and helped me realize that I am passionate about this. I have met some amazing people and been able to branch out a lot.”

Following graduation in May, Seth plans to move to Chicago to pursue a master’s degree in public policy.

The symposium takes place on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the third floor of the Donna E. Shalala Student Center. Registration is free to undergraduates. Complete information about the Whitely Women’s Leadership Symposium, including registration, is available here, or contact