Courageous Conversations – Addressing Trauma During Times of Crisis Part 4

This webinar is available for on-demand viewing!

By popular demand and aligned with the Center for Leadership Development’s Crowned & Courageous: Women of Color Network, women of color leaders will discuss trauma, the unique needs of women of color both pre- and post-COVID-19, and the essential contributions women of color consistently make to every component of personal and professional life.

Discussion Highlights:

  • Unpacking the term “essential”.
  • Are there specific ways in which the roles of women of color have changed during the pandemic?
  • How has the pandemic shifted and altered the work/life balance for women of color?
  • How can women of color be best supported during and after the pandemic—both personally and professionally?

Who Should Attend:

  • Nonprofit organizational leadership, management and key staff
  • Nonprofit women-of-color staff
  • Nonprofit staff of color
  • Front line and direct service staff working in communities of color


Please contact Nakia Johnson at

Speaker Bios

Dr. Darlene Williams
Women in Need (WIN)
Dr. Darlene Williams is an executive and community leader, agent of change, author, professor, and unwavering advocate for issues related to social injustice, inequity, disparities and the community. She currently serves as the founding Chief Program Officer at Women in Need (Win) overseeing Win’s extensive programmatic portfolio of transitional homeless shelters and supportive housing facilities across New York City as well as their associated programs and mental health services.
In this role, Dr. Williams leads the programmatic roadmap to ensure effectiveness of program and service delivery to clients that guides Win’s mission of transforming the lives of NYC homeless women and children by providing a holistic solution of safe housing and critical services that will enhance independence. This includes mental health support, financial literacy, income building services, childcare, recreation, summer camp, and afterschool programs for all Win clients. In her previous positions as an executive in New York City government, Dr. Williams served as the Assistant Commissioner at the NYC Department of Veterans Services (DVS) and was responsible for direct development, implementation, and management of VetsThriveNYC, the veteran-specific component to the First Lady of NYC’s groundbreaking ThriveNYC mental health program. She also held progressively responsible executive positions at the NYC Administration for Children's Services (ACS) and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) where she focused on improvements in health status for NYC's most impoverished neighborhoods by leading teams that targeted programs and resources in high-need neighborhoods to ensure quality care, the reduction of health disparities as well as addressing the fundamental factors that impact spiritual, emotional, environmental, and economic wellness. Prior to her roles in NYC government, Dr. Williams served in various positions in the private sector related to the improvement of livability, wellness, and health for individuals in the homeless population, substance abuse, domestic violence, and therapeutic foster care. Her career path displays key positions in agencies that serve some of the City's highest need populations. In addition to her full-time work, in 2014 Dr. Williams published her first faith-based book, FPS: Freedom Positioning System, which served as a spiritual roadmap to mental health wellness. Since, 2012 she also serves as an Associate Adjunct Professor at Long Island University Brooklyn Campus in the School of Health Professions instructing students in a Diversity & Health Disparities course she developed, which explores the impact of factors such as racism, discrimination, diversity, culture, socio-economic status, gender, geography, and access to healthcare on the disparities in health status, life expectancy, and healthcare in the United States. Dr. Williams is active in her community. She is a proud member of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, serves on the Board of Directors and is a member of Black Agency Executives (BAE) and has participated on numerous community panels and initiatives for organizations such as Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executive (NOBLE), and the National Association of Black Military Women. She serves on board of the Community Coalition on Mental Health, The First Lady of New York City’s ThriveNYC Mental Health Advisory Board, and in various other initiatives through her community and faith-based houses of worship. She has several mentees whom she advises on career development, goals and educational endeavors. Dr. Williams is a product of the NYC Public School system in Queens and thereafter earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy & Administration with honors from Walden University, her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Metropolitan College of NY, and her Bachelor of Arts in Human Services from Audrey Cohen College. She is the proud recipient of the NYC Council Women’s History Month Heroine Award, Queens Borough Public Library Phenomenal Women Award, NYC Distinguished Service Award, Queens Borough President Citation of Honor, and recipient of the NYC Mayor’s Scholarship and she is a Northeast Regional Public Health Leadership Scholar.
Read More
Maria Lizardo
Maria Lizardo, LMSW is the Executive Director at NMIC. Ms. Lizardo joined NMIC as the Director of Social Services in 1998 and was promoted to be the Deputy Director of Client Services in 2004. Before joining NMIC, Ms. Lizardo worked at PROMESA, Inc., a multi-service agency in the Bronx for eight years, during which time she advanced from being a social worker in the substance abuse program to the Director of Community Development with responsibility for implementation and oversight of numerous tenant, youth, open space, and safety programs.
In 2014, Ms. Lizardo served initially as the Interim Executive Director and was then promoted to Executive Director of NMIC. She earned her Master of Social Work degree from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. She is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Read More
Theresa Young
Henry Street Settlement
Theresa A. Young, MSW, was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She has dedicated her personal and professional life to the advancement of women and girls. She maintains a footprint in several disciplines, including domestic violence, homelessness, education, mentoring. Theresa received a Master’s degree in Social Work from Hunter College, City University of New York, and a Bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University in Family and Community services.
She also holds advanced training in Non-Profit Management from Columbia University and is an American Express/Black Agency Executive Fellow. Theresa works as the Program Director of Henry Street Settlement’s Helen’s House, a shelter for single women and children where she oversees the day to day operations of the shelter and aftercare services for families who after they have moved out of shelter and relocated back into permanent housing in communities throughout NYC and Westchester County. Theresa is also the newly appointed lead of Henry Street Settlement’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Program (DEI) which seeks to advise Henry Street Settlement’s Leadership Team as it defines the agencies policy and practices and creates learning opportunities for its employees.
Read More
Vanessa Leung
Vanessa Leung joined CACF as Co-Executive Director in April 2017. She has served the education community through her career, advocating on behalf of Asian Pacific American students and English Language Learners in New York City public schools. She was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio to the the Panel for Educational Policy and has been Chair of the PEP since January 2014. She currently also sits on the Advisory Panel for the Brooke Astor Fund for New York City Education.
Prior to returning to CACF, for three years she was the Director of Member Initiatives at FPWA (formerly, the Federation for Protestant Welfare Agencies), where she was responsible for membership recruitment and engaging 200 community based and faith based member organizations, and worked with a team to provide professional development, grants, and other resources to support and strengthen nonprofits throughout the City. While Deputy Director for CACF, she was responsible for the development of a pan-Asian children’s advocacy agenda to improve policies, funding, and services for the Asian Pacific American community. As Education Policy and Program Coordinator of CACF, she authored Hidden in Plain View, a report detailing Asian and Pacific American students’ needs, and worked alongside other advocates on the creation of Chancellor’s Regulation A-663, mandating comprehensive interpretation and translation services, as well as the Dignity in All Schools Act which reduces bias-based harassment in schools. Vanessa spearheaded a high school youth leadership project, the Asian American Student Advocacy Project (ASAP) that trains a diverse group of high school students to advocate for the needs of Asian Pacific American students. In 2007, she was named a member of the City Council’s Middle School Task Force. She holds a bachelor’s degree from New York University and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Teachers College. She also completed the Middle Management Program of the Institute for Not-for-Profit Management at the Graduate School of Business of Columbia University, the CORO New York Immigrant Civic Leadership Program, the CRE Leadership Caucus, and the 2017 American Express Leadership Academy 2.0 at the Aspen Institute. Vanessa currently lives with her husband and three sons on Staten Island.
Read More
Xiomara Romain
Xiomara Romain is the Executive Director of LIFT-NY, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. LIFT’s innovative coaching program helps parents-mostly women of color set career, financial and educational goals in order to achieve economic mobility. Xiomara has worked in leadership roles in a range of organizations for over 20 years, leading teams and strategy at several nonprofit organizations including Vera Institute of Justice, Mentor New York, the Center for Community Alternatives, Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, TASC, Children of Promise, NYC and the Bedford Stuyvesant YMCA.
She started her career teaching social studies in District 16 in Brooklyn. Xiomara has served on the boards of the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and Bridge Street Development Corporation. Xiomara will defend her dissertation this fall titled “Overcoming Barriers to Leadership: Perceptions of Women of Color Executives in the Nonprofit Sector” at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and earned a Masters in Urban Policy from Brooklyn College, and a BA from Morgan State University, in Baltimore, Maryland and a certificate in executive leadership from Cornell University. Xiomara is an active member of the New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce, The National Association for Female Executives and the International Leadership Association (ILA), where she is a member of the Women and Leadership Affinity Group (WLAG) She is a passionate advocate of leadership development, gender equality, as well as women’s economic and financial empowerment. As a scholar practitioner Xiomara has presented extensively on leadership and women’s issues, most recently during the International Leadership Association Women in Leadership Conference in Scotts Valley, CA, and the Emerging Leaders Symposium and the Global Leadership Conference on Courage in Ottawa. She is also a former adjunct professor at Stony Brook University where she taught scholarly writing and research methods for five years.
Read More

Watch today by registering below

Registration is required.
Please be advised that by registering for this event, unless we hear from you otherwise, we will include you as part of our regular mailing list. Please also be advised that the event will be recorded by FPWA. By enrolling for this event, you hereby: (1) give consent for FPWA or any third parties to use your photograph or image in its print, online and video publications; (2) release FPWA, its employees and any outside third parties from all liabilities or claims that you might assert in connection with the above-described uses; and (3) waive any right to inspect, approve or receive compensation for any materials or communications, including photographs, videotapes, website images or written materials, incorporating photos/images of you. To revoke this waiver, please email