Women of Color Initiative Committee

The Women of Color Initiative Committee assists Women Leaders’ efforts to increase exposure for women of color broadly across the industry, raise awareness of the barriers women of color experience and assist in building more inclusive communities of excellence. 

Working alongside the national office, this committee will help promote, share resources, and actively participate in the Women of Color Community platform for members to connect, advocate for one another, and address issues specific to women of color.


  • Identify issues specific to women of color and develop strategies  to serve the needs of members through all components of the Women of Color Initiative
  • Increase  awareness and involvement in the Women of Color Initiative
  • Assist Women Leaders staff in planning and ideating for Women of Color Initiative events
  • Actively engage in the Women of Color Community
  • When appropriate, assist with facilitating and promoting Women of Color Chats and Women of Color Wednesday Calls

Qualifications for Committee Members

Committee members should:

  • Currently be engaged in the WOC Initiative
  • Exhibit a passion and enthusiasm for equality and advancement of women of color
  • Dedicated to supporting positive  change for Black and Brown communities
  • Serve as an advocate and ally for marginalized groups

Time Commitment

Committee  calls are typically one hour in length and help approximately once every two months. Additionally, weekly engagement in the Women of Color Community is needed throughout the year.

2021 Committee Members

Board of Directors Liaisons: Etienne Thomas, Director of Athletics, Winston-Salem State University and Lesley Irvine, Vice President, Director of Athletics, Colorado College 
Member Chair: 
Erienne Roberts, Associate Director of Athletics and Senior Woman Administrator, Ithaca College 
Staff Liaison:
 Kaila'Shea Menendez, Director of Leadership Programming & Events

Committee Members: 

  • Oyinkansola Adewale, Student-Athlete Academic Advisor, St. Francis College
  • Abigail Edwards, Postgraduate Intern, NCAA 
  • Melissa Gill, Account Manager, San Diego State University 
  • Jessica Gray, Assistant Athletics Director, J.T. & Margaret Talkington Leadership Academy, Texas Tech University 
  • Cara Holdsclaw, Senior Associate Athletics Director, External Affairs, Columbia University 
  • Paula Jackson, Assistant Director of Athletics/Senior Woman Administrator, Hampton University 
  • Angel Mason, Director of Athletics, Berry College 
  • Jen McKillop, Associate Athletic Director/Senior Woman Administrator, Franklin Pierce University 
  • De-Neita Peoples, Director of Athletic Compliance, University of Southern California 
  • Liz Reyes, Assistant Director of Athletics, Illini Way Student-Athlete Development, University of Illinois 
  • Kaitlyn Zook, Assistant Executive Director of Communication & Championships, Ivy League