PHRC celebrated International Women’s Day with a Women’s History Month event with Melissa Harris-Perry at York College


March 10, 2023

PHRC celebrated International Women's Day with a Women's History Month event with Melissa Harris-Perry at York College

Harrisburg, PA- The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) in partnership with the YWCA York held a Women's History Event featuring Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry at York College on March 8, 2023. The event was attended by members of the York community. 

"Last night, I was inspired listening to Dr. Harris-Perry," said PHRC Executive Director Chad Dion Lassiter, MSW. "She brought to the room real stories of a woman who has faced struggles but continues to be an educator whether that is in the school setting or a general setting. I hope the audience walked away feeling energized and ready to put in the work to be agents of social change. I also want to thank York College and Interim Provost Patrice DiQuinzio for hosting and moderating."

PHRC partnered with YWCA York to host this conversation and bring it to York College. 

"YWCA York thanks the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission for partnering with us to host last night's event," said C. Kim Bracey, YWCA York CEO. "Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry's words were powerful and moving. It was an honor to have her as a guest speaker on International Women's Day. I am pleased we were able to bring her to this community and I am also looking forward to future partnerships with the PHRC. Thank you also to York College for giving us such a wonderful space to hold this event."

Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry is the Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University where she teaches courses on American politics and elections at the intersections of race, place, and gender. She is also the Founder and President of the Anna Julia Cooper Center, an independent organization with a mission to advance justice and alleviate harm for women and girls of color in American higher education.  During last night's event, Dr. Harris-Perry was presented with the PHRC Social Justice Award.

"I want to thank the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and the YWCA York for inviting me to have an open discussion about race and gender," said Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry. "Conversations like the one we had last night can be difficult, but it can also lead to change. To bring true equity to our institutions, we can't continue to say, 'this is how it's always been.' It was an honor to be part of the discussion."

PHRC's celebration of Women's History Month continues with the following three virtual events.

  • On Thursday, March 16, PHRC will be joined by PennDOT Director of Equitable Transportation Nicole Tyler for a discussion about advancing and improving equity, inclusion and belonging in transportation. The Teams meeting will begin at 1 p.m. To attend, click here.
  • On Wednesday, March 22, PHRC will be joined by Commonwealth Victim Advocate Suzanne V. Estrella to discuss pathways to empowerment. The Teams meeting will begin at 1 p.m. To attend, click here.
  • On Wednesday March 29, PHRC will be joined by Rev. Carla Christopher, Assistant to the Bishop of Lower Susquehanna Synod in charge of justice ministries, to discuss how we can use our stories, skills and experiences to become catalysts of social change. The Teams meeting will begin at 1 p.m. To attend click here.

About PHRC: PHRC, the state's leading social justice enforcement agency, urges anyone who has experienced acts of discrimination or hate to file a complaint with the PHRC by calling 717-787-4410.  Information and resources are also available at

NOTE FOR EDITORS: Here is a link to view photos from last night's event.                                                                                                                                                                                                      


PHRC Media Contact Details

Amanda Brothman

Communications Director 771-856-5971
Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission Media