Pace Magazine

Mentoring Matters

Johnni Medina
July 11, 2022
students from Shades gather together

For 15 years, members of the Shades Women of Color Collective on Pace’s NYC Campus have been meeting, talking, and uplifting one another.

“Shades is a mentoring program but in a nontraditional sense,” says Denise Santiago, PhD, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs and coordinator for the collective. “It’s a support space for Black and Latina women, and all women are welcome.”

The weekly discussion groups tackle everything from social media, mental health, wellness, leadership, politics, and more. But it’s not just talk. The women of Shades attend outings together, organize special events, and share professional opportunities.

"If you keep showing up, we keep showing up.”

Nina Riley ’22 came to Shades as a student and grew into a role as a facilitator. She finds that having a space to share experiences can lead to real change. “People value transformative storytelling,” she says. “Students come in and share their hair stories, or stories related to other topics, and we learn from each other.”

At the heart of Shades is a sense of community. “We welcome all women and femmes into Shades,” Riley says. “If you want to be a part of the conversation, you are welcome. And we really do create a family. If you keep showing up, we keep showing up.”

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