Penn State Greater Allegheny to host third panel of its Crossing Bridges Summit

'Psychological Perspectives on Black Women’s Health' will be livestreamed by WPSU on March 18

MCKEESPORT, Pa. — Penn State Greater Allegheny in McKeesport will host a Crossing Bridges Summit event, “Psychological Perspectives on Black Women’s Health," at 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 18.

WPSU will produce the event and broadcast it live at

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and Allegheny Health Network serve as the Platinum Sponsors for the event, which is free and open to the public.

The Crossing Bridges Summit is a signature program at Greater Allegheny. Its purpose is to bring students, faculty, staff and community members together and to help bridge racial divides in the Mon Valley. This year, the summit is placing Black women’s health at the center of its work, and examining the topic from a number of perspectives. The fall 2020 panels considered medical, socioeconomic, and environmental perspectives of Black women’s health.

“Our Crossing Bridges Summit committee identified this year’s theme after reading the “Pittsburgh’s Inequality Across Race and Gender” report (September 2019),” said Jacqueline Edmondson, chancellor and chief academic officer. “We are partnering with local and national experts to help the campus community and the public understand the issues identified in this report. In March, we take up a timely and critical topic. The pandemic alone has had a significant impact on mental health and Black women have been disproportionately impacted.”

Panelists for the March 18 event include Raven Davis, Allegheny County Health Enrollment Unit supervisor; Kathi R. Elliot, chief executive officer at Gwen’s Girls; Dashawna J. Fussell-Ware, doctoral student fellow, Steel Smiling; and Dr. Stella Onuoha-Obilor, vice president, Clinical Quality Highmark Health.

Johnathan White, assistant teaching professor of history at Penn State Greater Allegheny will serve as the moderator. Ke’ira Williams, a junior at Penn State Greater Allegheny majoring in biobehavioral health, will speak before the panel begins.

Greater Allegheny will host a virtual Summit Talk at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 20, allowing campus and community members to discuss the panelists’ perspectives and to identify actionable items to address inequity in the region. There is no cost to attend the Summit Talk, but registration is required. Please visit

“Our fall events reached a wide, national audience. People continue to watch the archive recordings, demonstrating a desire to learn about the serious inequities faced by Black women,” said Edmondson. “Those who watch on March 18 will join in our collaborations with community partners to advocate for meaningful change in our region.”

The Crossing Bridges Summit began in 2017. It is comprised of five pillars; the Speakers Series, Summit Talks, student-led Unity Talks, a Visiting Scholar program, and a Task Force on Racial Equity and Justice. The final event of the 2020–21 academic year will be held on April 15. During that event, local and state experts will discuss policy and political influences on Black women’s health. For more information, please visit