TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Barking like a dog. Meowing like a cat. Hissing like a snake. What does this have to do with diversity and inclusion?
Tricia Cullop is the University of Toledo Women's Basketball coach and the brains behind not just the Rocket's winning season, but this conference.
Cullop said the animal exercise looks silly but it does hammer home the importance of feeling accepted.
One Polly Fox Academy student agrees.
"Everyone was supposed to be an animal and stuff and I was an elephant, but I couldn't find no elephants," said 20-year-old Breezi Jacobs. "But I did find a group and they just accepted me and told me to be with them. so that was nice."
There was a total of 375 women of all ages and backgrounds that came together to learn ways to support women in leadership roles and encourage the next generation.
"The young girls, young woman moving forward in the world. The workplaces they're going to be in will be so different from their mothers and their grandmothers and I think that's such a positive change for this country," said Christine Brennan, a Toledo Native and a pioneer in Woman's Sports Journalism.
Brennan is also an advocate for woman's equality, not just in sports and sports journalism (an area she's a pioneer in) but also in politics, business and at home.
"We are stronger as a country because girls and women are playing sports and learning those life lessons at a younger age about winning and losing and being great teammates," Brennan said.
Some of the young women in the audience today have never experienced a conference like this.
"Because sometimes people underestimate women and think we can't do as much as men can do," said Saphire Daniels a 15-year-old Polly Fox Academy Student. "We have, we can like be more powerful that... we can show that we have more knowledge that we can do it."
WTOL 11's Sports Anchor and Reporter Danielle Dwyer was the emcee for the daylong event.
The money raised will support the women's basketball team on their international travels.