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Global Feminist Issues Take Center Stage at Toni Cade Bambara Scholar-Activism Conference at Spelman College

For Immediate Release

Media Contact(s): 

Spelman College
Audrey Arthur
404-270-5892 (office) 

ATLANTA (March 22, 2012) - The 12th Annual Toni Cade Bambara Scholar-Activism Conference, "Warrior Women Arise!," will examine the global efforts and impact of women in social activism, with sessions delving into the Arab Spring, the Palestine Revolution and the equal rights struggles of women of the Congo. The March 23-24 conference, sponsored by the Spelman College Women's Research and Resource Center, will also explore issues related to sexuality and the Black female body and the role of women of color in contemporary political movements.

Named for feminist author, scholar, activist and filmmaker Toni Cade Bambara, the conference acknowledges her legacy of scholarship and social activism. The event's keynote speakers are Mohja Kahf, Ph.D., an associate professor at the University of Arkansas, who will profile women behind the launch of the Arab Spring, and South African scholar Patricia McFadden, Ph.D., who will speak to the challenges and transformational potential of African feminism.

Each year the two-day conference is developed and facilitated by Spelman students who are led by Bahati Kuumba, Ph.D., associate professor of women's studies, and associate director of the Women's Research and Resource Center. "The conference brings awareness to issues related to women of African descent and women of color who have been actively engaged in using their knowledge and organizational skills to forward social justice," said Kuumba. "This year, we intend to focus both a global and local lens on the efforts of women in the U.S., Africa, the Caribbean and the Arab countries who are making a difference." The work of Atlanta-based grassroots community organizations, such as Project South, will also be highlighted, added Kuumba.

The conference begins in the Camille Hanks Cosby Center at 6:30 p.m. on March 23 with a gallery conversation in the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, followed by an opening celebration in remembrance of Toni Cade Bambara, and a keynote presentation by Kahf. The schedule for March 24 is from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and includes concurrent panel discussions, a luncheon and keynote presentation by McFadden, and a mini film festival.

The event is free and open to the public. On-site conference registration begins at 9:30 a.m., March 24 at the Cosby Center. For more information, call the Women's Research and Resource Center at 404-270-5625.

Conference Schedule

Friday, March 23, 2012

  • 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Gallery Conversation, Opening Reception & Celebration, Performances, Keynote Presentation and Solidarity Statements

Saturday, March 24, 2012

  • 9:30 a.m. - Registration Begins
  • 10 a.m.-11:15a.m. - Opening Plenary - "Ain't I a Spelman Woman? Channeling the Rebellious Spirit of Toni Cade Bambara"
  • 11:20 a.m.-12:35p.m. - Panel Presentations
  • 12:45 p.m.-2 p.m. - Luncheon Keynote Presentation with Patricia McFadden, Ph.D. - "Contemporary African Feminism: Conceptual Challenges and Transformational Prospects"
  • 2:15 p.m.-3:30 p.m. - Panel Presentations
  • 3:45 p.m.-5 p.m. - Closing Workshop - "Where Do We Enter?: Women of Color in Political Movements Today"
  • 5:15 p.m.-7 p.m. - Mini Film Festival 


About the Women's Research and Resource Center 
The Women's Research and Resource Center is the first women's research center at a historically Black college and the first one to offer a women's studies major. Over the course of its 25-year history, with sustained support from the Ford Foundation, the Center has facilitated faculty and student leadership development; collaborated with other departments/programs on and off campus to establish new courses (most recently in the sciences) that address issues of gender and race; established international linkages with universities outside the U.S. to increase their capacity to promote faculty and student development; and hosted a number of conferences that explore the lives of African and African descended women in a variety of cultural contexts. For more information, visit the Women's Research & Resource Center website.

About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a highly selective, liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, Ga., the college’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Outstanding alumnae include Children's Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman; Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer; JPMorgan Chase Foundation President Kimberly Davis; former acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna President Audrey Forbes Manley; Harvard College Dean Evelyn Hammonds; author Pearl Cleage; and actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson. For more information, visit www.spelman.edu.

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