Academics: Majors and Programs

Toni Cade Bambara Scholar-Activism Conference

Spelman College Women's Research and Resource Center presents Black Women's Lives [& Liberation] Matter!

The 14th Annual Toni Cade Bambara Scholar-Activism Conference - March 20-21, 2015

About the Conference

Named for feminist author, scholar, activist and filmmaker Toni Cade Bambara, the conference acknowledges her legacy of scholarship and social activism.

“Year after year we’ve been able to motivate students to engage in creative ways to celebrate the life and legacy of one of our most important sheroes,” said Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Ph.D., founding director of the Women’s Research and Resource Center. “No one else remembers Toni Cade Bambara annually in the ways we do, and for that, I am sure the people she impacted for so many years, including me, are very grateful.”

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. It features paper presentations, workshops and performance pieces that delve into dimensions of Black/African women’s lives, scholarship and social change activism.

"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.

Conference Program

Friday, March 20

3 p .m.
Speak Out!
The Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, Ed.D. Academic Center 

 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Opening Celebration and Reception: Theme: Toni Cade Bambara's Life [Still] Matters
Spelman College Museum of Fine Art

Sisters of Ceremonies 
Amoni Thompson, C'2015 - Comparative Women's Studies 
Madyson Crawford, C'2016, Comparative Women's Studies 

Welcome: M Bahati Kuumba, Ph.D., Professor, Comparative Women's Studies
Performance: "Women's Work" Maren Hassinger, Artist/Activist

Remembering Toni Cade: Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Ph.D.,
Director, Women's Research and Resource Center

Spoken Word: "Trigger Warning," Sierra Witcher, C'2016
Economics/Japan Studies, Comparative Women's Studies

Breathing Toni Cade: Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Ph.D.,
Scholar, Artist, Activist and Founder of Brilliance Remastered

Dance: Veronikka Gittens, C'2016, Comparative Women's Studies 

Special Presentation to Karma Bambara Smith and Family 

Offering: “What’s Love Got to Do With It?: Radical Black Feminism IS Love @ the WRRC”
Yvonne Miller, Founding Director, Mindful Community

Student Solidarity Statements

  • Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance (FMLA)
  • Afrekete
  • SisterFire
  • Spelman CollegeSocial Justice Fellows
  • Toni Cade Bambara Scholars/Writers/Activists Collective
  • Students Against Mass Incarceration
  • AUC Alliance for Fair Labor  & United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS)
  • AUC Students for Justice for Palestine 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

9:00 a.m. - 1:30 a.m. 

Social Justice Fair
 Until 1:00 p.m.

Greetings and Opening Remarks
9:30-10:00 a.m.    
Ennis Cosby Reading Room      

M. Bahati Kuumba, Professor /Associate Director, WRRC
Toni Cade Bambara Student Representative (TBA)

Opening Plenary: Black Women’s Lives Living in the Archives
10:00 -11:15 a.m. 
Facilitator: Holly Smith, Spelman College Archivist

Ennis Cosby Reading Room

“Opening the Box and Finding My Black Feminist Activist Life”
Malika Redmond, Founding Executive Director, Women Engaged

“Archiving Black Women & Girls: Showing and Telling Our Stories”
Chamara Kwakye and Mekhatansh McGiuire, Department of Women and Gender Studies, University of Kentucky

“Documenting the Erotic as Political Conscienceness”
Amoni Thompson, CWS/Creative Writing, C’2015

“The Weight of the Word: Writing For Social Change”
Opal Moore, Director, Spelman College Honors Program

11:30-12:45 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions (A)

Session 1: Trans-formations – Personal Engagements with Gender Fluidity
Facilitator: Karen A. Wood, C'2016, CWS
Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, Ed.D., Academic Center

Dee Dee Chamblee, Executive Director, 
LaGender, Inc.
Tori Cooper, Trans Health Coordinator, 
Some One Cares
Shon Franklin, Minister, Tabernacle Baptist Church
Sybastian “Sy” Kennedy, Health Coordinator, Feminist Women’s Health Clinic

Session 2:  “Do you Really Want to Be Well?”: Black Women’s Mental Health Matters
Facilitator: Lani Jones, Associate Professor of Social Work, SUNY Albany
Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, Ed.D., Academic Center, Room 217

Amoni Thompson, CWS/Creative Writing, C'2015
Darlene Garcia, Graduate Student, Clark Atlanta University, C' 2011
Tanisha Jarvis, C'2015, Sociology and Anthropology/CWS Minor 

Session 3:  Reproductive Justice Training 101- The Movement Continues, Part I
Facilitator: Malika Redmond, Executive Director, Women Engaged
Ennis Cosby Reading Room

1:00 – 2:15 p.m.
Luncheon in Manley College Center Atrium

Remarks: Beverly Daniel Tatum,
President, Spelman College 

Keynote Presentation
 “Keep Good Care of Your Glow”: Black Feminist Breathing and the Legacy of Toni Cade Bambara 
Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Ph.D., Black Feminist Scholar/Artist/Activist and  Founder of Brilliance Remastered  

2:30-3:45 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions (B)

Session 4: Film Screening & Discussion – “Black Girls in Suburbia”
Facilitator: Melissa Lowery, Producer/Director/Filmmaker
Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, Ed.D., Academic Center, Room 214

Session 5: AUC Students for Justice in Palestine
Facilitators: Banah Ghadbian, C'2015, CWS/Sociology and Anthropology 
Christine Slaughter, C’2015, Political Science/CWS Minor 
Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, Ed.D., Academic Center, Room 217 

Session 6: Reproductive Justice Training 101- The Struggle Continues, Part 2
Facilitator: Malika Redmond, Executive Director, Women Engaged

Bioethics and Black Women’s Bodies”
Al-Yasha Williams, Associate Professor /Chair, Religion and 
Philosophy Department
Ennis Cosby Reading Room

4:00-5:15 p.m.  
Concurrent Sessions (C)

Session 7: Sexual and Gender Liberations: The Shifting Discourse of This Moment

“In the Life, Through the State: Black Gay Men in the Nonprofit Industrial Complex”
Marcus Lee, C'2015, Sociology, Morehouse College 

“Tip-Toeing the Mason-Dixon Line: Black Women’s Stories of Sex, Sexuality, and Intimacy”
Cinnamon Williams, C'2016, American Studies/Africana Studies, Williams College 
Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, Ed.D., Academic Center, Room 217

Session 8:  Critical Explications: Black Women’s Media Representations in Video, TV, & Film

Organized by Griselda D. Thomas, Associate Professor of English and Interdisciplinary Studies, Kennesaw State University

Facilitator: Jalessah Jackson, African & African Diaspora Studies Major


“Annalise or Anna Mae?: The Deconstruction of the Strong Black Woman”
Camille Kleidysz, Graduate Student, American Studies

“Cooking and Eating the Other: White Womanhood and The Help”
Ashley McFarland, Graduate Student, American Studies

Viola Davis in Doubt: “I Know More About it Than You"
Anna Tussey, Graduate Student, American Studies
Discussant: Adeerya Johnson, C'2015, Psychology, Spelman College 
Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, Ed.D., Academic Center, Room 214

Session 9:  Not Just the Boys: Black Girls and the Prison Industrial Complex
Organized by AUC Students Against Mass Incarceration – SAMI
Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, Ed.D., Academic Center, Room 224


Veronikka Gittens, C’2016, CWS 

Teri Davis,  C’2016, CWS 

Madyson Crawford,  C’2016, CWS 

Kayla St. Clair,  C’2016, CWS 

5:30-6:30 p.m.
Closing Plenary Session
Ennis Cosby Reading Room 

A special thanks to the following:

  • Women’s Research and Resource Center Faculty and Staff
  • Spelman College Archives
  • Spelman College Social Justice Fellows Program
  • The Ethel Wathes Gathii Honors Program
  • Spelman College Museum of Fine Art
  • Women Engaged

For more information, contact the Women's Research and Resource Center at 404-270-5625. 

Read the Inside Spelman Story about Last Year's Conference
Follow the Conference on Twitter:  #tonicadeconf

  • Apply Now