Women of Excellence Conference held at HCC
The Halifax Community
College Women of Excellence (WOE) mentoring
group held its second annual Women to Women
Conference, March 16 in The Centre as part
of HCC’s celebration of Women’s History
Month. The theme for the event was “The
Women Gather” based on a poem by keynote
speaker for the day, Nikki Giovanni.
World-renowned poet, writer, commentator,
activist, and educator, Giovanni is a University
Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.
She began by talking about the importance of the arts in
education. “We need to speak up for the arts,” she said.
“Art is there to change us… You are here to change. When you
change, you change things around you.” During her
introduction, she also advocated for a global water policy
and renewable energy.
After her opening
comments, Giovanni showcased her book, “Rosa” that tells the
story of Civil Rights activist Rosa Parks. The book moves
from Parks’ story into a summary of the Civil Rights
movement and is written as a children’s picture book. Also
explained in the book is the response of the Women’s
Political Caucus to Parks’ arrest. In addition, Giovanni
highlights events and people of the movement including the
Brown v. Board of
Education Supreme Court decision, reactions to Emmett
Till’s murder, and Martin Luther King Jr.
history is intertwined with the history shared with men,
several factors that are social, religious, economic and
biological have worked to create a unique sphere of women’s
history… Until recently, this sphere of women’s history was
overlooked and undervalued,” said HCC President Dr. Ervin V.
Griffin Sr. “Women’s achievements are often distorted,
distained and denied, but knowing women’s stories provides
essential role models for everyone and role models are
genuinely needed to face the extraordinary changes and
challenges of the 21st century.”
A number of activities took place during
the conference including an early bird fitness walk,
breakout sessions, a luncheon and fashion show, musical and
dance performances, a tribute by Roanoke Valley Early
College to Giovanni, a book signing, and a post-reception
sponsored by Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. Sorority.
Program participants included Dr. Erica
Holmes, Shauna Jones, Kimberly Dailey, Teresa Mayle,
Jennifer Jones, Sherida Gholston, HCC Cosmetology
Department, Ruby Ward, Shaun Stokes, Marlene Smith, Mark
Stewart, Dr. Nannette Smith, Women of Excellence, Cindy
Collins, Tonya Mason, Patricia Peele, Paula Miles, Otelia
Royster, Dr. Harriet Morrison, God’s Blessings, and Roanoke
Valley Early College. More than 300 people were registered
for this year’s conference.
The mission of WOE is to set the standards
for females pursuing personal and professional excellence.
Values include modeling dignity, honesty, integrity, respect
and responsibility as a way of life. The mentoring program
was established by Dean of Student Services and Enrollment
Management Barbara Bradley-Hasty and developed by Director
of Counseling Dr. Carolyn Stuart. SGA chartered the group in
The Halifax Community College Women of
Excellence (WOE) mentoring group held its second annual
Women to Women Conference, March16 in The Centre. The theme
for the event was “The Women Gather” based on a poem by
keynote speaker for the day, Nikki Giovanni. Above is
Giovanni, center, at the book signing session of the
photos from the event can be found at the
Halifax Community College Facebook Fan Page.