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Second annual 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.

 

“Although women’s 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 fall 2008.


Keynote speaker, Nikki Giovanni


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 conference.


More photos from the event can be found at the Halifax Community College Facebook Fan Page.