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2017 Conference Program

Conference Program

Click HERE for PDF of Conference Program

2017 Women and Girls in Georgia Conference on Justice and Resistance
Saturday, November 11, 2017
Athens, Georgia
Miller Learning Center, University of Georgia

7:30am - 8:45am
Check-In & Networking

8:45am - 10:00am
Morning Concurrent Sessions (A)

Session A1. Breaking Barriers with Community Organizing

--Breaking Racial Barriers Between Black and White Women:  Time To Claim Your Throne

Facilitated by Mokah-Jasmine Johnson, Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement and VIP Girlz Program

Session Chair: Tiffany R. Smith, University of Georgia


Session A2. Resisting Violence and Silence

--Quietly Submissive: Constructions of Girlhood in Private Christian Education
Madison Jones, University of Georgia, and Heidi Hadley, University of Georgia

--A Practical Feminist Embrace of Death
Hannah Middlebrooks, University of Georgia

Regina and Isis Oglesby

Session Chair: Wanda Wilcox, University of Georgia


Session A3. U-Lead Athens, Like a Woman

--Since August 2014, U-Lead Athens has offered support at various levels for “un(der)documented” students to improve their educational opportunities. Each Thursday, they meet at U-Lead Athens with mentors, tutors, and organizers to work one-to-one or in small groups on SAT/ACT preparation, finding and applying for college and scholarships that are open to their varied immigration statuses, or tutoring them in their school work (high school and college).  For this panel, a group of women and girls will reflect on the interaction of the members at U-Lead Athens in their different roles in the organization, as students, mentors, and organizers.

Facilitated by members of U-Lead Athens, including: Melissa Perez Rhym, U-Lead Athens Co-Director and Cedar Shoals High School; Rosemary Gay, U-Lead Athens Student Coordinator and CCSH Garden; S J Dillon, U-Lead Athens Mentor and University of Georgia; Andrea Bobadilla, U-Lead Athens and North Oconee High School Student (Senior); and Jocelyn Bobadilla, U-Lead Athens and North Oconee High School Student (Sophomore)

Session Chair: Betina Kaplan, University of Georgia, U-Lead Athens


Session A4. Women and Elected Office in Georgia

A discussion of women's experiences in Georgia politics, featuring:

--Deborah Gonzalez, Georgia House Representative - District 117, D. Gonzalez Law Group, LLC

--Brenda Lopez, Georgia House Representative - District 99

--Gwen O'Looney, served as Mayor of Athens-Clarke County, GA from 1991-1998

Session Chair: Juanita Johnson-Bailey, University of Georgia


10:15am - 11:30am
Morning Concurrent Sessions (B)

Session B1. Educational Inequalities in Higher Education

--Keeping it Real: Self-Articulation as a Form of Psychological Empowerment among Black Women
Danielle Dickens, Spelman College

--Safe Agnes Scott Students (SASS)
Tina Pippin, Agnes Scott College and Summer Bosley, Agnes Scott College

--Mansplaining in the Classroom: Resisting the oppressive discourse and the oppressive nature of European philosophy
Shara Cherniak, University of Georgia, Mel Kutner, University of Georgia, and Ashli Walker, University of Georgia

--From Conformity to Transformative: Black Women Educators as Activists and the Continuation of Holistic and Radical Methods, Models, and Conscious Curriculum
Amanda-Louise Adebayo, Clark Atlanta University

Session Chair: Christina Hylton, University of Georgia


Session B2. WORKSHOP. Parenting with Dignity- The Policing of Mothers of Color

This interactive workshop is intended to expand the discussion around mothering as a woman of color. The workshop is designed to highlight how the criminal justice system, welfare reform, and the health care profession interact in a way to regulate and isolate poor mothers of color. We seek to work together as a collaborative group to identify points of access for reproductive justice to stop the policing of mothers of color and its harmful effects on our communities.

Facilitated by Sequoia Ayala and Damaris Henderson, SisterLove, Inc.

Session Chair: Kelly Happe, University of Georgia


Session B3. Feminist and Womanist Approaches to Activism and Organizing

--#RESIST: The Case for Prefigurative Feminist Community Organizing in the Age of Trump
Joel Izlar, University of Georgia

--International Solidarity - A First-Hand Account: UGA Students March in Support of Black Lives Matter, the Pulse Nightclub Shooting and PRIDE While Studying Abroad in London
Diann Moorman, University of Georgia

--A Womanist Vision of Reconciliation: Lessons from The Color Purple
Chanequa Walker-Barnes, Mercer University

--Progressive Except for Palestine: Extending Intersectionality to the Anti-Zionist Cause
Suman Barat, University of Georgia

Session Chair: Chris Cuomo, University of Georgia


Session B4. WORKSHOP. Playmaking for Girls

Now in its fifteenth year, the Playmaking for Girls (PFG) program is dedicated to helping at-risk and refugee girls discover their unique and powerful voices. Working with experienced women theatre artists who serve as role models, our diverse group of girls learn the value of creative self-expression as they write and perform plays inspired by the real-world social issues they face. This session will include an overview of the PFG program, performances by a group of teen girls performing several short plays, a Q&A with the teen performers, and a screening of a short documentary about PFG and Synchronicity Theatre.

PFG was featured on CNN, and is the topic of Dr. Maisha Winn’s book Girl Time: Literacy, Justice and the School-to-Prison Pipeline.

Facilitated by Rachel May and Susie Spear Purcell, Synchronicity Theatre

Session Chair: Patricia Richards, University of Georgia


KEYNOTE (plenary)

More than Storytellers - From Migration to Liberation

Presented by:
Angy Rivera, Co-Director at the New York State Youth Leadership Council

Welcome by: Patricia Richards, University of Georgia
Introduction by: Betina Kaplan, University of Georgia and U-Lead Athens

Lunch and Networking


ROUNDTABLE (plenary)

Intersectional Social Justice Activism in Georgia


--April Greene, Magnolia Fund

--Kelly Happe, Athens for Everyone, University of Georgia

--Christina Hylton, Athens Land Trust

--Mokah-Jasmine Johnson, Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement

--Nayeli Quezada-Kuser, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR), Georgia Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (GIRCC), Georgia Undocumented Youth Alliance (GUYA), and Freedom University

--Tiffany R. Smith, Black Lives Matter-Atlanta, SONG, University of Georgia Multicultural Services and Programs

Moderated by: Angy Rivera, Co-Director at the New York State Youth Leadership Council


Afternoon Concurrent Sessions (C)

Session C1. K-12 Education Inequalities

--Inequality in Modern Day Education
Andrea Portillo Knowles, Middle Georgia State University

--Reading Matters! DESTINED, Inc. "Read to Succeed" Program for Rural Youth
Tawana S. Mattox, Reneta Elder, Jo Smith, DESTINED, Inc.

--Challenging Deficit Discourse: Experiences of Black Teenage Pregnancy
Taryrn Brown, University of Georgia

--It Takes a Village: Urban Latina Middle School Girls' Computational Thinking Self-Efficacy
Rouhollah Aghasaleh, Georgia State University, Patrick Enderle, Georgia State University, Anton Puvirajah, University of Western Ontario, Renesha Hendrix, Georgia State University, Jennifer Rickard, Georgia State University, Andrew Boehnlein, Georgia State University, Jacob Bornstein, Georgia State University, Nikkia Nelson, Georgia State University

Session Chair: Beth Tobin, University of Georgia


Session C2. WORKSHOP. Launch Forward: Lessons from a 40-year old Reproductive Justice Organization's Inaugural Fellowship Year

Beginning in March 2017, the Errin J. Vuley Fellows Program (EVFP) launched. EVFP is an intensive, hands-on, 10-month leadership development program. Errin J. Vuley was the Feminist Women’s Health Center’s first Community Engagement Coordinator (1997-1999); Errin inspired everyone she met with her passionate devotion to social justice, particularly in the areas of abortion access, trans justice, and racial justice. EVFP seeks to honor Errin’s memory by strengthening the leadership in reproductive, gender, and racial justice movements in Atlanta, the state of Georgia, and across the global landscape of the justice forward community.

This knowledge-sharing presentation will convey reflections from the inaugural year of EVFP. As much as possible, presentation segments will be led by fellows from the inaugural year, a.k.a. First Class Feminists. Katie Mae Stewart, Community Engagement Coordinator and direct supervisor over EVFP alongside Leigh Bond, the EVFP coordinator will also facilitate. The presentation and facilitated dialogue with participants will focus on the reflections of the fellows and their fellowship projects.

Facilitated by Katie Mae Stewart and Leigh Bond, Feminist Women's Health Center

Session Chair: Gina Abelkop, University of Georgia


Session C3. Women and the Justice System

--A Transformative Justice Analysis of Shame and the Experience of Re-Gaining Child Custody as a Rite of Passage for Formerly Incarcerated Mothers
Denise Woodall, University of Georgia, and Alan Mobley, San Diego State University

--"In black & white I'm a piece of trash:" Abuse, depression & Georgia women's pathways to prison
Alexa Adamo-Valverde, Georgia State University, Melanie Bliss, Emory University, and Sarah L. Cook, Georgia State University

--I Am Visible: I Hurt
Maxine L. Bryant, Armstrong University

Session Chair: Jody Clay-Warner, University of Georgia


Session C4. WORKSHOP. Herbs, Social Justice, and Self-Care

Facilitated by Takisha Burke, Herbalist, Georgia Farmers Markets Association board member, and organic farmer

Session Chair: Josie Leimbach, University of Georgia



The WAGG Conference is made possible through the Women & Girls in Georgia Fund.

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