CONTACT: NADEJA WESLEY
Women's Resource and Action Center
130 North Madison St.
Iowa City IA 52242
Sister Souljah to highlight conference to celebrate, connect African-American
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Well-known rapper, organizer and educator Sister
Souljah will present an evening lecture at "The Sister Connection,"
a one-day conference at the University of Iowa Thursday, March 4.
The Women's Resource and Action Center (WRAC) at the UI is sponsoring
the conference "The Sister Connection: African-American Women Sharing
Tools for Success," which includes workshops and speakers on issues
impacting African-American Women college students. The conference will
be at the Iowa Memorial Union on Thursday, March 4 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A registration fee of $10 includes lunch. Sister Souljah's lecture will
be presented at 7:30 p.m. in nearby MacBride Auditorium. Her lecture is
co-sponsored by the University Lecture Committee and is free and open to
"The Sister Connection conference was planned with the goal of
reconnecting African-American women with the strong tradition that fosters
empowerment, celebration and education," says Nadeja Wesley, UI student
and conference coordinator. Workshops will focus on such issues as the
importance of becoming leaders on campus, establishing financial independence
and developing a professional identity, Wesley adds.
Co-sponsors for the conference include these UI offices and programs:
Office of Affirmative Action; Opportunity at Iowa; College of Law; Special
Support Services; Career Development; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Staff and
Faculty Association; and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Also co-sponsoring
the conference is the Iowa Women's Foundation, Domestic Violence Intervention
Program, Rape Victim Advocacy Program, Emma Goldman Clinic for Women in
memory of Theresa Riffe, African-American Council and others.
The luncheon keynote speaker will be Adrien Wing, professor in the UI
College of Law, where she teaches in the areas of constitutional law, critical
race theory and comparative law. Author of more than forty publications,
Wing has written on diverse subjects ranging from affirmative action to
mothering to Black women and gangs. She is editor of "Critical Race
Feminism: A Reader" and the forthcoming "Global Critical Race
Sister Souljah has been described by fellow rapper Chuck D. of Public
Enemy with a term he coined: Raptivist. "Her strongest message is
to African women: to encourage them to understand who they are, to develop
self-definitions based on history and not modern American media, and to
recognize their legacy of strength, of fighters, which gives them the strength
to do anything."
Wesley says that she developed the idea for the conference based on
the fact that "for many African-American students, finding support
networks and maintaining the confidence needed to reach high levels of
educational attainment can be especially difficult when attending an institution
where only a small percentage of the students look like you. As an African-American
woman, I feel that this reconnection needs to occur in an environment that
facilitates positive interactions with other African-American students,
administrators and professionals."
For information or to register for "The Sister Connection"
conference, contact the Women's Center at 335-1486, or visit the conference
web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~wrac/sisters.
People who need childcare during the conference should contact the Women's
Center by Friday, Feb. 26.