Students and staff attend women's forum
Women from South Bend and the Saint Mary's community attended Saturday the Center for Intercultural Women's Leadership day-long workshop, "Health and Cultural Competence."
The focus of the program was for women in the South Bend community, Saint Mary's faculty and students to come together to discuss women's health issues and women as leaders in the world.
"This is part of the Catalyst Project, which seeks to foster the leadership of women and to link women community leaders with women in the Saint Mary's Community," Meredith Sarakees, director of CWIL said.
The day opened at 8:30 a.m. with an introduction titled "Our Bodies, Ourselves:Internationalizing the Women's Health Movement," by CWIL fellow and co-coordinator of the event, Marcia Good-Maust.
"[The workshop] brought to campus ways to deal with conflict among peers in the business world," Saint Mary's junior Joan Mueke said.
The rest of day consisted of four 90-minute sessions. The program provided a variety of workshops most had a second follow-up session. Saint Mary's faculty members and several women leaders selected from the South Bend community led the workshops.
Some of the workshops focused on the topics of Caring for the Self: Self Expression for Latina Mothers, Body Praying, Female Empowerment in Flamenco Dance, Interplay, Exforming in an Information Age, The Body that Writes and several panel discussions. Several snack breaks, lunch and dinner were provided to the participants.
Over the course of the day women were encouraged to express themselves freely and embrace their feminine qualities as unique and special. Participants were challenged to then take these qualities and empower themselves with them.
"I thought that what was interesting was that I got to perform with people that I was comfortable with. I appreciated learning about my body as an ancient seat of power. It was affirming to be part of honoring the body in such a good way," said Ann Seckinger, Chaplain at Memorial Hospital and South Bend resident.
The overall focus of the event was to delve into the feminine half of humanity and celebrate the many beautiful qualities of women in society.
"Only from a group of economically, socially and racially diverse group of women can we come up with a definition of the quintessential woman," said Kareema El Amin, one of the workshop presenters.
The day ended with a fashion show title, "Dress with Less for Finesse" that included opportunities for several of the workshop groups to share what they had done over the course of the day.
All News Stories for Monday, November 18, 2002