Emmie V. Baine Lecture

Wendy Davis to deliver Emmie V. Baine Lecture at 2017 SMU Women’s Symposium Wednesday, March 8

Wendy Davis, 2017 SMU Women's Symposium speakerWendy Davis, former Texas state senator and 2014 candidate for Texas governor, will deliver the keynote address in SMU’s 2017 Women’s Symposium Wednesday, March 8.

“We invited Wendy Davis to be our keynote speaker because she was a major advocate for women during her time in the Texas Senate and during her gubernatorial campaign,” said Aurora Havens, Women’s Symposium co-chair and a senior engineering major. “We believe she is an inspiration to all women, especially in Texas.”

The theme of the student-planned 2017 symposium, “My Body, Not Their Politics,” will focus on the politics surrounding issues such as sexual violence, reproductive justice, and women and politics.

“The theme addresses issues women face as well as the current political climate,” Havens says. Sachi Sarwal, a junior electrical engineering major, is also co-chair.

An attorney and long-time public servant, Davis served on the Fort Worth City Council from 1999 to 2008. She represented District 10 in the Texas Senate from 2009 to 2015, but made her mark nationally with an impassioned 11-hour filibuster in June 2013 that delayed passage of a bill restricting abortion regulations in Texas.  She ran for governor on the Democratic ticket in 2014, losing to Republican Greg Abbott.

In 2016, Davis launched a new initiative, Deeds Not Words, designed to train and equip young women to make changes in their communities.

More than 500 attendees are expected to attend SMU Women’s Symposium, created in 1966 as part of the University’s commemoration of its 50th anniversary. One of the longest running events of its kind, the symposium has challenged, changed and broadened women’s perspectives on campus and in the community.

The symposium is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Discounted registration is offered to SMU faculty, staff and students. Visit www.smu.edu/womsym for registration. Registration is requested by Wednesday, March 1, 2017.

— Nancy George

> Find more information and a complete schedule at the SMU Women’s Symposium homepage: smu.edu/womsym

Carol Moseley Braun, first woman African-American U.S. senator, speaks at SMU’s 51st Women’s Symposium March 2, 2016

Carol Moseley Braun

Carol Moseley Braun

Carol Moseley Braun, the first female African-American U.S. Senator, will give the Emmie V. Baine Lecture during the noon luncheon at SMU’s 51st annual Women’s Symposium Wednesday, March 2, 2016.

This year’s theme, “Breaking Through,” focuses on women smashing stereotypes, conquering industry or economic limitations, and celebrating strides toward inclusion and equality.

Born and raised in Chicago, Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun’s career in public service began in the Illinois state legislature and extended to the United States Senate when she was elected as the nation’s first African-American woman member. The first permanent female member of the Senate Finance Committee, she proposed the first modern federal school construction legislation, and the first women’s pension equity laws, and advocated for health care reform and support of family farms. She sponsored historic preservation of the Underground Railroad and the first federal support of lupus research.

As Ambassador to New Zealand, she became an advocate for sustainable American agriculture in trade discussions and negotiations. A former candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States, she has also served as Ambassador to Samoa, Cook County Executive Officer and United States Attorney.

Follow Carol Moseley Braun on Twitter @CarolForChicago

Moseley Braun received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois and earned her J.D. degree from the University of Chicago. She is founder and president of Good Food Organics®.

Symposium interest sessions begin at 2 p.m. and are led by SMU students, professors, staff members and distinguished members of the community. This year’s topics include:

  • Breaking Through Cis Privilege: Rising Trans Empowerment
  • Feminism 101
  • Women, Power and Politics: What Women Are Doing Worldwide to Achieve Success
  • Breaking Through Stereotypes
  • I Am Woman! Am I…?: Intersectionality
  • Breaking Through Professions

> Find a full schedule of Women’s Symposium events

The Symposium is the longest continuously running program of its nature in the country and one of SMU’s oldest traditions. The event brings together women and men of all ages and multicultural backgrounds to examine and discuss topics of national interest.

> Learn more about the SMU Women’s Symposium: smu.edu/womsym

‘Women Are Superheroes’ in SMU’s 2014 Symposium

SMU Womens' Symposium 2014 - 'Women Are Superheroes' graphicThe SMU Women’s Symposium celebrates its 49th anniversary with a focus on using your power to change the world for the better.

U.S. Air Force veteran Kimberly Olson, president and CEO of Grace After Fire, is the special guest for the 2014 Symposium, “Women Are Superheroes.” Olson will deliver the Emmie V. Baine Lecture during lunch on Wednesday, March 5, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom.

This year’s theme has shaped Symposium programming in both literal and figurative ways, says Karen Click, director of the SMU Women’s Center for Gender and Pride Initiatives. “Imaginary superheroes may be heroes of strength, or they may be sexualized partners – but a real-world interpretation is of women who have changed our world, have been great mentors and have amazing powers for good.”

Keynote speaker Olson embodies the bridge between these ideals, Click adds. “She was a literal superhero as a career Air Force pilot who flew into combat and used her strength and skills, plus some incredible technology, to defend our nation. And she’s a figurative one as well, as the leader of an organization whose purpose is to support other women veterans.”

Student organizers are excited about both the theme and their guest, Click says. “Superheroes have been an important part of their collective imagination, and they seem thrilled to have one in their midst,” she says. “Military life seems pretty distant to most of our students as well, and they’re looking forward to the opportunity to learn more about a woman who lived that experience.”

> Find a complete list of 2014 SMU Women’s Symposium events

A variety of Symposium interest sessions will address topics ranging from comic-book depictions of women superheroes, to “Wonder Women” of the workplace, to the pressures of living up to the “Supermom” ideal.

The Symposium is the oldest continuously running program of its kind in the country and attracts hundreds of community leaders, high school students and college students, faculty and staff members each year. Programming is designed by the Symposium Advisory Board and Student Planning CORE Committee.

> More about the Symposium Student Planning CORE Committee

The Symposium will also recognize the winners of its 2014 Profiles in Leadership Awards and Gail Reese Ward Excellence in Mentoring Award. The recipients are:

Profiles in Leadership Awards

  • De’ Edra S. Williams, engagement director of Paranet Solutions
  • Ethene Jones, founder of the Humanitarian World Foundation
  • Monica Urbaniak, director of prevention and outreach and bilingual therapist at the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center
  • Mavis Knight, Education advocate and member of the Texas State Board of Education
  • Cecelia Guthrie Boone, philanthropist and chair of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Gail Reese Ward Excellence in Mentoring Award

  • Linda Hall, chair of the Board of Directors of Wisdom’s Hope and advocate for the homeless

For more information, contact the Women’s Center for Gender and Pride Initiatives, 214-768-4792.

> Learn more and register online at the SMU Women’s Symposium website

2013 SMU Women’s Symposium minds the age gap March 6

SMU Women's Symposium 'Mind the Age Gap' logoFor its 48th anniversary, the SMU Women’s Symposium is using a new format to explore age-old questions about the differences and common ground among generations.

Associate Professor of Management and Organizations Ellen Jackofsky and senior art history major Bekah Boyer will participate in a moderated discussion on this year’s theme, “Mind the Age Gap.” The Emmie V. Baine Lecture event will take place during lunch on Wednesday, March 6, 2013, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom.

This year’s event promises to be “a very different kind of symposium,” says Karen Click, director of the SMU Women’s Center for Gender and Pride Initiatives. “I visit many different women’s organizations in Dallas, and most of their membership is over 60. They want my help in reaching out to younger women.”

But those efforts are hindered by “a feeling of incapability” shared across generations, Click says. “Younger women are worried about taking on the responsibility of keeping up the push for women’s rights. Older women are worried that their experience no longer matters. When women should be uniting to tackle issues, we’re stuck reinventing the wheel.”

This year’s event will focus on how those gaps affect the community, Click adds. “We see this specifically as an issue impacting Dallas, so we decided not to seek national speakers.”

> Find a complete list of 2013 SMU Women’s Symposium events

“We believe that each generation of women has something different to contribute,” says senior political science and management major Pooja Patel, co-chair of the Symposium’s CORE student planning committee. “By trying to minimize the ‘gap’ or disconnect between them, women’s groups in Dallas will be stronger and more effective.”

A variety of Symposium interest sessions will address topics ranging from the generationally shifting barriers to reproductive rights to how age affects women’s perceptions of appropriate (and inappropriate) fashion choices.

The Symposium is the oldest continuously running program of its kind in the country and attracts hundreds of community leaders, high school students and college students, faculty and staff members each year. And for some participants, including CORE co-chair Kimberly Elmazi, it’s a family legacy.

“All three of my elder sisters participated in CORE during their time at SMU,” says Elmazi, a junior political science and international studies major. “Eight years after my third eldest sister graduated from SMU, I joined the committee as a first-year. Now I’m a co-chair.”

More about the Symposium Student Planning CORE Committee

Elmazi is especially looking forward to the interest session “The Incredibles: Can You Have It All? Gender Roles and Reproductive Rights” because one of her sisters will be a speaker. “It’s funny how things have come full circle,” she says.

The Symposium will also recognize the winners of its 2013 Profiles in Leadership Awards and Gail Reese Ward Excellence in Mentoring Award. The recipients are:

Profiles in Leadership Awards

Gail Reese Ward Excellence in Mentoring Award

For more information, contact the Women’s Center for Gender and Pride Initiatives, 214-768-4792.

Kelsey Reynolds (’14) contributed to this article.

Learn more at the SMU Women’s Symposium website

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