Women discuss connections, spirituality at leadership event

Photo courtesy of Dylan Diblik.

Photo courtesy of Dylan Diblik.

Sabrina Scott

Hopi-Tewa Indian Grandmother Mona Polacca stressed the importance of having a dialogue with Western women about environmental issues at “The Women in Leadership: A Spiritual Path to Activism” event Wednesday on the first floor of the Kent State Univerity Library.

“To have this dialogue, to create a bridge that would offer the world in ways to have good relations and to also promote the role of the woman and the importance of our sacred Mother Earth who we say represents the feminine side of our world,” said Polacca, one of the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers created in 2004.

She also spoke about the four sacred foundations experienced when Hopi children are young: sound, water, grandfather sun and the connection to Mother Earth through caregivers.

“When we are born, the water came out before us and we followed it,” Polacca said. “Through the sound that we made was a cry and in that cry is a vibration that announced to all of this world, all the way to the universe that you are here.”

Polacca said that in her Hopi tradition they have a ceremony for a baby to go outside for the first time when they are 21 days old. When the baby is helped to sit up and walk their first steps, they are connected to Mother Earth and feel balanced.

Polacca said that her beliefs are not a religion but a spiritual practice.

“There is no separation among us as human beings. With all of the life that is on Mother Earth, that’s the sacred connection,” Polacca said.

Karen Hillman, director of marketing, communications and public relations for University Libraries, said she felt connected when Polacca talked about the basic foundation of life.

“(The foundations are) the four things that connect us all to each other whether you are an indigenous people or not,” Hillman said. “It was just a perfect way to communicate that there shouldn’t be any differences between people or prejudices, and saw leadership and diversity and that. It all made perfect sense.”

Emily Kline, a senior theater studies major, said Grand Polacca’s speech was inspiring and beautiful to her.

“Any chance we can get for women to come together under communal roof and have discussion about what they feel is important,” Kline said. “I think that’s so underrated in society. Being able to say that we have these things around in Kent is really important and we should keep fostering events like these.”

Contact Sabrina Scott at [email protected].