Women in Leadership Symposium to explore spiritual activism

Nick Boone

The Women’s Center and Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will host their second annual Women in Leadership Symposium on Feb. 25 from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the quiet study area in the first floor of the University Library.

Mona Polacca, Hopi-Tewa Indian grandmother from Arizona, is the keynote speaker and will present “A Spiritual Path to Activism.”

The presentation will highlight how activism is shaped by women’s diverse spiritual practices, said Karen Hillman, director of Marketing and Communications for the University Library. 

According to the Kent State Digital Commons website, Polacca is a member of the Colorado River Indian Tribes of Parker, Arizona. She is one of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers, a group of spiritual elders and wisdom keepers.

“There are countries all over the world that have their own indigenous tribes, and there are 13 grandmothers that get together to talk about some concerns they have,” Hillman said.  “One is that we are destroying our planet and our water.  They are also worried about the youth.”

Hillman said the grandmothers are worried that the youth are forgetting the customs, culture and traditions of their heritage.  

Participants will be able to enjoy a free lunch along with listening and participating in several discussions. Two reflections from previous conferences will also be discussed, Hillman said.

“It is our goal to raise cultural awareness to encourage and promote women in leadership,” Hillman said.  “We really want people to be aware of the culture and the ability to stand up and be heard in a peaceful way.”

An exhibit with American Indian artifacts will also be on display and will include clothes, pottery, jewelry and more.   

Visit the Digital Common’s website to register for Polacca’s presentation and see a full list of symposium events.

Contact Nick Boone at [email protected].