We just wanted to let you know about the conference, titled Life Balance and Wellness for Black Women: Challenges, Opportunities, and Strategies for Success. It will be held July 15-17, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. Carrie Sawyer and I have been working away at planning out the major details, taking into account your valuable feedback and preferences.
We are happy to announce that our keynote speaker will be Dr. Tamara Beauboeuf-Lafontant of Depauw University. She is the author of Behind the Mask of the Strong Black Woman: Voice and the Embodiment of a Costly Performance (Temple University Press, 2009) and is Associate Professor of Sociology.
In Behind the Mask, Dr. Beauboeuf-Lafontant explores the health, financial and emotional debt that Black women accumulate in interest of maintaining a performance of outward and inner strength among family, colleagues, and romantic partners. She explains that "…strong Black women do not simply exist, they play critical roles in the societal imagination and in social life. It is therefore questionable whether we [black women] can afford to live without the reassurance, comfort and hard work they are invoked to provide" (3). In her talk and in the dialogue workshop that will follow, Beauboeuf-Lafontant will explore the emotional, personal, and physical costs of keeping up the appearance of being a "strong black woman," as well as strategies for overcoming this burden, stereotype, and expectation in all areas of life. Read more about Dr. Beauboeuf-Lafontant here: http://www.depauw.edu/news/?id=24524
CONFERENCE FOCUS & PURPOSE
As we know all too well, Black women in a variety of career fields face similar and overlapping challenges to their success: overt and subtle racial and gender discrimination, expectations for acculturation, and barriers to maintaining in-group status. However, this conference is not intended to rehash or ruminate on these strident forms of opposition, but will instead provide a forum where young black women, in their 20s and 30s, can share and learn success strategies for developing and maintaining life balance and wellness. In this space, Black women will be given the opportunity to network with each other, and participants will also be provided a forum to share their own areas of expertise, such as life coaching, motivational speaking, and organizational strategies.
YOUR INTERESTS & INVOLVEMENT
We are looking for you, whether you would like to speak, present, or facilitate a discussion on a topic of interest. What are you interested in seeing and/or doing at the conference? We really want this to be a grassroots conference, so to speak, where it is planned, facilitated and created by YOU. Please take a few moments to respond to the survey at the link below. We are looking for those of you who would like to be involved on a committee to start planning in late-January, 2011.
Please share your ideas with us by completing this brief survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3YXX92B
- Do you have a talent/skill or training that you are interested in sharing at the conference?
- What topics would you like to see addressed?
- Do you know someone who would make an excellent speaker or workshop leader?
Thank you very much for your interest, and feel free to contact us with any questions you may have (firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com). We are excited just envisioning all of the powerful women who will be in the room, and we know that it will be a powerful and life changing event for all involved!
Shanesha & Carrie
P.S. Please spread the word about the conference! If you would prefer to be removed from this list, please let us know. Thank you.