17th Annual Women’s Leadership Conference to be Held March 11 at Ferrum College
The Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, director of Refugee & Immigration Ministries, Disciples
Home Missions will give the keynote address.
Ferrum, Va. (March 4, 2014) – The 17th Annual Women’s Leadership Conference will be held at Ferrum College on Tuesday,
March 11, 2014. The Conference incorporates the College’s academic theme of “sustaining
community engagement” and has a timely focus on immigration. Presenters will include
Ferrum alumnae, area high school students, as well as nationally and internationally
known artists, faith leaders and activists. The Conference will be held from 8:30
a.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Panther’s Den in Franklin Hall on campus, with scheduled
lunch and dinner breaks during which participants may enjoy meals on their own on
or off campus. Conference admission is free but pre-registration is requested.
The morning program beginning at 9:30 a.m. will include welcoming remarks by Ms. Ali
Miller ’16; a panel presentation by Ms. Joemica Donaldson ’13 and Ms. Norma Velez
’13, both of whom have worked with issues and organizations related to immigration
during the last year; and a performance by The IceBreakers, the Bassett High School
Minority Student Alliance step team that is preparing to compete in New York this
“We are thrilled to have The Minority Student Alliance as our special guests for the
day since their mission ‘to bring cultural awareness to the community, as well as
provide academic and cultural enrichment activities to the club members and community’
is so perfectly reflective of what this year’s conference is all about,” said Conference
co-coordinator Dr. Susan Mead.
At 11:15 a.m., a panel of four “Dreamers” from Bassett County High School will take
the stage accompanied by their school counselor, Ms. Shekila Yralux. Ms. Karla Portugal,
Ms. Candi López, Ms. Jeanette Maya, and Ms. Rosario Quesade will talk about their
experiences in trying to access higher education, and what passage of the Dream Act
and other legislation would mean for them.
The afternoon program will begin at 2:00 p.m. with a keynote address by the Rev. Dr.
Sharon Stanley-Rea, who is director of Refugee & Immigration Ministries, Disciples
Home Missions, will reflect upon lessons learned in her work and address the importance
of becoming informed and engaged in immigration issues from a faith-based perspective.
Other afternoon highlights include the viewing of the film The Dream is Now, followed
by discussion, and a dynamic, interactive call to action event, hosted by Organizing
for Action representatives, which will allow conference attendees to transform what
they have learned into meaningful concrete next steps of community engagement.
The Women’s Leadership Conference evening program will feature an appearance by international
artist Ms. Frida Larios, a native of El Salvador who now lives in Washington, D.C.,
who will talk about her project and book a “New Maya Language.”
“My colleague and co-coordinator of the conference, Dr. Patty Suppes met Ms. Larios
and was so impressed with her work that we had to bring her to Ferrum. The bright
energy of her work absolutely complements the personality of our keynoter, Dr. Sharon
Stanley-Rea and the young people who will share their stories in the morning,” said
Dr. Mead. “We are thrilled to have been able to bring folks together for this day
of learning and community engagement at Ferrum College.”
For more information, visit www.ferrum.edu/campus_life/events/2014_wlc.html.
About Ferrum College: Ferrum College is a four-year, private, co-educational, liberal arts college related
to the United Methodist Church. Ferrum offers a choice of nationally recognized bachelor's
degree programs, at a cost well below the national average for private colleges. The
College celebrates its centennial during 2013-2014. For more information, visit www.ferrum.edu.
About the photo: Dreamers Ms. Karla Portugal, Ms. Candi López, Ms. Jeanette Maya, and Ms. Rosario
Quesada, from Bassett High School in Henry County.