By: Joseph Richardson
Annually, GPC students are given the opportunity not only to learn about themselves, but to learn about others in support of cultural enrichment.
The GPC Women’s Conference was held on Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20.
The goal of the Women’s Conference is to promote both unity and diversity throughout the college.
They provide many services and resources to help people hone on their skills, whether academic or not.
The simple beauty of the Women’s Conference is that the doors are opened to all ethnicities, genders and cultures.
The vision of the Women’s Conference is to provide a safe place for everybody to come together and examine social justice issues and educate one another.
On Thursday, the conference opened with words of wisdom from keynote speaker Hollis Gillespie.
Hollis Gillespie is a highly awarded humorist and a top-selling author who has appeared on both magazines and on television.
Following the words of Hollis were several concurrent sessions.
These sessions included readings, presentations, displays and even panel discussions.
As the day continued, there were presentations that challenged the audience’s mind in such a way that it brought comfort to the audience and created a sense of identity.
For the mothers and daughters in the audience, “Uncomfortable Conversations between Mothers and Daughters,” presented by Shana Hunt, Ed.D, displayed the conversations between a colored mother and her daughter in three different generations.
After many eccentric sessions, Anita Canada performed exquisitely.
The lyrical poetry of Anita and her band entered the ears, pumped through the heart and dwelled in the soul of every listener for the genuine enrichment of the individual.
The event continued on Friday with a breakfast reception that was paired with featured artists and their artwork.
A certain exhibit that was on display for both Thursday and Friday was “The Art of True Womanhood/ Babeez Exhibit” by artist Ida Harris.
The exhibit contains several handcrafted dolls that are in the image of Women of Color.
These dolls are pieced from donations of other people and promote the identification of colored women.
Near the end of the day, GPC was gifted by an array of dances. The first dance was a Chinese Folk dance that uses handkerchiefs, while the second dance was a minority dance called “Dai.”
A classical dance called “Fan as a Paint Brush” followed and another Chinese folk dance using red silk ribbons culminated the ensemble.
“Something I was trying to highlight during the Women’s Conference was female performers that would bring something different and have an opportunity to not only see the arts but actually understand it,” said Jennifer Jenkins, adviser of the Theatre Arts Guild.
The many dances, exhibits and presentations were to expose multi- cultural practices to the everyday student at GPC.
Both Michael Hall and Tiffany Del Valle, GPC Coordinators of Diversity, organized a very successful event both in its turnout and its mission.
Although the Women’s Conference ended on Friday, the journey of cultural growth and unity is a path that many will make it their priority daily.