Fourth Gender Studies Symposium Features West Virginia Speakers

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

The fourth annual Gender Studies Symposium at West Virginia Wesleyan College will take place on November 6 and 7.  This year’s symposium will focus on issues of gender and racial justice from the perspective of African American women who are leaders in West Virginia in their respective fields of expertise.

The symposium will consist of two days of events featuring poet Crystal Good, Delegate Meshea Poore, and Professor Ethel Morgan Smith. The events will begin with a poetry reading by Affrilachian poet and author of the collection Valley Girls, Crystal Good, on Wednesday, November 6 at 4:30 p.m. in the Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library. Thursday’s event will be a panel discussion between our three guests in Loar Auditorium at 7 p.m.

Good is an entrepreneur and poet who works to create opportunity for people in the state of West Virginia. Delegate Poore represents the 37th District in the West Virginia Legislature. An attorney who established her own law firm in Charleston, Delegate Poore has launched her campaign for US Congress, running on her “record of growing our economy, creating jobs, advancing our education system, leading the way for better health care and keeping our families safe.” Professor Ethel Morgan Smith, Associate Professor of English at WVU, has authored two books and numerous essays, winning many awards for her writing, including a Mid-Atlantic Arts Prize and a Fulbright research award to support her work in Germany, which resulted in the publication of her second book, Reflections of the Other: Being Black in Germany.

“This year has been full of significant anniversaries of landmark events in relation to the progress of racial justice in our country,” said Jessica Scott, coordinator of Wesleyan’s Gender Studies program and organizer of the event. “Significantly, the 50-year anniversary of the March on Washington led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was memorialized during the second term of America’s first African American president. However, racial inequality continues to persist. Fifty years ago, it seemed very clear what racial justice should mean. What does racial justice mean now? This event should be part of that conversation for campus and community members, and these accomplished women of color who have been making change in our state in their respective fields will be expert facilitators of this discussion.”

Since its establishment in 2010, students have attended the Gender Studies Symposium to gain increased awareness about the practical work being carried out in their own communities and in the larger world using the theoretical frameworks generated by Gender Studies as an academic discipline through presentations by national and international experts in their respective areas of pedagogy, activism, and critical thought.

For more information on the Gender Studies program, contact Jess Scott at or 304-473-8360.

This event is free and open to the public.