By Kris Malone Grossman, MFA February 28, 2018

Here's what folks are saying about the Women's Spirituality Spring Speaker Series, sponsored by the CIIS Office of Diversity and Inclusion:

I was moved more than I can say, and also galvanized and thrilled at the sheer spiritual firepower of women who could face so much disrespect, ignorance and disheartening defeat, and still fight on with such entrenched intelligence and commitment. They've done their work but there are no better leaders for right now to show how to resist in the world without glory or martyrdom, radiating brilliance in the steady truth of their wise talk and their truly revolutionary walk. They're definitely the real news from recent history. –Katie

I continue to be amazed at how much of my own history I wasn't taught and still don't know. Events like these help illuminate a suppressed history of amazing women who not only stood up for justice, they did so in the face of a patriarchy that did not always welcome them and clearly didn't acknowledge them. Thanks to CIIS and the Women's Spirituality department for hosting events like these, which allow us to celebrate the enormous contributions of women and to engage in thoughtful re-learning of our history. –Nicole

African-American woman advanced civil rights in marginalized communities, and Reflections Unheard highlights the power of their approach to collective strength in establishing a progressive movement. Their underreported story told beautifully here underscores the need to share history from diverse perspectives in order to catalyze the advancement of democratic ideals. –Sheila

The event, which brought together CIIS students, alum, faculty, and community members, was kicked off by Dr. Annette Williams, Program Chair Women's Spirituality Program, and Dr. Denise Boston, Director of the CIIS Office of Diversity and Inclusion, who together introduced the film Reflections Unheard: Black Women in Civil Rights, which unearths the lesser-known story of black women's political marginalization between the male-dominated Black Power movement and the predominantly white and middle-class feminist movement during the 1960s and 70s, as well as the resulting mobilization of black and other women of color into a united feminist movement.

Following the film, attendees were treated to an intimate dialogue between Dr. Williams and Dr. Arisika Razak, Professor Emerita in the Women's Spirituality Program. Dr. Razak eloquently shared and answered questions about her extensive experience as a Civil Rights activist, educator-scholar, and midwife from the 1970s to the present, highlighting throughout a compelling reminder: while misogyny adversely affects all women, it affects women differently according to such critical factors as race, economics, and sexual orientation-points to keep front-and-center, not only as we engage in social justice work, but in all aspects of our lives.

Dr. Mara Keller, Professor of Women's Spirituality, concluded the evening by sharing highlights of her work as a Civil Rights and International Peace activist and educator-scholar from the 1960s to the present, committed to racial and gender equality for everyone. Today these foundational precepts continue to inform the Women's Spirituality Movement and Program, which aim to create a world that honors women's embodied spirituality, re-centers voices from the margins and cultivates reverence for all beings from a multi-cultural, multi-racial point of view.

In keeping with the tenets of Women's Spirituality, children were welcomed to attend with their caregivers, reminding us that learning about suppressed histories and Women's Spirituality is imperative for people of all ages!

Be sure to mark your calendars for upcoming Women's Spirituality events.
For more information about these programs or the Women's Spirituality Program, visit the program page or contact: AmyJo Mattheis amattheis@ciis.edu
For more information about the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, visit the office's page.

Women's Spirituality, Office of Diversity

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