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Campus News

Honoring Women’s History Month with Women’s Spirituality

Exploring the Department of Women's Spirituality and celebrating with two events

March 7, 2024

CIIS is proud to once again celebrate Women’s History month, an event catalyzed in Berkeley, CA at nearly the same time that CIIS was being founded. The flourishing of both Women’s History Month (which used to be Women’s History Week, and before that just Women’s History Day) and the University are serendipitous in more ways than one: around the time the US was (finally!) establishing official federal recognition for the month, CIIS was creating the Women’s Spirituality department, which has recently reached its milestone 30th anniversary. 

Students and professors alike spoke at length about the department and the programs it houses, right in time for Women's History Month. “These are the best people,” enthused Norah Chen, class of ’26. “We come from different backgrounds, different countries, but we’re unified in our sense of wanting to heal the world, wanting to change the world, and in that deep connection with spirit.”

This spirit is deeply inclusive, and affirms all women, including women of all economic statuses, trans women, disabled women, undocumented women, and women of all colors and nationalities, particularly those who are often overlooked in mainstream discourse. Professor Anna Corwin invites everyone to join “on this journey to explore liberation through an integral pedagogy.” But what does that look like?

One example comes from Professor Alka Arora. “I developed an educational framework called integral feminist pedagogy (IFP) that unites feminist social justice education with a respect for spirit, embodiment, nature, and intuition,” she offered, speaking of her own pedagogical methods. “Within this framework, the classroom is a sacred space where students and teachers engage in a process of collectively imagining new ways of being and relating.” Many professors offer similarly versatile lenses and practices for students to experience.

Students agree that the program is a place where they can see themselves—and see themselves becoming more. “One class might transform you for whatever it is that you’re doing in your world,” said Drisana “Dru” McDaniel, a current student from the class of ’25.

Women's History Month Events

If you would like to partake in the Women’s History celebrations happening all month long, check out the Women’s Spirituality department book talks:

Wild Fin

Friday, March 8 from 12:00 - 1:30 PM PST 
Join Dr. Monica Mody, a poet, educator, and theorist, in conversation with Dr. Alka Arora as they explore the poetic richness of Wild Fin.

More details here    Join the conversation on Zoom

The Seer

Thursday, March 28 from 12:00 - 1:30 PM PST 
Join author Love Ta’Shia Asanti in conversation with Dr. Annette Williams as they discuss Asanti’s work The Seer: Legacy of Stone & Spirit as well as her career as the award-winning author of four books as well as an award-winning journalist, filmmaker, TV producer and poet.

More details here   Join the conversation on Zoom

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