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Conference on Empowering Girls This Weekend At Clark University

Friday, October 04, 2013


Bringing power to girls is the focus of a weekend conference at Clark University.

Empowering girls is at the forefront in Worcester this weekend, when the Clark University student organization All Kinds of Girls (AKOG) will host a conference, “Inspiring Strength & Empowering All Kinds of Girls” on Saturday, October 5, on the Clark campus. The conference will bring together several presenters and panelists from around campus, from New England, and from local chapters of national organizations such as United Way, YWCA, and Girl Scouts.

The conference will begin with registration and a breakfast at 9 a.m. Numerous workshops and breakout sessions will occur throughout the day until 5 p.m.

All activities through 2 p.m. will be held in Tilton Hall, second floor of the Higgins University Center, 950 Main St., Worcester. After 2 p.m., sessions will be held in either the Grace or Lurie Conference Rooms on the first floor of the Higgins University Center.

President David Angel will welcome guests at 9:30 a.m. with an introduction to the conference.

Keynote: Coming Of Age in the Culture of 'Twerk'

At 9:45 a.m., Esther L. Jones, assistant professor of English at Clark University will be delivering the keynote address, “Girls to Women? Coming of Age in the Culture of ‘Twerk.’”

“State of Girls,” the first panel at 10:45 a.m., will allow individuals from different communities and offices to share their perspectives on the current state of girls and where to go from here. Panelists include:

  • Karen King, Women’s Initiative of the United Way of Central Massachusetts
  • Sarai Rivera, Worcester District 4 City Councilor
  • Professor Hilda Lloréns, Brown University
  • Kathleen M. Palm Reed, assistant professor of psychology (who will discuss her work with CAVE: Clark Anti-Violence Education Program).

After lunch, a second panel will commence at 12:45 p.m., titled “Same Goal, Different Pathways.” This panel is made up of representatives from organizations whose programs focus on empowering young women and violence prevention. Each panelist will share their different approaches. Panelists include:

  • Mary Scully ’14, Clark senior and AKOG mentor/Steering Committee member
  • Jessica Donati ’13, Clark junior, Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Lindsay Carpenter, YWCA’s Girls Promoting Safety Program
  • Pattie Hallberg, CEO, Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts.

At 2 p.m., a workshop titled “A Day in the Life of AKOG” will focus on the matter of responding to violence. A second workshop will include a panel of Clark alumni and former AKOG members: Helen Ward, Jenna Wills, Theresa Pickens, and Ellen Davis.

Breakout sessions titled “A Moment as a Mentor” and “Girls and the Media” will follow at 3:45 p.m. and 4:25 p.m., respectively. Lucia Alfaro from the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children will be assisting with a session, as will Sam Diener, visiting professor of peace studies at Clark, who works with the organization Peace Now.

The conference is open to the public. For more information on the conference, contact Ms. Imogene Winkleman at [email protected] and (914) 330-4313.


AKOG was started in 1998 in response to a community desire to create a space where generations of females could foster positive growth through mentorship and openly explore their personal and political identities. Through positive interactions with others, the program aims to support girls in developing a solid sense of self while simultaneously fostering their role as important and powerful contributors to the formation of the evolving social world.

The All Kinds of Girls Program is funded by a generous grant from the Women’s Initiative of the United Way of Central Massachusetts, the Clark University Office of the Provost, and the Student Council at Clark University.


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