B-CU holds annual Women’s Conference

Officials at B-CU are getting ready for the annual Mary McLeod Bethune Women's conference is set for March 26.

This will be the 10th year for the conference which was started by Dr. Cheryl Hardison-Dayton to highlight women who have made a positive change in their communities.

The theme for this year is "Visionary Women," according to Dr. Winifred Johnson who acts as one of the co-chairs for the event. Johnson said that she is co-chairing with Dr. Deborah Freckleton.

The theme "Visionary Women," is also the theme for National Women's History Month. Johnson said the theme was so appropriate in describing the life of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune's life and also the life of the Hardison-Dayton who founded the event.

"I was a friend of Dr. Hardison-Dayton. I was with her when she first started the conference. So, I wanted to to continue her legacy, if you will," Johnson said.

Johnson said in a 2018 interview with the Voice that the conference is modeled after the first event which was put together by the late Hardison-Dayton who died a year after the initial event.

"We're going to have concurrent panels in [both] rooms," Johnson said. There will be activities held in the Michael and Libby Johnson Center for Civic Engagement. "In both the Graduate Room and the President Banquet Hall," Johnson said. Johnson said their will be prizes and giveaways for students.

Johnson said, "This year two local women will be recognized this year. Both are Bethune grads." According to Johnson, the two women are Dr. Primose Cameron and Mary L. Jackson Fears. Cameron is the professional learning membership specialist for the Volusia Teachers Organization, and the AFT/NEA affiliate in Daytona Beach, Fl, which represent 3,400 teachers. Fears is a professional Storyteller, Civil War Reenactor, Genealogist, and author. Johnson said the keynote speaker for the event this year will be Dr. Paulette C. Walker, who served as the 25th National President of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

Funding for the event is being provided by the Mellon-DuPont Grant, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Business and Entrepreneurship and the Bethune-Cookman University Legacy Initiative, according to Johnson.