B-CU Celebrates Another Mary McLeod Bethune Women's Conference

Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune
Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune

Officials are celebrating the annual Mary McLeod Bethune Women's Conference slated for March 27-28.

This is the ninth year for the event that was started by Dr. Cheryl Hardison-Dayton to recognize women who have made "ground-breaking changes" in America's history.

The theme for this year is "Nevertheless, she persisted," according to Dr. Winifred Johnson, chairperson for this year's event.

Johnson said the theme, "Nevertheless, she persisted," is a shortened version of the theme for National Women's History month, "Nevertheless, She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women."

Moreover, she said, it fits perfectly in describing Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune's life and legacy.

Activities will take place in the Michael and Libby Johnson Center for Civic Engagement. "We're going to be using two rooms, the President's Banquet Hall and the Graduate Seminar," Johnson said.

She said that there will be a plethora of activities provided for attendees. They include a series of panels that will involve student panelist and panelist from the community.

Johnson said organizers have modeled this year's conference along the first event put together by the late Hardison-Dayton, who died a year after the inaugural event.

Johnson said that they will be honoring Hardison-Dayton along with other "Women of Distinction."

Also, there will be an essay contest for both Bethune-Cookman students and area high school students. Winners will receive cash prizes.

New to the conference is a clothing giveaway, Johnson said. "There will be a closet of professional dresses which are to be given away at the conference," she said, adding there is no charge.

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.