IHundreds of stories and thousands of years of will converge on
Saturday, March 23, when Emory hosts the fifth annual National Black
The conference is sponsored by the National Black Herstory Task
Force, which has called Emory home since its founding in 1997. Its
president, Mozella Galloway, an information analyst in the School
of Medicines graduate medical education division, co-founded
the group with Khalil Osiris Sudan, a Dayton, Ohio, resident who
first became interested in the idea of a Herstory observance during
his graduate studies.
The two first discussed establishing a Herstory observance and
organization in 1992, and four years later they founded the task
force with a simple mission of providing vehicles to collect,
authenticate, document, archive and celebrate the lives of
women of African descent. The Womens Center, a Herstory conference
co-sponsor from the beginning, invited the groups board of
directors to use its space to hold meetings.
When we started telling women about [the task force idea],
the reaction was phenomenal, Galloway said. There is
a lot of inaccuracy in the telling of our stories and a lot of omission.
People say, We should do something about it. Well, why
not start with us? It takes more than us, but why cant we
start a task force that will tell all the stories?
This years Herstory conference (which about 100 people are
expected to attend) deals with grandmothers and their histories,
as reflected in its theme, Remembering Grandmas Hands:
Lessons, Trials and Triumphs. Panelists and audience members
will share recollections of women who regarded as keepers of cultural
traditions and role models for generations.
Conference sessions include:
Examining Our Grandmothers History. Panelists include
grandmothers and grandchildren leading an interactive discussion
documenting the life stories of grandmothers.
Grandma Moses: Harriet Tubman and the Message Quilts. Re-enactment
of Harriet Tubmans life featuring message quilts.
National Black Herstory Memorial Quilting Project. Session
marks the beginning of a three-year quilting project to honor women
of African descent and supporters of their rights.
Raising Sons and Daugh-ters. Panelists will examine different
effects of parental and extended family influences on the lives
of children of African descent.
The conference will conclude with an awards ceremony at 7 p.m.
in Cannon Chapel. Honorees include: The Central Outreach Ministries
of Central Presbyterian Church (The National Black Herstory Comrade
Salute Award); Alesia Adams of the Center to End Adolescent Sexual
Exploitation (The Lucy Terry Prince Award); Dorothy Marie Gaines,
a drug law revisionist activist (The National Black Herstory Auset
Award); and Corrie Van Exel, a fourth-year student at the School
of Medicine (The Beverly L. Hall Young Adult Award).
The conference is free for the Emory community, $10 for other students
and senior citizens and $30 for other attendees, and the awards
ceremony is $15 for general admission. Galloway said she hopes the
low prices and close venue help attract more studentswhom
Galloway considers crucial to sustaining the history of past and
The oral traditions are not being passed on because [students]
dont have the time or the money. But they will get interested
in something if its affordable and if you bring it to them,she
Stories collected at this conference will become part of the task
forces growing research collection, which Galloway hopes eventually
to house in a permanent library and museum facility proposed for
Atlanta. She said the project is in its early stages, but a capital
campaign is in the works with the goal of making the building a
reality within five years.
For more information about the conference, call 404-508-8040 or
For more information about the National Black Herstory Task Force,