March 22, 2004

Conference to explore 'Herstory'

By Katherine Baust


The National Black Herstory Task Force (NBHTF), co-sponsored by Emory Women's Center and women's studies, will host the Seventh Annual National Black Herstory Conference and Awards Banquet, March 26-27.

NBHTF was cofounded by Mozella Galloway, information analyst in the School of Medicine, whose longtime interest in African American heritage was further piqued several years ago when she met Khalil Osiris through mutual friends. Osiris teaches at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, and is co-executive director of the National Alliance for Radical Prison Reform.

Together they created NBHTF with the mission "to provide vehicles to collect, research, authenticate, document, archive and celebrate the legacy and lives of women of African descent and their alliances"--and a hope of opening a permanent facility including a research library and cultural arts center. The Women's Center has cosponsored the Herstory Conference since Director Ali Crown invited Galloway and Osiris to use the center's facilities to hold NBHTF board meetings in 1997.

This year's Herstory Conference, themed "Black Cultures: Examining Diversity in Healthcare and Lifestyles," will examine health care-related issues among black women in the United States and South Africa. Five one-hour panels will feature presentations by a variety of grass-roots organizations, business leaders, professionals and scholars. Galloway said the conference planning committee chose the topic of health because of the debilitating impact of the AIDS crisis on black women and women of African descent. She said, "there was no way it could have been anything else this year; people need to understand the depth of the impact AIDS is having on the black and African community."

The conference will begin Friday, March 26, at 12:30 p.m. with an introduction by President Jim Wagner. That evening will feature the conference's annual awards banquet in Cox Hall.

This year's honorees include:

Dazon Dixon Dallo, founder and CEO of Sister Love Inc.

Ulester Douglas, co-executive director of Men Stopping Violence.

Nina Simone, vocalist and human rights activist (post-humous award).

Faye Brown Sperling, founder and director of Our Common Welfare (posthumous award).

Daalmah Zakkee, artist and high school scholar.

Saturday's session will begin at 10 a.m. A book fair and luncheon will showcase authors and books written by and about women of African descent. The day will conclude with a film presentation of the documentary Bringin' in Da Spirit , directed by Rhonda Haynes and narrated by Phylicia Rashad, about the history of African American midwifery in the United States. A roundtable discussion will follow the film.

The conference is free for Emory faculty, staff and students and $15 for all other students and senior citizens. General admission is $55 for the two-day conference and $30 for a single-day pass. The cost for the awards ceremony, which is a fund raiser, is $35 and tickets must be purchased in advance.

For more information, call 404-712-9674 or e-mail conference@blackherstory.org. For more information about NBHTF, visit www.blackherstory.org .