The Office for Church Relations will host a free women’s conference on Feb. 23 and 24 in association with Multicultural Student Services (MSS) and the Black Student Association (BSA). The conference, titled “For Christian Girls,” will be led by five women from Atlanta and will focus on topics facing many Christian women, including depression, domestic violence and healing after hurt.
Alexander Jamerison, director of diversity, said this event will be a first for the university in many ways. Jamerison said he looks forward to the precedent it will set.
“We don’t have African-American perspective necessarily being spoken into our university from this type of position,” Jamerison said. “This is something that we need to do. … for the women on campus … and just for the university as a whole to start moving us in a direction that we need to go.”
LaShaun Wright, trustee board member, is the founder of For Christian Girls. She is the daughter of Howard Wright, who in 1968 became one of the first two black students to earn a degree from Harding and now serves as a member of the board of trustees. Wright will be one of the five women to speak at the conference. Jamerison said the women have impactful stories to share.
“They have something to offer,” Jamerison said. “Not just their African-American perspective, but their spiritual perspective and their life experience. That’s the kind of the thing that I hope people will get from this.”
Tiffany Byers, director of MSS, said she thinks this event will be an encouraging experience of fellowship and growth for the women who attend.
“For Christian Girls conference is important because issues that affect women are often overlooked,” Byers said. “It is my hope that women at Harding will be empowered to persevere beyond whatever struggles they have.”
Junior Makayla Twigg, event planner for BSA, said she is excited to attend a spiritual conference led by black women.
“With the speakers being African-American, it will just be different from what we usually hear here at Harding,” Twigg said. “I think that it’s good to hear different people. … with different perceptions, especially for us as black students hearing somebody that might’ve come from the same kind of place as us.”
Twigg said she thinks this event will be especially powerful for African-American women, but that it is open to all.
“Every time we have an event, people think that just because it’s Black Student Association hosting it, that only black people can come,” Twigg said. “That’s not the case. … It’ll just be a different perspective for them to see.”
The conference will begin on Friday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m., and continues on Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. Registration is open until Feb. 19. To register, visit harding.edu/churchrelations.