Southeastern Women Studies Association 2012 Conference

4 Apr

There was one central theme that tied together all the marvelous speeches the immigration panel shared for the Southeastern Women Studies Association 2012 Conference at George Mason University: sharing our stories.  Plenty of individuals in our society are aware of issues such as newly arrived immigrants, illegal citizens, and organizations meant to support; however, without the connection to the individuals and their stories, we simply do not have as much of a drive to help.

The immigration panel consisted of seven women from all over the world such as Latin America, Vietnam, Romania, and India.  Several women teamed-up to spread awareness about the DREAM Act and what GMU students are doing to raise awareness about this issue.  Another young woman discussed the issues Latina and other immigrant women face that hinders them from becoming successful and prosperous in this country.  Furthermore, stories were shared from one woman in her later years discussing her journey from Vietnam to the United States during the hard times of the late 1900s.



Empowered Women International was also able to share their story with the audience.  Marga discussed her struggles coming to America during the bustle of post September 11th and her eagerness to fit in with this new culture.  Furthermore, Marga discussed the extraordinary talent she saw in the women while taking English classes.  Marga sought for a way to empower them to foster these artistic skills into a career and help showcase the talent of so many immigrant women who are limited to blue collar jobs.  Additionally, EWI graduate Sushmita shared her story of finding a connection between her son’s Indian heritage and American lifestyle.  She was able to connect him to their culture by creating beautiful and creative books about the everyday life of people in India.

The presentations were followed by a quick panel discussion between the audience and the presenters.  The presenters talked more in detail about their presentations, answered questions, and opened a discussion about how these organizations are affected by society and government’s opinions.  A small, intimate luncheon was last on the agenda.  We were served a delicious lunch at the Women and Gender Studies office. The presenters and audience got to know each other better through the opportunity to speak on a one-to-one basis.

Overall, the event was inspirational and filled with new information.  These women enlighten the rest of us to help, support, and donate our time and energy to ensure our voice is heard.  There are many organizations in this area that aim to promote more rights and opportunities for immigrants, and the best way to do that is by sharing our stories to as many people as we can.


One Response to “Southeastern Women Studies Association 2012 Conference”

  1. Kaluz April 5, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    It was a great panel! I’m very happy I was able to participate and connect with empowered women international.

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