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					International Women’s Week: March 6th-10th
        International Women’s Day, celebrated March 8th, and established in 1977 by the
United Nations, is an important day of reflection and celebration. As well as providing
the opportunity to celebrate women in all their diversity, International Women’s Day
opens the space for lively discussion about the progress that has been made to advance
equality, and to recognize the journey ahead.
        At Nipissing University, International Women’s Day has been extended to
include a full week of activities and events. The theme of this year’s International
Women’s Week is “Women, Religion and Spirituality,” which seeks to highlight the
significant roles women play in their respective religious traditions, and to focus on their
spiritual insights, practices and challenges.
        The IWW event is being organized by two budding programs at Nipissing
University: Religions and Cultures, and the Interdisciplinary program Gender Equality
and Social Justice, which includes faculty from History, English Studies, Classical
Studies and Sociology. In addition to honouring academic successes, IWW will also
foster Nipissing University’s ongoing relationship with the North Bay community,
featuring local religious leaders. All events are free and open to the public.
       This year the IWW committee has given a name to the public lecture which has
always been a prominent feature of the week’s programming. The Nipissing University
Gender Equality Lecture Series will host its first speaker on Monday, March 6th at 7pm:
Dr. Norma Joseph.
Events
Monday, March 6th @ 7:00pm in F213 Theatre
The Nipissing University Gender Equality Lecture Series presents: Dr. Norma
Joseph on “Food, Gender & Religious Authority”

    Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Religion at Concordia University, Dr.
     Norma Baumel Joseph is Director of the Women and Religion specialization. Her teaching
     and research areas include women and Judaism, Jewish law and ethics, and women and
     religion. Norma appeared in and was consultant to the films Half The Kingdom and Untying
     the Bonds...Jewish Divorce. Her doctoral dissertation focused on the legal decisions of Rabbi
     Moses Feinstein as they describe and delineate separate spheres for women in the Jewish
     community. Since the early 1970's she has promoted women's greater participation in
     Jewish religious and communal life. Founding member of the Canadian Coalition of Jewish
     Women for the Get (Jewish divorce), Dr. Joseph successfully worked with the community
     and the Federal Government to pass a law in 1990 (Divorce Act, ch.18, 21.1) that would
     protect Jewish women in difficult divorce situations and aid them in their pursuit of a Jewish
     divorce. Author of many publications, Norma Baumel Joseph has received numerous
     awards and grants in recognition of her scholarly and pedagogic talents achievements.
“Spirituality Workshops”
IWW will host three spirituality „workshops‟ featuring Christian „lectio divina‟, Native
Spirituality teachings and Buddhist meditation. These sessions will offer“hands-on”
participation, and provide learning sessions featuring female spiritual and religious
teachers. Out of respect for the sacred teachings and practices of these traditions, late
arrivals will not be admitted into these sessions. These are not “performances.”

Tuesday, March 7th @ 3:00 to 4:30pm in F308
Christian-Benedictine Spirituality Workshop:
“Lectio Divina” led by the Rev. Cathy Stewart-Kroeker
„Lectio Divina‟ is a spiritual practice that has its roots in the desert of North Africa in the
fifth century. It is a practice which helps one listen and pay attention to the presence of
God. Lectio Divina is the foundational spiritual practice in the Benedictine tradition, and
it can take different forms. In this workshop, depending on our time, we may try more
than one kind of lectio.

    Cathy Stewart-Kroeker is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in Canada. She
     grew up in Winnipeg, studied at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and has been
     minister at St Cuthbert's in Hamilton for 15 years. Rather inadvertently, she stumbled into
     "lectio divina" a contemplative form of prayer that dates from the fifth century. Although it
     was practised by the Reformers, it has been largely forgotten by the Protestant church. She
     is currently deepening this exploration of contemplative spirituality through a connection
     with a Benedictine monastery in Indiana. Cathy has discovered that silence "speaks" to a
     deep need in our frenetic culture. However, she does not dwell utterly in silence: she lives
     with her husband and 3 teenagers and enjoys playing celtic music (violin), canoeing,
     running, hiking, baking bread, and learning how to grow things organically.

Wednesday, March 8th @12:00 to 2:00pm in F308
Native Spirituality Workshop: led by Native Elder Lorraine Whiteduck Liberty
This workshop will focus on Native Spiritual teachings, and Native Elder Lorraine
Whiteduck Liberty will open a circle ceremony. Refreshments to follow.

    Lorraine Whiteduck Liberty was raised in North Bay and her ancestry is rooted in the
     Nipissing/Golden Lake area. A mother of six and a grandmother of nine, she currently
     spends time as a grandmother to her local community.


Wednesday, March 8th @ 7:00pm in F213 Theatre
Panel Discussion: “Women and Christian Spiritual Leadership”
Sweet Gale performing
Featuring Anne Germond, Anglican Priest; Cathy Stewart-Kroeker, Presbyterian
Minister; Jane Howe, United Church Minister; Sister Bonnie MacLellan, Mother
Superior, Sisters of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie. This event will provide the
opportunity to hear the victories, struggles, and experiences of female religious leaders.
Holly Brown, of the Nipissing University Campus Women‟s Centre, will moderate the
discussion. There will be a musical performance by North Bay local duo, Sweet Gale
before and after.
    Anne Germond grew up in South Africa but Northern Ontario won her heart in the late 80s.
     Actively involved in parish ministry as a Lay Reader, Pastoral Visitor, and Sunday School
     teacher, Anne was called to the ordained ministry in 2000. She serves as an Anglican priest
     at the Church of the Ascension in Sudbury. She is married to Colin, and has two children,
     Caitlin (14) and Richard (11). She and her great big Golden Retriever named Molly enjoy
     going for long walks.

    Cathy Stewart-Kroeker is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in Canada. She
     grew up in Winnipeg, studied at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and has been
     minister at St Cuthbert's in Hamilton for 15 years.

    Jane Howe did her undergraduate degree in Sociology at the University of Western Ontario
     and her Masters in Divinity at the University of Toronto, graduating in 1984. She has served
     three United Church parishes all in the North and also worked as the Executive Director of
     the Neighbourhood Centre and the AIDS committee of North Bay and Area. Jane has been
     sharing ministry with the people of St. Andrew's for the past seven years and she enjoys the
     challenges of ministry in a downtown context. In her spare time, she likes to weave, cycle,
     read books and cook Indian food.

    Sister Bonnie MacLellan, csj, is the General Superior of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Sault Ste.
     Marie. She has served as the President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Sudbury,
     Ontario from 1999-2002. She did an MPH (Master of Public Health at the University of
     Minnesota, and an MA in Human and Organization Development and a Ph.D. (Human and
     Organization Systems) at the Fielding Institute, Santa Barbara. Her doctoral dissertation
     was titled: “The Hidden Face of God: The Impact of the Collective Unconscious on the
     Organizational Regenerativity Potential of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie
     Using Organizational Life Cycle and Jungian Constructs.”

    Sweet Gale are Cassandra Smith and Brigitte Lebel. They live in North Bay, Ontario and
     have been playing locally since Spring 2005 at various venues. They have a recorded a 5 song
     demo so far, and are working on a full length album to be released independently. They
     describe their style as mellow melodic mood music. They share a love for vocal harmonies
     and try to use them as much as possible. Cassandra plays the guitar and sings, and Brigitte
     plays the keyboard, hand drum, saxophone and sings as well. Sweet Gale are composing new
     songs for this event!

    Holly Brown is a student at Nipissing, graduating this year with a degree in Gender Equality
     and Social Justice and a minor in Religions and Cultures. She is an active member and
     executive member of the campus Women's Centre, and has a particular interest in feminist
     theological studies.

Thursday, March 9th @ 10:00 to 12:00pm in A226
Buddhist Spirituality Workshop: “Metta (lovingkindness) Meditation” led by
Shirley-Ann Bedard
This will be an introductory training session in a significant form of Buddhist meditation
that focuses on “Metta”- lovingkindness for all beings. Wear comfortable clothing --
participants will be sitting on the floor, but people can also do this sitting in chairs.

    Shirley-Ann Bedard was married at the Toronto Zen Centre in a Buddhist Ceremony, and
     she is a mother of three wonderful children. She is a Community Mental Health Worker
     (case manager) working with the seriously mentally ill in North Bay. Shirley-Ann began
     practicing Zen Buddhism under a teacher by the name of Zenson Gifford in the late 80's
     (Toronto Zen Centre). She has also trained with Sensei Sunyana Graef in Toronto and
     received her Buddhist name (Gyosei) which is Japanese for 'Morning Star' from her in 1998.
       Presently she does not formally train under any teacher. Shirley-Ann and her husband had a
       Zen-do (meditation room) in their home and a group that met weekly for several years. She
       began the practice of Metta with Sensei Sunyana Graef while attending a three week 'World
       Peace' sesshin (silent retreat) at the Toronto Centre. Her practice is no longer Zen (Koan)
       training, but focuses mostly on the practice of Metta. She does not profess to be a teacher,
       but she is very much a student of Metta and most willing to share some of what she has
       learned.

Friday, March 10th @ 2:30 to 4:00pm in A137
Dramatic Reading of Badasht! (Bahá’í): A play by Prof. Valerie Senyk, Laurentian
University; Read by Douglas Gosse, Isabel Mosseler & Valerie Senyk
This play is about a daring act by one of the first feminists of the Bahá‟í faith. It will be
introduced by the playwright, Valerie Senyk.

    Valerie Senyk is an Associate Professor of Theatre Arts, Laurentian University in Sudbury,
     Ontario, a published and performance poet, and artist. Recent acting credits include Goneril
     (King Lear), Mejra (The Monument), and Mouth (Not I). She has performed her poetry in
     collaboration with live and electronic music composers. For six years she directed a
     grassroots Baha’i Social Development theatre project in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Valerie is
     a member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada. She is mother to three fine young men.

    Douglas Gosse teaches in the pre-service teacher education program at Nipissing University,
     North Bay, ON, specializing in Junior/Intermediate and Intermediate/Senior Curriculum
     Methods. Douglas’ research topics investigate questions of identity construction, hidden
     curriculum, queer theory, fiction writing, storytelling, and the creative research process of
     writer-researchers. An educational novel resulting from his dissertation, entitled Jackytar,
     has just been published by Jesperson Publishing and is available nationwide.

    Isabel Mosseler is a member of the Bahai Faith. She is also an artist and a writer. Isabel was
     the Women's Representative for two terms on the Nipissing-Parry Sound Labour Training
     and Adjustment Board and Steering Committee. Isabel is a trained Facilitator with the
     internationally renowned Virtues Project™. She was also a local representative for two
     terms on the Northeastern Regional Council of TV Ontario. Isabel has a keen interest in
     protecting and advocating for human rights, and currently sits in advisory capacity on the
     Rights Advocacy Committee for West Nipissing Association for Community Living. She also
     is a member of the North Bay Anti Racism Committee. She teaches Spirit Classes to children
     on Saturdays, open to children of all faiths and traditions. She volunteers for many
     organizations, and prefers to work behind the scenes using her networking skills. She is an
     ardent believer in privacy, and guards her own diligently.

Friday, March 10th @ 7:00-9:30pm in H104
National Film Board Screening: "Me and the Mosque" (Women & Islam)
An important film about the rise in segregated worship for men and women in North
American Mosques. Response & discussion to follow, led by Aisha Alladin.
    Aisha Alladin was born in the island of Mauritius. She was trained as a nurse in England.
     She also graduated with a B.A (Hons) in Sociology and a Professional Certificate in Social
     Work from the University of East London (England) and holds a Master Degree in
     Education from the University of Alberta (Canada). Her professional and international
     experiences extend from the field of nursing, education to community development and
     social work. Aisha has shown community leadership through her roles of President of
     Sudbury Race Relations Committee and the Vice-President of The Global Women
     Committee. She has initiated many community initiatives in the area of race relations and
       challenges faced by racial minority women. She has led and facilitated many workshops in
       the area of anti-racism, diversity issues, violence against women, cross-cultural
       communications and multiculturalism as well as made several presentations in the areas of
       human rights, women and religion, Islam as a world religion, religious diversity, Islam and
       violence. She also sat on the Mayor’s working group on the “Diversity Thrives Here” for the
       City of Greater Sudbury in the year 2003 – 2004. Aisha is currently employed as the Officer,
       Education Services at the Sudbury & District Health Unit.


For more information contact Dr. Susan Srigley, Religions and Cultures, Nipissing
University. Tel: (705) 474-3450 ext. 4154. Email: susans@nipissingu.ca

				
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