Working toward a more equitable and just campus community, Hollins University is hosting the Leading Equity, Diversity, and Justice (EDJ) Conference, February 24-25.
What began in the 2020-21 academic year as Leading EDJ Day has evolved into a two-day conference in its second year. This year’s theme is “Equity, Accessibility, Identity.”
“Leading EDJ aims to create an intentional and meaningful space for all of us to reflect, learn, and facilitate action,” said Hollins President Mary Dana Hinton. “This conference brings together members of our community and prominent local and national figures to learn from one another in various formats, both face-to-face and online.”
The 2022 Leading EDJ Conference will kick off on Thursday, February 24, at 7:30 p.m. with Nazera Sadiq Wright‘s presentation, “Digital Gi(rl)s: Mapping Black Girlhood in the Nineteenth Century.” Wright is an associate professor of English at the University of Kentucky. Her book, Black Girlhood in the Nineteenth Century (2016), won the 2018 Children’s Literature Association’s Honor Book Award for Outstanding Book of Literary Criticism. During 2017-18, she was in residence at the Library Company of Philadelphia as a National Endowment of the Humanities Fellow and an Andrew W. Mellon Program in African American History Fellow to advance her second book on the influence of libraries in the literary careers of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century African American women writers. “Digital Gi(rl)s” will be livestreamed (Passcode: 111008).
Loretta Ross, an award-winning, nationally recognized expert on racism and racial justice, women’s rights, and human rights, will deliver the conference’s keynote address on Friday, February 25, at 10 a.m. Ross’s work emphasizes the intersectionality of social justice issues and how intersectionality can fuel transformation. She teaches a course on White Supremacy, Human Rights and Calling In the Calling Out Culture as a visiting associate professor at Smith College. She is cofounder of SisterSong, a national organization whose purpose is to build an effective network of individuals and organizations to improve institutional policies and systems that impact the reproductive lives of marginalized communities. Her newest book, Calling In the Calling Out Culture, will be released later this year.
Following the keynote address, Leading EDJ will feature more than 30 morning and afternoon sessions for the campus community created by students, faculty, staff, and alumnae/i as well as outside guests from the Roanoke and higher education communities.
During the first Leading EDJ Day in October 2020, more than 550 students, faculty, staff, alumnae/i, and trustees joined together to explore themes of race and racial justice. The inaugural event allowed the extended campus community to explore both the legacy of historical racism at Hollins and how contemporary struggles for racial equity and justice continue to shape learning spaces and experiences.