By Becky Burgess
Every other year, the University of Georgia’s Institute of Women’s Studies holds an event called the Women and Girls in Georgiaconference. The purpose of the event is to bring together women and girls and encourage studies and research surrounding them and their diversity.
I met up with Terri Hatfield, UGA’s program coordinator for the institute for women’s studies, at the Founder’s Memorial Garden of UGA to discuss this feminist conference. The garden is small and sits next to the women’s studies offices, surrounded by sounds of chirping birds, branches in the wind and the ever-busy South Lumpkin Street. It serves as a living memorial to the first ladies’ garden club in America, called the Ladies’ Garden Club of Athens, and its 12 founding members. This garden is a constant reminder of the consistent feminist progress made since the club’s founding in 1891.
Becky: What is the overall goal of this conference?
Terri: The goal is to bring together academics, activists, advocates, community leaders, community members, students, to… share knowledge, discuss research, share their work and everything that they’re doing to benefit a positive social change in the future.
Every conference has a different theme, such as violence, health and well being, the economy and politics. This year’s conference is centered around Justice and Resistance. Here’s why.
Terri: We felt like ti was important to come together and not only discuss the important works and successes of many of the social justice movements that are happening here in Georgia right now, but also come together and figure out how we can work together to move towards positively impacting the status of women and girls not only in Georgia but hopefully in the world
So what makes this conference different than others? Here’s what Terri had to say.
Terri: It’s a really unique experience if these are topics that interest you it’s definitely something that you don’t want to miss out on because you have this great opportunity to interact with these feminist scholars and activists who are all working towards the same goals here in the state, all across the state. And because it’s a smaller conference, it’s quite intimate and so you really get opportunities to interact with these people too, and again these are scholars and activists, community leaders, like this year we have some politicians who are running for office for House and then we have these leaders… like Angy [Rivera], who are… organizing through her work, her organization, but also her activism. And then we have scholars and researchers so it’s… it’s just a great opportunity to interact with these people on an intimate level so it’s a great experience.
I’m Becky Burgess, and thanks for tuning in.