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B-CU Announces Guest Speakers for Mary McLeod Bethune Women's Conference

Today, Bethune-Cookman University announced two guest speakers with featured roles in the upcoming Mary McLeod Bethune Women's Conference.  Historian Elaine Moore Smith and noted women's studies researcher and educator Beverly Guy-Sheftall will speak at the day-long event on Friday, April 30.
"We are honored to have these prominent women join us to share their perspectives on the role women play in transforming our society,” said Dr. Cheryll Hardison-Dayton, director of the conference.  "Their voices will add to the overall conference goal of honoring women within both our local and global communities who continue Dr. Bethune's legacy of faith and leadership.”
Elaine Moore Smith is a historian and educator who taught at Alabama State University for nearly thirty years.  Her publications include Creating Community: Life and Learning in Montgomery's Black University (University of Alabama Press, 2005) and Mary McLeod Bethune: Building a Better World, Essays and Selected Documents (Indiana University Press, 1999).  The daughter of former B-CU President Richard V. Moore, Smith graduated from Bethune-Cookman University in 1963 and received a master's degree in history from Boston University.  
Beverly Guy-Sheftall is the founding director of the Women's Research and Resource Center at Spelman College where she is also Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women's Studies.  She is currently president of the National Women's Studies Association.  Her publications include the first anthology of black women's literature, a book co-authored with Johnetta Betsch Cole, Gender Talk: The Struggle for Women's Equality in African-American Communities (Random House, 2003) and an anthology, I am Your Sister: Collected and Unpublished Writings of Audre Lorde (Oxford University Press, 2009).  Her most recent publication is an anthology co-edited with Johnetta B. Cole, Who Should Be First: Feminists Speak Out on the 2008 Presidential Campaign (SUNY Press, 2010).  Sheftall holds a bachelor's degree from Spelman, a master's degree from Atlanta University and earned her Ph.D. from Emory University.
In addition to the remarks by Smith and Guy-Sheftall, the conference will include a number of workshops, a tribute to Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, and the presentation of special awards to women who have made a difference in their communities.  In addition, winners of the student essay contests will be announced.
Following is the schedule of events for the Women's Conference.  All events are free and open to the public and will take place in the B-CU Center for Civic Engagement, 740 International Speedway Boulevard.  Registration is required.


9:15 am – 9:50am Registration
10:00 am – 10:50 am

Welcoming Remarks

11:00 am  – 12:00 pm

Workshop Session I

  • Visionary Framework for Faith and Leadership in the 21st Century
  • Communalism – Other Mothers and the Future of the Black Family
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm Lunch – Elaine Moore Smith, speaker
2:15 pm – 3:30 pm

Workshop Session II

  • Gender and Leadership
  • Spirituality and the Community
4:00 pm – 4:45 pm Entertainment
5:00 pm – 5:45 pm Tribute to Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune
6:00 pm

Dinner – Beverly Guy-Sheftall, speaker

  • Awards presentation

Funding for the First Annual Mary McLeod Bethune Women's Conference was made possible by the Andrew Mellon/Jessie Ball DuPont Endowment.
For additional information about the conference and essay contest, please contact Dr. Paula McKenzie at 386-481-2478 or by email at <> .

Office of Public Relations

Liz Poston

PH: 386-481-2990

About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

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