The 42nd Annual Women’s Symposium:

A Collective Purpose: Crossing the Cultural Boundaries

The 42nd annual Women’s Symposium at Southern Methodist University, which will be held Thursday, March 1, 2007, will explore international issues for women around the theme “A Collective Purpose: Crossing the Cultural Boundaries.”

Asma Barlas

Featured speaker for the symposium will be Asma Barlas, an author, political science professor and director of the Center for the Study of Culture, Race and Ethnicity at Ithaca College, New York. The focus of her work and research has been on Islam and, in particular, how Muslims interpret and live it.  An internationally renowned speaker on these topics, she has proposed theory that allows Muslims to argue on behalf of sexual equality and against patriarchy from within an Islamic framework.

In addition, the symposium will host workshops that continue to explore women in a global context. They include:

  • Our Voices: International Students at SMU - Are American women great voices for feminism? How do you think American women are viewed internationally?
  • Case Study Islam: The Intersection of Religion and Culture - Religion frequently intersects with Culture in how it is practiced or perceived.
  • Bodies Politic -- How does the world view the female body? The answer is as varied as the many cultures, countries and generations around the globe.
  • Reaching out, across, over and around - Women around the globe can and should be a powerful voice for support, change and unity. Are we meeting that mark?

This year, the symposium, which is dedicated to addressing issues of concern to women, will honor:

  • Kim J. Askew, attorney with Hughes and Luce LLP, recently sworn in as the chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation.
  • The Rev. Beulah “Bubba” Dailey, executive director of Austin Street Centre, a homeless shelter in downtown Dallas.
  • The Honorable Dennise Garcia, judge of the 303rd State District (Family) Court and the first Hispanic woman to be election to the bench in Dallas County.
  • Anne Marie Weiss-Armush, founder and chair of the Board of Directors of DFW International, the internet portal to international North Texas. Through journalism, education and international cultural projects, she portrays the essence and the image of the metroplex's global face.
  • The Rev. Jo Hudson, senior pastor of the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, the largest church led by a woman senior pastor in the United States.
  • Stacy Eppers, who has significant experience in mentoring young women through her work with Community Partners of Dallas.  She serves as manager of the Rainbow Room, which is an emergency resource room for Dallas County child protective services.

Information and registration is available online at

# # #