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Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC)

The 2018 Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC) will take place on March 8, 2018. The theme for the 2018 Conference is Leading Beyond the Binary. Our goal is to use this theme to interrogate and extend assumptions about both “gender” and “leadership”: How can we challenge norms about what constitutes “effective leadership”? What kinds of leadership are less visible in our culture, and how might we amplify them? How do gender equity concerns and norms for gender identity and expression impact leaders of all genders?​​

If you would like to attend this conference, please check back in late January 2018 for an updated link. To receive an email notification when registration is opened, along with updates about the 2018 conference, please complete the sign-up form ​


The Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC) is a one-day, tri-institutional event coordinated and implemented by organizers from across the Auraria campus. Now entering its 22nd year, the WLC is intended to address the relationship between gender and leadership, specifically taking on the challenges of leading as a member of a historically marginalized gender identity group. Students, faculty, staff, and community members are encouraged to attend this event. Additionally, this event is intended to be gender-inclusive. People of all genders are invited and welcomed. 


Bianca C. Williams is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at The Graduate Center, CUNY. She earned both her B.A. and Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology at Duke University, and graduated with a Graduate Certificate in African & African American Studies. As a feminist cultural anthropologist, Williams’ research interests include Black women & happiness; race, gender, and emotional labor in higher education; feminist pedagogies; and Black feminist organizing and leadership studies. In her book, The Pursuit of Happiness: Black Women, Diasporic Dreams, and the Politics of Emotional Transnationalism, Williams examines how African American women use international travel and the Internet as tools for pursuing happiness and leisure; creating intimate relationships and friendships; and critiquing American racism and sexism (Duke University Press). The investigative thread that binds Williams’ research, teaching, and service is the question “How do Black women develop strategies for enduring and resisting the effects of racism and sexism, while attempting to maintain emotional wellness?” In 2014, after the non-indictment of Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown, Williams co-organized a die-in at the American Anthropological Association, demanding that anthropologists take responsibility for their historical role in perpetuating anti-Black racism. She returned to Denver to help co-found Black Lives Matter 5280, the Denver chapter of the national queer and feminist network fighting for Black liberation, and was a co-lead of the chapter for a year. Williams has published in the journal Souls and Cultural Anthropology, and on the blogs Savage Minds and Anthropoliteia.​ 

Faith Spotted Eagle is a 65 year old grandmother who lives on Ihanktonwan Dakota Territory (Yankton Sioux) in Southeastern South Dakota.  She is a fluent speaker of the Dakota Language and a member of the Ihanktonwan, although she descends from the Sicangu, Hunpati, Hunkpapa and Mdewakantonwan and has French/Irish blood through her grandmother Julia Deloria and John McBride.  She has two children.  Kip Spotted Eagle is a Dakota Language Instructor and Brook Spotted Eagle is a Ph.D candidate at the University of Washington in Cultural Anthropology. Her new grandson  is Tokana Ikpanajin Spotted Eagle. 

In the western world, Faith earned a Master’s in Guidance and Counseling in her early twenties at the University of South Dakota, although she attended college at American University in Washington, DC and Black Hills State College, Spearfish, SD., also.  Throughout her long career she has been a high school counselor/teacher/principal; manager of Human Services Programs and Youth Programs; Indian Child Welfare Worker; Organizational Development Consultant; Teacher in a Psychiatric setting; Peacemaker/mediator; Community College Instructor; PTSD therapist and Community Activist. She was also a women’s basketball coach in Idaho. As a young student she was an intern in the office of Sen. Geo McGovern; served as an intern with the National Park Service in Glacier Park, Montana; provided student input to the early development of Talent Search Programs in Chicago, Illinois.  She worked with the groundbreaking Coalition of Indian Controlled Schoolboards in Denver, Colorado, the organization which played an important role in returning Native control of schools.  She was one of the early instructors at Sinte Gleska College in Rosebud. She did the early work of repatriation and cultural resources work at White Swan in her homeland at Ihanktonwan in a historical Section 106 foreclosure on the Corps of Engineers for disrupting a burial grounds.  She works in Native communities with her model Healing from Red Rage, which has been widely used in Native Communities in the US and Canada.  She also contracts with the Veteran’s Administration utilizing this model.  She is a trained mediator/peacemaker and incorporates traditional peacemaking with western approaches of peacemaking  Her priority is the preserve the good medicine of the Dakota Culture for the future.  

In the Dakota/Native world, she has been active in teaching the Dakota language in language nest settings; been a 20-year member of a revived traditional Brave Heart Society; comes from a Sundance family; and has helped revive the Isnati Awicadowanpi (Coming of Age Ceremony) for the last 18 years across the Seven Council Fires. Her Red Rage Model has been utilized in the Brave Heart work.   She has been active in leading resistance against Tar Sands Development and the KXL Pipeline. As the Chair of the Ihanktonwan Treaty Committee and Brave Heart Society Grandmother , she helped bring forth the International Treaty to Protect the Sacred against the KXL Pipeline and the Tar Sands. She is the volunteer Manager of the Brave Heart Lodge on the Ihanktonwan Reservation, which seeks to preserve Dakota cultural beliefs for the future.  Brave Heart recently cooperated with other entities to revive Lacrosse/shinny in the Ihanktonwan homelands. She has been a delegate of the Treaty Committee NGO at the United Nations.  She is the current Chair of the Ihanktonwan Treaty Steering Committee. She helped create an important cultural survey of Ihanktonwan lands along the Missouri River in South Dakota and other Treaty lands.  Her priority has been to battle for the preservation of Sacred Sites through Brave Heart Society support of the World Peace and Prayer Day, represented by Bundlekeeper, Arvol Looking Horse. She will be a featured speaker at World Peace and Prayer Day in June of 2014 in New York. 


This year’s sponsors include: the Women & Gender Center, CU Denver; the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, CU Denver; the LGBTQ Student Resource Center at Auraria; the Experiential Learning Center, CU Denver; the Student Life Office, CCD; the President’s Diversity Fund, CU Denver; the Phoenix Center at Auraria; and the Institute for Women’s Studies and Services, MSU Denver.


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