||Speakers. The Beauty and Challenge of Living in
raw, honest” are words used to describe the three performance pieces hosted at
this session. Each of our presenters explores a topic such as race and the
significance of hair, navigating two (and more) cultures and ethnic labels, and
discovering unique perspectives of self-identity. Through performance,
story-telling, reflection and poetry, three women weave a web of meaning,
acceptance, challenge and authenticity.
Their examination and discoveries get at the heart of what it means to
be a strong woman in 2014.
Presenters: Dr. Niloufer Merchant is a professor
in the Community Psychology undergraduate and Community Counseling Graduate
programs at St. Cloud State University. She is an active member of the American
Counseling Association and has served as the President of the Association for
Specialists in Group Work. She has held other leadership positions, including
Department Chair, Board President for the Multicultural Center of Central
Minnesota, Interim Director of the SCSU Women’s Center, and Interim Cultural
Diversity Director for the St. Cloud School District. Her research and interest
areas include group work, multicultural counseling and competence, mind-body
healing, and social justice issues.
Dr. Tami Spry is a Professor of Performance Studies in the
Communication Studies Department at St. Cloud State University. Her teaching,
publication, and performance work focuses on issues of gender violence, mental health,
race, and loss as articulated through performing autoethnography and non-traditional
texts. Spry’s publications appear in Text and Performance
Quarterly, Cultural Studies/Critical Methodologies, Qualitative Inquiry,
International Review of Qualitative Research,
Women and Language, as well as various
anthologies. Her book Body/Paper/Stage:
Writing and Performing Autoethnography was published through
Left Coast Press in 2011.
Hedy Tripp is
an activist, educator, consultant and manager of W-Isms, LLC. She is also the Board Chair of the National
Asian Pacific Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) and treasurer of the local St. Cloud
chapter. Tripp has taught Asian American Studies and Human Relations at St.
Cloud State University. She has been the recipient of numerous prestigious
awards including the VirginiaMc Knight
Binger Award in Human Service and the Dennis Thayer award for Excellence in