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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Oct. 13-14: Women & Spirituality Conference

Andrea Smith is keynote speaker at 31st annual conference.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office, 10-5-2012

Mankato, Minn. – Long time anti-violence and Native American activist and scholar Andrea Smith will be the keynote speaker at the 31st annual Women & Spirituality Conference Oct. 13-14 at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Smith will speak at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, followed by a book signing in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

The conference, open to students, faculty, staff and the public, includes two days of workshops, discussions, exhibits, dialogue, discovery and celebrations, with 90 vendors and more than 100 workshops.

The annual conference is intended to nurture caring, respect and understanding among men and women from different spiritual and religious backgrounds. This year’s theme is “Spirituality and Social Justice.”

The event, co-sponsored by the university’s College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, Gender and Women’s Studies Department, Institutional Diversity and Women’s Center, is expected to attract hundreds of participants. General admission is $55, but reduced rates, scholarships and college credit are available. Registration forms must be mailed in no later than one week prior to the conference, walk-ins are welcome.

Smith is co-founder of the Boarding School Healing Project and INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, a national grassroots organization that utilizes direct action and critical dialogue. Many of Smith’s published works include a common theme on issues of violence against women of color. She is a highly-sought after speaker and is one of the nation’s leading experts on violence matters.

In addition to “Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide,” Smith authored “Native Americans and the Christian Right: The Gendered Politics of Unlikely Alliances.”

She helped edit INCITE!’s two anthologies, “The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex” and “Color of Violence” and has contributed to South End Press’s two forthcoming anthologies, “The Revolution Starts at Home,” and “Sovereign Acts.”

Smith currently teaches in media and cultural studies at the University of California, Riverside.

A sampling of the four sessions’ featured workshops and events during the conference: “The Celtic Cross Tarot Spread,” “The Faces of Motherhood,” “The Transition Movement & Spiritual Resiliency: Connecting the Inner & Outer Work Necessary to Face Challenging Times,” “A Spa for Your Third Skin,” “Emotional Mindfulness in the Embodied Self,” and “Showing Up with Humor and Grace,” among others.

Those who want more information about the sessions or who wish to register may call (507) 389-2077, email, or go to

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, a system of 31 public colleges and universities with 54 campuses in 47 communities throughout the state of Minnesota. 

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