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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Oct. 11-12: 33rd Annual Women & Spirituality Conference

Professor, author Layli Maparyan will be the keynote speaker.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office, 8-18-2014

Mankato, Minn. – Layli Maparyan, author of the books, “The Womanist Reader” and “The Womanist Idea,” will be the keynote speaker at the 33rd annual Women & Spirituality Conference Oct. 11-12 at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Maparyan will speak at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 11 and will sign copies of her books in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom following her keynote address.

The title of Maparyan’s keynote address, as well as the theme of this year’s conference, is “The Luminous Architecture of Change: Spiritual Activism, Personal Spiritual Journeys, and Spiritualizing Social Movement.”

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. General admission is $60, 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.

The purpose of the annual conference is to provide a supportive and nurturing setting for a dialogue of caring and mutual respect between and among women and men from many spiritual and religious traditions.

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.

In addition to her books, Maparyan has published more than 30 journal articles and book chapters.

Maparyan is the Katherine Stone Kaufmann ’67 Executive Director of the Wellesley Centers for Women and professor of Africana studies at Wellesley College, which is located in Wellesley, Mass.

According to bio, she has served as a Fulbright specialist at the University of Liberia as well as a contemplative practice fellow of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. Her past civic engagements include the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, where she led the Women’s Initiative, the University Consortium for Liberia, which she chaired, and Foreverfamily, for which she served as national board member and chair of the research committee. A graduate of Spelman College, Maparyan earned a master’s degree in psychology from Penn State University and a doctorate in psychology from Temple University.

Those who want more information about the sessions or who wish to register may call (507) 389-2077, email, or go to, where a complete booklet is available on all session workshops and much more.

Information is also available on Facebook at:

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,409 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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