10-28-2016  9:04 am      •     

The 10th Annual Clark College Women's Conference is set for Saturday, May 20, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Gaiser Hall at Clark College in Vancouver.

This year's event, "From Little Princess to Desperate Housewife:Confronting Images of Women," features a keynote address by comedian and activist Debbie Wooten.

Born in south Chicago in the 1950s with spina bifida, Wooten later contracted polio. She faced prejudice based on the color of her skin and her disabilities. But a brief meeting with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. persuaded her that it was not her ethnicity or physical abilities that mattered, but the strength of her character. Today, this mother of five tackles the subjects of adversity and stereotypes with a sharp wit and deep compassion.

Body image artist Larry Kirkwood will close the conference with a presentation on the concept of beauty and its powerful grip on women. In 1993, Kirkwood launched The Body Image Project, an ongoing series of body casts of real women and men meant to illustrate what human beings truly look like in contrast to the cultural ideal. Various casts will be displayed, and Kirkwood will create a cast during a workshop session.

In recognition of the conference's 10th anniversary, a lunchtime celebration will honor three women who not only founded the conference but helped to sustain its momentum: Clark College emeritus professor Harriet Levi, frequent conference presenter Georgia Pinkel and conference volunteer Peggy Mohr.

Workshops will explore the messages the media sends to children; the images of women in developing countries and the status of women in art.

"This year's conference truly offers something for everyone," said Conference Chair Sue Kusch. "It gives women from all walks of life the chance to meet, discuss issues that are vitally important in their lives and have a bit of fun."

Conference admission prices include continental breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack; they are $15 for general admission and $10 for students and seniors. Advanced registration is recommended. Walk-in registrations will be accepted if space is available on the day of the event.

Child care, limited scholarships and disability access and/or accommodations are available with prior arrangement. The conference is sponsored by the Associated Students of Clark College. For general information, call 360-992-2905 or visit the Clark College Web site, www.clark.edu/womensconf.

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