Rethinking Leadership from the Bottom Up Conference
Friday, April 1, 2016 - 1:00pm

Rethinking Leadership from the Bottom Up

This one-day conference brings together a diverse group of scholars, activists, journalists and artists from within and outside the Penn community for a transformative conversation on the meaning of leadership. In a moment where the public discussion of race, gender, community and social justice is at once both lacking and at a fever pitch, it is crucial to think critically about leadership from a bottom-up, rather than top-down perspective. This gathering aims to shift a focus often placed on narrow models of corporate or government leadership to a broader discussion of what grounded leadership looks like and what it means to lead in changing times. 

Stiteler Forum

Registration is not necessary

10:00-10:30: Coffee / Welcome

10:30 – 11:45: Bridging the Academy and Activist Leadership

  • Sheri Davis-Faulkner, Ph.D., Crunk Feminist Collective member; Director, Westside Communities Alliance, Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, Georgia Tech
  • Jonathan Katz, LGBT Activist and Scholar, Associate Professor, Department of Art, SUNY-Buffalo
  • Gina Dukes, Penn undergrad, founder of SOUL (Students Organizing for Unity and Liberation)
  • Katie Clonan-Roy, Ph.D. Candidate, Penn Graduate School of Education
  • Discussant: Jessa Lingel, Assistant Professor, Communication

12:00 – 1:45: Leading While Dreaming: Spoken word performance and workshop with Kavindu “Kavi” Ade, writer, activist, arts educator, and nationally recognized spoken word poet.

This generative writing workshop, led by spoken word artist and PYPM International Slam Coach Kavi Ade, will focus on how art, in particular poetry, can be a powerful tool in grassroots organizing and ground-up leadership. Kavi will discuss how they have used poetry over the years to inspire change within their community and the role that vision and foresight take in creating sustainable momentum as a leader. Participants will examine poems written by contemporary spoken word artists in order to discuss the role of poetry in the pursuit of social justice. Participants will write poems about a social issue that they are passionate about in order to spread social awareness and encourage social change. Finally, the workshop will culminate in sharing work generated throughout the workshop and a performance by Kavi Ade. Read More about Kavi Ade

Lunch will be served at the beginning of this session.

Everyone is welcome at the workshop, but RSVP is required for lunch

2:00 – 3:15: Leading in One’s Own Community

  • Michaela Pommells, co-founder of CoRaJus and Associate Director, Penn Women's Center
  • Deja Alvarez, Trans* Leadership Counselor at GALAEI
  • Beth Patel, Former Youth Media Organizer for the Philadelphia Student Union
  • Amrita Basu, Professor, Departments of Political Science (chair) and Sexuality, Women’s and Gender Studies, Amherst College
  • Discussant: Dawn Teele, Assistant Professor, Political Science

3:30 – 5:00: Mona Eltahawy. Complicating and Confusing the Image of Muslim Women. (Please note room: Stiteler Hall Room B21)

Mona Eltahawyis an award-winning columnist and international public speaker on Arab and Muslim issues and global feminism. During the 18-day revolution that toppled Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak, she appeared on most major media outlets, leading the feminist website Jezebel to describe her as "The Woman Explaining Egypt to the West". Newsweek magazine named Ms Eltahawy one of its "150 Fearless Women of 2012," Time magazine featured her along with other activists from around the world as its "People of the Year" and Arabian Business magazine named her one of the "100 Most Powerful Arab Women." Read More about Mona Eltahawy

  • with Sharrona Pearl, Assistant Professor, Communication and GSWS Core Faculty

Co-sponsors: Robert A. Fox Leadership Program; School of Social Policy and Practice; Political Science; Law School; Center for Africana Studies/Department of Africana Studies; Perry World House; Sociology; History; Anthropology; English; Art History; Penn Women’s Center; LGBT Center