Sankofa: Reaching Back to Move Forward in Excellence September 27, 2014 Elon, NC

full name / name of organization: 
D.I.V.A.S (Distinguished, Intellectual, Virtuous, Academic, Sistas)
contact email: 


D.I.V.A.S (Distinguished, Intellectual, Virtuous, Academic, Sistas) are delighted to announce the Call for Proposals for the 3rd annual DIVAS conference, to be held at the School of Education on the campus of Elon University in Elon, NC, September 27, 2014. Proposals for poster sessions, individual presentations, and panel sessions are welcome at on or before Friday, August 8, 2014.

"How simple a thing it seems to me that to know ourselves as we are, we must know our mothers' names"-- -Alice Walker

"Without community there is no liberation" ---Audre Lorde

Sankofa: Reaching Back to Move Forward in Excellence
The conference theme, "Sankofa: Reaching Back to Move Forward in Excellence," references the ancient West African proverb that signifies the importance of moving forward while learning from the past. Invoking the courageous spirit of women and men before us, this theme embodies the notion that our present communal energies are highly influenced by our historical journey. We passionately acknowledge that we are here because of people who transformed their community by embracing the adage "Lifting as we climb"1. Furthermore, the dialogic work we do today must both alter and retain ideologies of the past to create new opportunities for those whom society has traditionally excluded.

With a redemptive spirit, this one-day conference will attempt to understand our future in excellence--- defined by our compassionate use of knowledge and care for community. This call for proposals seeks a wide range of presentations that speak to the ways in which educators and professionals go about reaching back and moving forward with a progressive commitment to individual and societal change.

Proposals on any issue are welcome; however, we are particularly interested in those that address the following topics:

• The liberatory nature of inter-generational learning;

• Societal responsibility and the plight of young black males;

• The difficulties and complexities of negotiating marginalized spaces;

• The importance of culturally relevant assessment in education;

• Navigating our future with "grandmother's wisdom";

• Disciplinary and interdisciplinary discourse communities for social justice;

• Connections with global communities---particularly diaspora communities;

• K-12 and higher education pedagogues: collaborations, challenges and insights;

• Family and community based pedagogy;

• The role of pre-service education in our community;

• The future of education in marginalized communities.

We encourage innovative formatting in concurrent sessions, and welcome sessions that include interaction and discussion. Those interested in presenting should complete the proposal form located on the DIVAS 2014 Conference Website ( on or before Friday, August 8, 2014.

Proposals may be submitted in one of the following three formats:

• Poster Session: Poster sessions are reserved for undergraduate students only. This will be an opportunity for undergraduate students to present their research on important topics relevant to the conference theme. Poster presentations will be presented together during a designated time slot. Proposal Abstract: 125 words or less; Program abstract 50 words or less.

• Individual Presentation (20 minutes): Individual presentations will be grouped into three-person panels based on a shared topic. Individual presenters are asked to limit presentations to 15 minutes in order to allow for discussion at the end of the panel. Proposal Abstract: 250 words or less; Program abstract 50 words or less.

• Panel Sessions (75 minutes): Proposals for full panels should include three presenters who will discuss research on one relevant and well-defined topic. Proposal Abstract: 350 words or less; Program abstract 75 words or less.

All those who submitted proposals will receive notification on or before September 1, 2014.