Harvard University Consultation on Women’s Networks in Multi-Religious America

In 2001, the Pluralism Project embarked on a new initiative to convene and cultivate Women’s Networks in Multireligious America. The first consultations of religious advocacy organizations, we recognized that women rarely held formal leadership positions, but played critical roles within the community. The common concerns of religious women represented important opportunities for collaboration, yet their voices were rarely heard within the public conversation, or the traditional structures of interfaith dialogue. We hosted the first in a series of multi-religious consultations with women leaders, activists, and academics in April 2001 at Harvard University. In November 2001, a second consultation, one that had not been originally planned, was held as a means to respond to the crisis that minority religious communities were facing in the aftermath of September 11th.

This third event, the Harvard University Consultation on Women’s Networks in Mutli-Religious America, held in April 2002, focused on public policy, and was planned in conjunction with the Women and Public Policy Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Financial support for this conference came from a generous grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.

Participants [Bios and Organizational Profiles]

  • Ms. Salwa Abd-Allah, Muslim American Society
  • Dr. Leila Ahmed, Harvard Divinity School
  • Ms. Sharifa Alkhateeb, North American Council for Muslim Women
  • Ms. Wendy R. Anderson, Facilitator and Independent Political Consultant
  • Rev. Dr. Dorothy A. Austin, Memorial Church, Harvard University; Harvard Divinity School
  • Dr. Ann Braude, Women’s Studies in Religion Program, Harvard Divinity School
  • Sister Helen Marie Burns, Leadership Conference of Women Religious
  • Ms. Elora Chowdhury, The Ford Foundation
  • Ms. Sheila R. Decter, Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action
  • Dr. Diana L. Eck, The Pluralism Project, Harvard University
  • Ms. Blu Greenberg, Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance
  • Ms. Emira Habiby Browne, The Arab-American Family Support Center
  • Ms. Karen Hessel, National Council of Churches, Justice for Women
  • Dr. Mary Hunt, Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER)
  • Ambassador Swanee Hunt, Women and Public Policy Program, Harvard JFK School of Government
  • Dr. Kathleen Hurty, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Department of Ecumenical Affairs
  • Ms. Semeen Issa, Muslim Women’s League
  • Mrs. Alma Abdul-Hadi Jadallah, Institute for Conflict Analysis
  • Ms. Cherrefe Kadri, Islamic Center of Greater Toledo
  • Dr. Azza Karam, World Conference on Religion and Peace
  • Ms. Nancy Kaufman, The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston
  • Ms. Harpreet Kaur, Sikh Network
  • Ms. Irene Korenfield, The Ford Foundation
  • Ms. Debbie Kram, Ma’ayan: Torah Studies Initiative for Women
  • Dr. Carolyn Kunin, Women of Reform Judaism
  • Mrs. Kamal Misra, Asian American Support and Resource Agency (AASRA)
  • Ms. Diana Rowan, Writer/Activist
  • Ms. Jeanine Shama, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
  • Ms. Maureen Shea, People for the American Way Foundation
  • Ms. Lynn Szwaja, The Rockefeller Foundation
  • Ms. Christina Safiya Tobias-Nahi, The Civil Rights Project, Harvard University
  • Rev. Dr. Emilie Townes, Women’s Studies in Religion Program, Harvard Divinity School
  • Dr. Jyotsna Vaid, Committee on South Asian Women

Consultation Agenda:
Please note: This meeting was not open to the public, with the exception of the WAPPP Weekly forum at the Kennedy School from 1:00 – 2:00 PM on Monday.

April 28-29, 2002
Saturday, April 27: Lowell House Master’s Residence
5:00 PM – 8:00 PM Opening reception and dinner

Sunday, April 28: Barker Center for the Humanities
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM Small group and roundtable discussions
5:30 PM – 9:00 PM Reception and dinner at private residence

Monday, April 29: JFK School of Government, Taubman and Littauer Buildings
8:15 AM – 1:00 PM Sessions at the Kennedy School of Government
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM WAPPP Weekly Public Forum – IOP Conference Room, 1st Floor, Littauer Building
2:00 PM – 3:30 PM Closing Session