Fishbowl Conversation on Women’s Leadership, Tuesday, April 23

The Society of St. Blandina of General Seminary invites you to a Fishbowl Conversation on Women’s Leadership on Tuesday, April 23, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Seabury Auditorium. You will experience a special method of community conversation, called the Fishbowl, and be able to reflect on a variety of issues surrounding women’s leadership both within the Church and in wider U.S. culture.

St. BlandinaUseful for addressing hot topics or sharing ideas and information from a variety of perspectives, a Fishbowl involves a small group of people seated in a circle and having a conversation in full view of a larger group of listeners. When the people in the middle are public officials or other decision-makers, this technique can help bring transparency to the decision-making process and increase trust and understanding about complex issues. Sometimes, in a Fishbowl, one or more chairs are open to members of the audience who wish to ask questions or make comments.

The Fishbowl Conversation on Women’s Leadership will be an open format. New Testament Prof. Katherine Shaner will begin the conversation by presenting the story of Philip’s daughters in the Book of Acts and relating it to women’s experience in leadership and the extra scrutiny they find themselves under just by inhabiting their bodies. Prof. Shaner recently wrote a piece on this topic as part of her work for the 2012-15 Contextual Theologies from the Margins study group of the Faith and Order Commission of the National Council of Churches (see story). Other members of the circle, including the Rt. Rev. Mary Gray-Reeves, who serves on The Episcopal Church’s Committee on the Status of Women, and current students, will then carry forward the conversation until they are “tapped” by an audience member who might wish to join the discussion. The conversation will be moderated and will conclude by 8:30 p.m.

This Fishbowl is one of several events in the 2012-13 academic year sponsored by the Society of St. Blandina, a student group whose mission is to support women seminarians and address contemporary issues affecting women and girls. Other events this year have been a screening of the documentary Sweet Dreams about Ingoma Nshya, a women’s drumming troupe in Rwanda, followed by a conversation with the filmmaker; a screening of the documentary Maria in Nobody’s Land about the danger and trafficking facing Latin American women traveling through Mexico with hope of entering the United States; participation in the One Billion Rising advocacy against violence towards women and girls; and a group outing to see Fiona Shaw in The Testament of Mary on Broadway.