SMU Women's Symposium: Hit Like a Girl!
The SMU Women’s Symposium is an annual forum that brings together people of different genders, ages, and multicultural backgrounds to examine and discuss topics of national interest from a lens focusing on Women and gender. This year’s topic is Hit Like a Girl!, which focuses on women in sports and the battle for equality. The keynote speaker is Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first female Muslim-American Athlete to Medal at the Olympics Olympic.
Muhammed inspires others to challenge the status quo as a powerful symbol of America’s tolerance and diversity. As a young athlete, Ibtihaj struggled with the restrictions wearing a hijab imposed on the requisite sport uniforms, until she discovered fencing, where she finally felt she could be true to herself. She went on to attend Duke University, where she was a three-time All-American and the 2005 Junior Olympic Champion. A member of the U.S. National Fencing Team, Ibtihaj jousted her way into the history books at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro wearing her hijab, ultimately helping the women’s fencing team earn the bronze medal.
The Symposium will honor six women with Profiles in Leadership Award and the Gail Reese Ward Excellence in Mentoring Award, which honors women who exemplify leadership through a lifetime of accomplishments. The women to be honored in March include:
- Samira Izadi Page - Executive Director of Gateway of Grace Ministries
- Claudia Sandoval - Cockrell Hill City Council
- Shonn Brown- Partner at Lynn Pinker Cox & Hurst
- Shanterra McBride- Founder of Marvelous University
- Rachel Baughman- Senior pastor to Oak Lawn United Methodist Church
- Terry Lynn Crenshaw- Program Director of Youth With Faces