Wabash Round Table

2022 Wabash Round Table

Imagining Projects for Teaching the Black Woman’s Experience 


Gathering Date

March 28th-30th, 2022
Alexander Hotel, Indianapolis Indiana



Nancy Lynne Westfield, Ph.D., Director
Lisa Thompson, Vanderbilt Divinity School



Carolyn Medine, University of Georgia
Melanie Jones, Union Presbyterian Theological School
Shively Smith, Boston Theological
Angela Sims, Colgate Rochester
Mitzi Smith, Columbia Theological Seminary
Emilie Townes, Vanderbilt Divinity School
Erika Gault, University of Arizona
Rachelle Green, Fordham University
Jessica Brown, Choices to Change, LLC 
Joi Orr, Interdenominational Theological Center
Chelsea Yarborough, Vanderbilt University
Gay Byron, Howard University
Dominique Robinson, Seminary of the Southwest
Pamela Lightsey, Meadville Lombard Theological School
Courtney Buggs, Christian Theological Seminary
Sarah Farmer, Indiana Wesleyan Seminary
Emma Jordan-Simpson, Auburn Theological Seminary
Yolanda Norton, San Francisco Theological Seminary
Dianna Watkins-Dickerson, Independent Scholar
Gina Robinson, Northwestern University

Honorarium and Fellowship

Participants will receive an honorarium of $2000 for full participation in the Round Table. In addition, participants are eligible to apply for a $5000 project grant.


The Wabash Center is convening a round table conversation to catalyze emerging projects focused upon teaching the Black woman’s experience. Along with funds for travel, meals, hotel fees, each participant will receive a stipend of $2000. The aim of the Round Table gathering is to shape a conversation that will be inter-generational, multi-disciplinary, and attend the multi-faceted scholarly identities as teachers of religion and theology. Our intent is to use this time to conceive projects that will gain traction and become life-giving.

The Wabash Center, to support the emerging projects on teaching, will provide non-competitive grants in the amount of $5000 for each person in attendance. Participants may elect to combine funding to create a collaborative project. Please see the small grant description and proposal process on our website. Proposals for the non-competitive grants must be submitted by May 31, 2022. Each participant is asked to come the conversation with preliminary ideas, dedications, and creative aspirations for the thriving of Black women scholar-teachers, teaching, and teaching lives. At the gathering, a priority is to listen to one another, think together, dream together and see what emerges from being together. The conversation, while not a decision-making moment, will rehearse the wide array of possibilities of imagining a teaching project. The conversation is meant to unearth possibilities, suggest directions, review strategies, and make use of collaborative ingenuity, imagination and creativity. In a creative process, participants will talk, listen, discern, rely upon our spirit of collegiality, and listen for the ancestors, the wisdom, and the muse.


Questions for the Gathering

In preparation, participants will consider these springboard questions for germinating projects on teaching the African American Woman’s experience:

What does it mean to teach and embody the Black woman’s experience? What does it mean to teach African American women’s lives? What can be learned about teaching from the ways and means of Black women? What are womanist ways for a healthy teaching life? What are Black women’s approaches to teaching? In what ways does the imagination and creativity of Black women enhance our scholarly teaching? What would it mean to reinvent your teaching toward your own cultural sensibilities and sensitivities? What strategies can be employed to teach better as an African American woman? Who is the self who teaches when she is an African American woman? What would it mean to redesign your basic courses toward womanist pedagogies?

Wabash Center