Women’s Symposium


Image of Tarana Burke with her arms crossed over her yellow top in front of a blue background with various fonts of me too repeating all across background. Text on yellow box that reads 57th annual Women's Symposium feating Tarana Burke

The Women's Symposium featuring Tarana Burke

March 2nd, 2022 at 5:30 pm in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballrooms

Program Schedule:

5:00-5:30 PM Check In and Networking
5:30-6:00 PM Dinner
6:00-7:00 PM Community Awards Program and Dinner Program
7:00-8:30 PM Keynote featuring Tarana Burke


We are excited to announce that Tarana Burke will be joining us this year as our keynote speaker.  Tarana is an author, an activist, and the founder of the "Me Too" movement. We are beyond thrilled to have her as our keynote speaker this year. Tarana is the perfect keynote for our theme this year, as a black women who started a movement centered on black women who have been impacted by sexual harassment, sexual assault and sexual violence. She also saw her movement become a larger cultural movement and had to navigate how to grow a cultural movement while still making space for centering and lifting up the voices and experiences of black women. She talks extensively about her journey with this in her recent memoir, "Unbound, My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement."


Blue rectangular button with text saying Register here



CORE the Podcast


Core The Podcast


Introducing CORE the PODCAST, an opportunity for all members of the SMU community to participate in the inner-generational dialogue and learning that takes place as part of the Women's Symposium. Listen and Subscribe here.




The Women's Symposium was created in 1966 as a part of the University's Fiftieth Anniversary celebration by the late Emmie V. Baine, Dean of Women at SMU from 1962 to 1988. The Symposium is the longest continuously running program of its nature in the country and one of SMU's oldest and most distinguished traditions.

The annual forum brings together women and men of differing ages and multicultural backgrounds to examine and discuss topics of national interest. The Symposium is a product of a year's work by joint committees of students, faculty, and community leaders. The program features nationally recognized speakers as well as topical seminars and workshops conducted by students, community leaders, and SMU faculty and staff.

CORE Women's Symposium Leadership Committee


  • Help plan and lead the longest continuously running program of its kind in the nation
  • Hear nationally recognized speakers
  • Discuss topics of national, global, and personal importance
  • Network with area leaders and community members

For more information, please contact  (214) 768-4792 or womenandlgbtcenter@smu.edu

Core the Podcast

CORE the PODCAST is on opportunity for all members of the SMU community to participate in the inner-generational dialogue and learning that has typically taken place solely between our CORE members and the Women's Symposium Community Award winner they are paired with in order to get to know them before they have to introduce them at the symposium. The women who are selected as our community award winners have such multi-faceted lives and incredible journeys that they have taken on order to get to where they are today, and we feel like those stories need to be heard. So, we bring you CORE the PODCAST


Image of the 6 community award winners over a yellow and white dotted background with text reading Women's Symposium Community Awards   



The Women's Symposium community awards recognizes women whose actions and example have served to advance the lives of women in the Dallas area. They will be honored and celebrated during the Women’s Symposium dinner on March 2nd. You can join us to celebrate with them to be registering here


The Gail Reese Ward Excellence in Mentoring Award

The Gail Reese Ward Excellence in Mentoring Award commemorates Gail Ward, 1950-2003, who coordinated the SMU Women’s Symposium from 2000 to 2003 and created the Profiles in Leadership Awards program. It recognizes an award recipient for especially significant contributions as a mentor to girls and women.


The Gail Reese Ward Award for Excellence in Mentoring Award Winner:

  • Lisa Culbertson, Head of Upper School at The Hockaday School

The Profiles in Leadership Award

The Profiles in Leadership award honors women who exemplify the purpose of the Women’s Symposium to educate women for social and political leadership.


Profiles in Leadership Award Winners:

  • Dr. Nancy Bernardino, Executive Director, Single Gender & Transformational Cluster, School Leadership A, Dallas ISD

  • Dr. Deanie Kepler, Former Director, Parent and Family Programs/Parent Liaison at SMU (retired)

  • Almas Muscatwalla, Founder & Executive Director, Faith Forward Dallas @ Thanks-Giving Square

  • Kelly Wilmore, Coordinator, Programs & Services, Diversity & Inclusion Chapter Lead, Alzheimer's Association, Dallas & Northeast Texas Chapter

  • Rabbi Elana Zelony, Senior Rabbi for Congregation Beth Torah

Individual Gifts

The lifeline of the SMU Women's Symposium is the individual contributor. Annual gifts from individuals, no matter what size, help fund a significant portion of the operations of the Symposium. Gifts may be made by cash, check, or online with a credit card. Give today and change the world and the women who can make the difference.

Honoraria and Memorials

Gifts may be made to honor or memorialize someone living or deceased. Celebrate a birth, graduation, anniversary or other special event with a gift to the SMU Women's Symposium.