The Women’s Institute for Leadership and Learning will host its biennial Seneca Falls Dialogues live this year, starting Oct. 7. The weekend-long event will take place at the Quality Inn on Mound Road (Route 414) and conclude Oct. 10 with a special tribute concert honoring Joanne Shenandoah at the Auburn Public Theater in Auburn.
“This year is a different from our traditional Dialogue event,” WILL founding member and Treasurer Adriene Emmo said. “We’ve broadened the program and will present a unique and engaging experience that we are confident will interest everyone.”
The event is open to the public, and participants can choose to register for all of it, or portions. Registration is underway.
The theme for the 2022 Dialogues is “Rematriation: Restoring Balance to Humanity,” a concept promoted by Michelle Schenandoah, who was keynote speaker at the 2020 Seneca Falls Dialogues event. Her work seeks a stronger voice for Native American women, and explores the cultural differences and impacts of governance and decision-making by Clan Mothers. She will open the Dialogues at 6 p.m. Oct. 7 and co-facilitate with presenters in workshops on Saturday. An interfaith panel on the Doctrine of Discovery will conclude the discussions over brunch on Sunday.
Workshops will discuss the history, cultural influences, spiritualism, and philosophies of women of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the oldest Democracy in the world, and the model from which America’s founders created an independent nation.
Emmo said “Rematriation: Restoring Balance to Humanity” will look at Haudenosaunee governance, and ask several key questions about women’s critical role.
“Isn’t it ironic that our forefathers aspired to create the Democracy the Haudenosaunee achieved, but then left an entire gender — its leadership — out of their model?” she said. “There is no better place than Seneca Falls to discuss the astonishing lack of women in American government and leadership.”
Two other organizations — WomenMarch in Seneca Falls and the Central New York Chapter of the National Organization for Women — are joining WILL to sponsor a Memorial Tribute concert at 7 p.m. Oct. 10. In celebration of Indigenous People’s Day, the special event will honor the legacy of Grammy winner and famed Native American singer/songwriter Joanne Shenandoah at the Auburn Public Theater.
The concert will feature a number of musicians who are Shenandoah’s dear friends and family members, including The Ripcords, with Rex Lyons and Irv Lyons Jr. (Oneida Nation) featuring blues, Latin and Tex-Mex music; Pura Fe (Tuscarora/Taino) providing soulful vocals; recording artist and humanitarian Joanelle Romero (Apache/Cheyenne); Joanne’s performing partners: sister, Diane, and daughter, Leah (Oneida Nation); and Sherri Waterman-Hopper’s Haudenosaunee Singers and Dancers (Onondaga Nation).
Additional sponsors honoring Shenandoah include Dr. Bob and Zohara Hieronimus, Cayuga Community College, and Wells College.
Tickets for the concert can be purchased separately through the Auburn Public Theater, or online at auburn public theater.