NDNU’s Dorothy Stang Center Sponsors Symposium on “Emergence of the Feminine Paradigm”

Belmont, CA, February 2, 2009 — Does the election of President Barack Obama herald the real start of the 21st century, and a shift in society’s collective conscience to a new “feminine paradigm” characterized by communication, collaboration, and cooperation? That’s the question that will be addressed by three leading women community leaders at a symposium on “The Emergence of the Feminine Paradigm,” sponsored by NDNU’s Dorothy Stang Center for Social Justice and Community Engagement and the University’s School of Business and Management.

The event, which takes place Feb. 10 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Cunningham Memorial Chapel located on the University campus, features Raichelle (Rai) Glover, Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow at NDNU and Senior Vice President (Retired), Bank of America; Shelley Kessler, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, San Mateo County Central Labor Council; and Susan Manheimer, Chief, San Mateo Police Department, who will share how this new way of thinking has entered their worlds, and will discuss how this relates to our lives in the 21st century.

The symposium is part of the University’s commemoration of the life of Sr. Dorothy Stang, who was assassinated in the Amazon on February 12, 2005, for her beliefs and actions that were grounded in the feminine paradigm.

“It is very fitting that this lecture is being held so soon after the inauguration of President Barack Obama,” said Dr. Don Stannard-Friel, Director of the Dorothy Stang Center for Social Justice and Community Engagement. “The very qualities that his administration represents, cooperation over confrontation, communication over the issuance of commands, diplomacy over war – all represent what has been referred to as the feminine paradigm.

“It is also fitting that this occurs during NDNU’s week of remembrance of our Sister Dorothy Stang, a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur and graduate of NDNU, who was assassinated four years ago for her work protecting the lives and land of the Brazilian Amazon,” added Dr. Stannard-Friel. “She was a pioneer of the new leadership paradigm.”

E. J. Dionne, renowned political commentator and journalist, also describes the new paradigm as a society that’s interconnected. Where older thinking was based on separation, specialization, and rigid hierarchies, the new way of thinking is based on inclusion, holism, and participatory decision-making. Some say these elements of social organization are feminine in nature.

The event is free and open to the community. However, contributions to the Dorothy Stang Center for Social Justice and Community Engagement are welcome. For more information regarding “Leadership in the 21 Century: Emergence of the Feminine Paradigm,” contact Dr. Don Stannard-Friel at (650) 508-4120 or dsc@ndnu.edu.