National Leadership Conference

Scholarship beyond the Academy: Business, Healing, and the Arts

Saturday and Sunday, February 6–7, 2016
Cambridge, MA

An intimate gathering of scholars, activists, and philanthropists

The WSRP National Leadership Conference is a once-a-year opportunity to provide WSRP donors with new knowledge about global religion and gender and to connect them with some of the country’s most influential and remarkable women. The conference will feature presentations from outstanding WSRP scholars, as well as philanthropists, activists, and Harvard faculty.

The conference is open to annual donors to the WSRP of $5,000 or more and first-time donors to the WSRP of $1,000 or more. Gifts must be received by December 29, 2015. For additional information about making your gift or about the program, please contact Nancy Birne at or 617.495.5737.

Featured Speakers

Robin Ely, HBS professor and NLC 2016 featured speaker

Robin Ely

Robin Ely is Diane Doerge Wilson Professor of Business Administration and senior associate dean for culture and community at Harvard Business School and leader of its Gender Initiative. She is conducting research on how women can be effective leaders in the face of gender stereotypes and the well-documented "double bind" in which women face a trade-off between being liked and being respected; as well as a comprehensive, longitudinal study of HBS alumni career and life choices.

Suzanne Farver, NLC 2016 featured speaker

Suzanne Farver

Why are many of the leading corporations of the world pursuing environmental and social responsibility? Suzanne Farver teaches corporate sustainability strategy at Harvard University Extension School, and she will explain how companies are finding business value by acting more responsibly. Farver is the author of Mainstreaming Corporate Sustainability: Using Proven Tools to Promote Business Success.

Performed Scholarship

Judith Casselberry, 2012–13 WSRP Research Associate and NLC 2016 featured performer

Judith Casselberry

Judith Casselberry, WSRP Research Associate 2012–13, shared stages with Sweet Honey in the Rock, Odetta, Stevie Wonder, Etta James, and Elvis Costello before receiving her doctorate in African American studies at Yale University. She will interrogate her experience performing the iconic theme song of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, "Amazon Women Rise Again."

Grace Nono, 2015–16 WSRP Research Associate and NLC 2016 featured performer

Grace Nono

Grace Nono, a female vocalist from the Philippines who specializes in the performance of sung oral/aural traditions, recently completed her doctorate in ethnomusicology at New York University. She will demonstrate and discuss chants passed on to her by shamans who use song to connect with spirit sources and to heal. She addresses this in her book, Song of the Babaylan: Living Voices, Medicines, and Spiritualities of Philippine Ritualist-Oralist Healers.


WSRP Research Associates

2015-16 WSRP Research Associates

Susanna Drake (Macalester College), "Veils and Revelations: Gender and Allegory in Early Christianity"

Lynne Gerber (University of California, Berkeley), “A Church Alive: Aids and the Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco”

Septemmy Lakawa (Jakarta Theological Seminary), “Risky Dialogue: Women’s Interreligious Hospitality in the Aftermath of Violence In Indonesia”

Yuhang Li (University of Wisconsin at Madison), “Gendered Materialization: An Investigation of Women’s Artistic and Literary Reproductions of Guanyin in Late Imperial China”

Grace Nono, Colorado Scholar (University of the Philippines), Babaylan Sing Back: “Philippine Shaman Voices On Gender, Religion, and Transnationalism”

Initiatives on Religion, Gender, and Healing

Recent HDS graduates and a current student present innovations in the application of gender in scholarship.

Melissa Bartholomew, MDiv ’15, Women and the Racial Justice and Healing Initiative

Alexandra Nichipor, MTS ’15, Religion and the Breast Cancer Gene

Kalpana Jain, MPA ’11, MTS Candidate, Investigative Journalism and Women with Hiv/Aids