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Celebrate Women
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Celebrate Women




11th Annual Celebrate Women Conference

Past Celebrate Women
Keynote Speakers




Thank you for your interest, however, registration for this event has sold out.


Friday, March 17, 2017


Keynote Speaker: Celebrate Women 2017 to Feature "Orange is the New Black" Author Piper Kerman as Keynote


Ohio University Lancaster | Pickerington’s Celebrate Women conference will feature Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison as its 2017 keynote speaker



Now in its 11th year and organized by Ohio University Lancaster faculty, staff, and students, the Celebrate Women Conference aims to bridge women’s relationships in areas of community, university and professions. The conference theme, The Power of YOU: Advocating for Women, Wellness, and Work, will focus on presentations by more than twenty speakers, a Celebrate Women luncheon, and opportunities for information booths, continuing education credits, and networking. See the full Brochure.



“The Celebrate Women conference is a full day of enlightening sessions - in health, business, professional, and social issues for women of all ages,” said Pamela A. Kaylor, Ph.D., Communication Studies/Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies for Ohio University Lancaster. “Ms. Kerman is a perfect fit for the conference and we are thrilled she will serve as keynote speaker.”


Piper Kerman’s best-selling memoir Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison chronicles what the author calls her “crucible experience”—the 13 months she spent in the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut. A brief dalliance with drug trafficking while she was in her early twenties sent Kerman to prison ten years later on money laundering charges. In her compelling, moving and often hilarious book, she explores the experience of incarceration and the intersection of her life with the lives of the women she met while in prison: their friendships and families, mental illnesses and substance abuse issues, cliques and codes of behavior. What has stuck with her the most from her experience, Kerman says, is the power of women’s communities, “the incredible ability of women to step up for each other, and to be resilient and to share their resiliency with other people.” The book also raises provocative questions about the state of criminal justice in America, and how incarceration affects the individual and communities throughout the nation.


The memoir was adapted into a critically acclaimed Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Netflix series of the same name by Jenji Kohan.


Since her release, Kerman has worked tirelessly to promote the cause of prison and criminal justice reform. She works with nonprofits, philanthropies, and other organizations working in the public interest. She has been called as a witness by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights to testify on solitary confinement and women prisoners, and by the U.S. Senate Governmental Affairs and Homeland Security Committee to testify about the federal Bureau of Prisons.


Kerman has spoken at the White House on re-entry and employment to help honor Champions of Change in the field, as well as the importance of arts in prisons and the unique conditions for women in the criminal justice system. In 2014, she was awarded the Justice Trailblazer Award from John Jay College’s Center on Media, Crime & Justice and the Constitutional Commentary Award from The Constitution Project; the Equal Justice Initiative recognized her as a Champion of Justice in 2015.


Call for NominationsThe Jane Johnsen Outstanding Women’s Advocacy Award was established in 2013 and is named in honor of Dr. Jane Johnsen in recognition of her dedication to advocacy for women’s issues both on the Ohio University Lancaster Campus and in Fairfield County. See our Call for Nominations.


callforsubmissionsCELEBRATE WOMEN 2017 is also accepting submissions for papers and posters for research completed by undergraduate and graduate students.  Original projects addressing a variety of topics are welcome – preference will be given to those submissions that focus on topics related to women and gender issues. See our Call for Submissions.


The 2017 Celebrate Women Conference is scheduled for Friday, March 17, 2017 at Ohio University Lancaster 1570 Granville Pike Lancaster, Ohio 43130. For more information, contact Kaylor at or 740.681.3372.