By Jalen A. Dann
Entirely East Lansing staff writer
Niagara Foundation, a non-profit and non-political organization striving to build intercultural relationships invited the public of East Lansing to a free dialogue dinner known as the Celebrating Women as Community Builder panel series.
The evening began with a reception that served Turkish themed refreshments. After the reception, the mistress of ceremonies welcomed the audience to the Panel Series.
“I am usually nervous when it comes to public speaking,” said mistress of ceremonies Danielle Bucak, “Knowing that we are honoring women that have done such beautiful things for the community makes it easier.”
Bucak introduced the panelists, all of whom received five questions that encouraged them to share their journeys of becoming community builders, their inspirations, and share their thoughts on women’s role as community leaders.
The panel was Cindie Alwood, Rev. Jannel Glennie, and Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, Ph.D., who have all been recognized by the Niagara Foundation as community builders of East Lansing.
Alwood, co-founder and co-director of the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing, said people once called her crazy for starting a non-profit organization.
“I think obtaining balance in life as a woman is impossible,” said Alwood, “I think women have been sold a bill of goods when it comes to balance because of the burdens we carry in society.”
After the panelists answered their five questions the audience was able ask questions.
The event closed with the panelists each receiving ceramic handmade Turkish artwork, and a picture with the prizes.
“Being at this event made me think about what as an individual I could do to help out the community,” said audience member Barbara Kinsey.
The Michigan State University Women’s Resource Center co-hosted the March 11 event, at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center.