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Huisman Plans Conference Aimed at Empowering Girls

University of Maine sociologist Kim Huisman has organized a free two-day conference to strengthen mother-daughter bonds and create zones where girls can thrive. “Strong Girls: Cultivating Connection, Resilience, and Hardiness in Girls” will be held Nov. 1–2 at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast, says Huisman, UMaine associate professor of sociology.

SuEllen Hamkins, psychiatrist, co-creator of The Mother-Daughter Project and co-author of “The Mother-Daughter Project: How Mothers and Daughters Can Band Together, Beat the Odds, and Thrive Through Adolescence,” will deliver a presentation 5:30–9:30 p.m. Nov. 1. Following her talk about challenges and successes of mother-daughter groups, those interested in starting groups will have an opportunity to interact. Refreshments will be provided.

Huisman modeled the Maine Mother-Daughter Project that she created after the book written by Hamkins and Renee Schultz. Both aim to foster understanding of societal forces that affect mothers and daughters and seek to create opportunities for them to strengthen bonds with each other and their respective communities.

Lyn Mikel Brown and Dana Bushee Hernandez will present Hardy Girls Healthy Women (HGHW) training about creating empowerment zones for girls from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 2. They’ll also talk about bringing Adventure Girls — a program for girls to meet female role models who defy gender stereotypes — to midcoast Maine. Brown is a professor of education at Colby College, co-founder of Hardy Girls Healthy Women, author of “Girlfighting: Betrayal and Rejection Among Girls” and co-author of “Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing Our Daughters from Marketers’ Schemes.” Bushee Hernandez is the training institute manager at HGHW. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

The deadline to register for one or both of the free sessions is Oct. 15. Registration is online. To request a disability accommodation, contact Erica Hughes at 207.338.8034. For more information, visit, and


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The University of Maine
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