Annual Careers in Sexuality Conference
Human sexuality students annually host the Careers in Sexuality Conference at Widener. Open to students and faculty from any university, as well as professionals, the conference offers workshops that provide information concerning a variety of careers within the human sexuality field.
The conference helps attendees explore various career options and network with a diverse body of attendees, from those with an interest in entering the field of human sexuality to those with established professional careers.
In 2008, Widener students at the Center for Human Sexuality Studies (CHSS) created a conference to prepare their peers with practical skills to enter the workforce. Thus, the Careers in Sexuality Conference was born, and has become an enriching annual opportunity for sexuality graduate students to learn directly from successful professionals in the field. We now have roughly 200 sexuality-related professionals who join us each year and this number is continuously growing.
Our vision is for a positive and inspiring conference experience, filled with practical knowledge for professionals, current students, and prospective students of human sexuality. This student-run event will allow participants to envision the opportunities and potential for their own successes within the field of human sexuality.
Careers in Sexuality Conference 2018
The Planning Board is proud to present Widener University's 10th Annual Careers in Sexuality Conference 2018:
Connecting The Dots: Dismantling Systems Through Transformative Sexology
Widener University's Annual Careers In Sexuality Conference is open to professionals, current students and prospective students interested in and devoted to the field of human sexuality. The conference is a professional enrichment opportunity where participants can network, share best practices for career success, and learn a variety of topics meant to help them grow personally and professionally.
As we enter the 11th year of this conference, the committee presents this year’s theme as “Connecting The Dots: Dismantling Systems Through Transformative Sexology.” In the spirit of what this conference represents, the committee has made an effort to center the collaboration of individuals in our field from all career paths as we can all learn from one another. Building off of last year’s theme, we continue to consider our responsibilities in the spaces we have claimed and the relationships we have built as educators, therapists, researchers, social workers, psychologists and beyond.
Along with career-focused content, this year’s conference solicits proposals focused on transforming ourselves and our field so our society and the institutions we choose to invest in can experience radical change. Some questions that helped guide our theme choice were: What must we unlearn ourselves, before we can teach and care for others? How do we elevate ourselves, our educational methods, and therapeutic practices, so that our work’s impact moves beyond just sexuality? As students, emerging professionals, and seasoned leaders in the sexology field, how does our work reflect our efforts to dismantle systems of oppression? How do we serve our clients, students, and patients, as they navigate their lives under the daily traumas of what Bell Hooks coins the imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy? What does transformative sexology mean for us as we work together to dismantle a system designed to marginalize and harm certain individuals?
This year we invite you to challenge yourself and think of the questions we have posed, as we hold ourselves, our colleagues, and our systems ( Universities, non-profits, etc) accountable for centering values that uphold white supremacy. Our hope is that this conference will provide the opportunity for growth, to allow room for the hard work of dismantling these systems in ways that transcend the boundaries of sexuality and justice. *
*As the executive committee, we believe it is our responsibility to model the very outcomes we hope will resonate with our attendees. We would like to offer full transparency about writing this mission statement and deciding on our theme title. We found our original language to be cautious because we were providing a cushion for the term white supremacy in order to accommodate white fragility. We almost refrained from the term radical, aware of how truly embracing its meaning can upset the status quo and turn a number of people away (including the University’s support). We originally had described the ways of dismantling these systems as “positive and constructive”, unconsciously reinforcing the need to quell any chance of discomfort. We had to ask ourselves, why we are labeling this work as positive and constructive… and for whom? Is it to highlight the number of influencers in our field that work to create radical change, or to avoid backlash by appeasing the folks that value performative activism over critical work? Radical approaches to dismantling systems will never carry positive connotations nor be considered constructive for those who rule and benefit from these systems, and shouldn’t need to be labeled as such to be respectable. So we will continue to work on ourselves and support the folks in and out of our field who are unapologetic in speaking truth to power.