The eight annual Nancy A. Hardesty Memorial Scholarship, sponsored by Christian Feminism Today, has been awarded to JoDeanne Francis. Kimberly Shank and Josefine Parker have been selected as Honorable Mentions for this year (read about Kimberly here, and Josefine here).
Though Ms. Francis recognized a deep dissonance between the roles of men and women throughout her upbringing, it was not until college that she found the language to describe this recognition. Taking a course which allowed her to explore the intersections of feminism, Black feminism, and womanism through stories proved to serve as a springboard for her ongoing academic and personal pursuits.
Ms. Francis holds a B.A. degree with a dual major in Psychology and Sexuality, Women’s, and Gender Studies from Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts. In addition to her pursuit of a theological studies degree, she also is currently a candidate for a Master of Social Work degree at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. In the future, she hopes to act as a translator between the academy and the Church, developing more readily accessible resources for Christian women of all social classes, faith backgrounds, ethnicities, and gender identities.
For Ms. Francis, “Christian feminist and womanist theology offer a deeper knowledge of God and thereby a more intimate relationship with God.” In her application materials, she writes “beyond publishing books, writing articles, or teaching seminars, I desire to bring about change in my day to day living. Christian feminism holds such significance in my own life, and I believe holds possible solutions for the livelihood of individuals and the health of our communities.”
The Nancy A. Hardesty Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a student who aspires to exemplify the values and achievements of Nancy A. Hardesty, a founding member of the Christian Feminism Today organization, formerly known as EEWC (Evangelical and Ecumenical Women’s Caucus). The purpose of the $1,000 scholarship, awarded every June, is to help a student who wants to be in a leadership role that supports and promotes Christian feminism. Read more about the NAHMS here.