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Rev Bev Receives Award from Penn Women of Color

The Women of Color at Penn hosted their annual event and honored four women who had contributed to the the community. One of those awardees was the Rev Dr Dale. The purpose of this annual event now celebrating its 24th year, is to celebrate the many accomplishments of women of color both at the university and in the community. However for the first time ever they awarded a white woman. "I am indeed truly humbled as the 'woman of no color' to be awarded this honor by 'women of color.' " she said to the laughter of the audience. Then because they had limited each honoree only one minute to respond, a fact that Dr Dale noted was next to impossible for a preacher, she reminded them of a role model in scripture, the Unnamed Woman in the Song of Songs. Reminding the audience of nearly 500 men and women that this was a woman who said she was black and she was beautiful, 'when I perform this character in my workshops she always ends by singing this chorus that I would like to sing for you. Rev Bev then surprised the audience by singing, "When we believe that we are beautiful, then we know that love is possible. Our hearts will open for love comes from within.'

While at Penn Dr. Dale served on the Advisory Boards of the African American Resource Center, the Penn Women's Center, and the LGBT Center during her 21 years of ministry at the university.

Although war tends to impact first and foremost communities of color Dr Dale heard only the exhaustion of fighting oppression on a variety of fronts from her African American friends in 2001. As a result she called Sue Harte, the Associate Director of the Newman Center and the Director of the Civic House to organize the university community. The result of their brainstorming was the organization of the "Penn Faculty and Staff Against the War on Ira." As an active member of the steering committee, Dr Dale helped this group organize a wide variety of university responses. This organization inspired the Penn students to organize themselves using a similar model.Part of this work was to note the impact of war on communities of color as well as the religious prejudice.

In addition Dr. Dale expressed her concerns for the Penn security force who were contracted through Allied Barton who were mostly racial minorities with a significant number of single women of color. By documenting their concerns, mobilizing and educating the faith communities on and around campus, she helped to instigate productive talks with University personnel. This action was the impetus for a long investigation of the negative labor practices of the Allied Barton. The University showed its commitment to improving the situation.

Dr Dale's long time advocacy for sexual justice, for women especially, is well known in the Penn community. She hosted multi-generational and multi-racial discussions with women in programs such as "The Erotic Power of Women" and "Being Moral and Sexual Women" and attracted women from the LGBT, African American and other communities of women in enlightening and lively conversations. She created a number of unusual opportunities to dialogue about similar and different experiences of sexual and gender justice.





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