Conversations That Matter:  Focus on Women

This year, we will gather around the lived stories of women, who carry the struggle and the strength, the wisdom and the transformative grace embodied in the wounds of our time. Our first Conversation brings together the generational experience of women facing work, family, and cultural pressures, as well as the challenge of sexist attitudes and behaviors.

In preparation for an afternoon of listening and engaging in dialogue, this workshop is designed to provide participants with potentially transformative communication skills, emphasizing both self-reflective and other-centered listening. In addition to explorations of the role of perception and empathy in meaningful dialogue, three listening ‘filters’ will be examined: internal monologue, socio-cultural bias and assumptions, and ego.  Empowering ways of asking questions will also be discussed. The workshop will conclude with a reflection on and discussion of potentially volatile and divisive material and how to move from reactivity to reflection, to meaningful dialogue.

After lunch, two speakers, Susan McCrary and Candice Harris, will share their experiences as women in the United States facing work, family, and cultural pressures amidst the challenges of deeply ingrained sexist and racist attitudes and behaviors. After listening deeply, we will reflect and share their responses through the filter of their own experience, imagining and birthing change in ourselves and in society.

Cost: $45 per session (Includes lunch.) Some scholarship assistance available.

Facilitator: Sharon Browning, Director of Just Listening, (a movement that arose out of the belief that listening is a transformative act of justice)


Susan McCrary
Susan McCrary has been working in Administration at St. Ignatius since June of 2002.  She started her career at the Home by supporting the Administrators in project work and day-to-day functions, as well as providing computer support to the nursing center staff.  In February of 2008, Susan was appointed to the position of Assistant Administrator.  In January of 2017, Susan was appointed Administrator/President & CEO after the retirement of John Meacham. In addition to her work with St. Ignatius, Susan works with the residents and staff at Angela Court, the 121-unit low-income housing facility sponsored by St. Ignatius Nursing & Rehab Center. Susan graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1979.  She obtained her MBA in Health Administration from Eastern University in December of 2017. Susan resides in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.  She has two children, Ryan and Jessica.  She is an active member of St. Barbara Parish, where she serves as Eucharistic Minister and Commentator.

Candice Harris
Candice Harris works as an Advisor in the Advocacy Department at Catholic Relief Services. Before joining CRS over a decade ago, she was ‘ruined for life’ thanks to the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. As a JV, she had the great fortune of being placed at Philadelphia VIP, the hub of pro bono legal services in Philadelphia. Candice is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College’s Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, and Saint Joseph’s University where she received a B.A. in International Affairs. She’s the proud mama of two little girls, Anna and Evelyn.