Home Madison Conference Focused on “Infamous Mothers” Begins Today

Conference Focused on “Infamous Mothers” Begins Today


Mother, author, entrepreneur and scholar Sagashus T. Levingston is hosting a conference beginning today and running through the weekend based on her dissertation work and book, Infamous Mothers.

The conference, titled The Talk Back, is a opportunity for “infamous mothers in the margins to host, educate and share with those at the center,” according to a press release.

“The women that I work with are a very specific population of moms who are stigmatized,” Levingston told Madison365. “People often encounter these women in social service agencies, healthcare or institutions of crisis. They see them struggling, but don’t often see them as accomplished or making a difference in our society, so they don’t see them as experts and for this conference I want to highlight those women.”

The Talk Back will take place over the course of four days, Feb. 22 to 25, and feature a three keynotes, 18 workshops and nine panels consisting of many local “infamous mothers,” some of whom were featured in Levingston’s book.

Keynote speakers for the conference include Judge and Pastor Everett Mitchell, State Senator Lena Taylor and author of PHD (Po Ho on Dope) to PhD, Elaine Richardson, who will kick off the conference tonight.

“One of the goals of this conference is that we put at the forefront of key stakeholders minds, the way in which these women matter in our society and the ways in which our policies, practices and decision making processes have to expand to include these women,” said Levingston recalling when she received a graduate fellowship from UW-Madison for $2000 a month that wouldn’t have allowed her to hold another job.

“It was a great deal for someone who’s single, but I have six kids,” she said. “It’s clear that they had a very specific person in mind, but if the university had anticipated someone like me I’m sure they would’ve been able to construct a very different type of package. So if key decisions makers come sit at the table with these moms, they can hear the challenges these women face and the strength and power they bring to the table.”

The complete schedule for the conference and registration information can be found here.