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Women Inspiring Change

Update: Due to Hurricane Irma, the Women Inspiring Change & Community Development Symposium has been relocated. The morning session will be held at the Elusive Grape, 129 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand, and the Lunch/Afternoon Session will be held in Stetson’s Davis Hall at 130 W. Minnesota Ave., DeLand, in Rooms: 206, 207, 208, and 209. The date is still set for Saturday, Sept. 16, from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.


On Saturday, Sept. 16, By Women Marketplace, Stetson University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Center for Community Engagement will co-sponsor Women Inspiring Change & Community Development, a professional development symposium about women’s rights and struggles designed for those who seek ideal aspirations, goals, and mission objectives in their professional careers, advocacy work and personal lives.


Women Inspiring Change & Community Development (WICCD​) was founded in 2017 by Dr. Jenneffer Pulapaka.

“Hosting a salon or symposium can ignite an advocate or be a catalyst for a stronger community,” said WICCD founder Jenneffer Pulapaka, a doctor of podiatric medicine in DeLand. “Attendees will be inspired to refine their skills, understand women’s struggles, gain strategies to prepare for and negotiate better deals, and energize the advocate within themselves.”

The symposium will run from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the keynote address entitled “Ways for women to build their community of ‘sisterhood’ and empower each other” to be delivered by U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy at 8:15 a.m.

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U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy represents Florida’s Seventh Congressional District, covering Seminole and much of northern Orange County.

Slated to speak in the morning and lead panel discussions throughout the afternoon are CEOs, an attorney, a financial planner, college professors, a basketball coach, a casting agent, school board and county council members, an FBI agent, a veterinarian, entrepreneurs and small business owners, a chef, marketing and leadership experts, and a motivational speaker and life coach.

“We have gathered a fantastic lineup of expert women and men in multiple fields from all corners of our Central Florida community to address the struggle for equal opportunities in the workplace and employee benefits, women’s reproductive and fertility rights, the urgency to stop all forms of violence against women, and the enhancement of strong relationships,” explained Pulapaka.

“Our professional landscape is tilted. Women between the ages of 35 and 55 have done very little to maintain the equality milestones our predecessors created and we are living in a women’s resource desert spanning Volusia, Lake, Seminole and Flagler counties. I am dedicated to fixing this problem. We need to teach valuable skills and life-long lessons emphasizing that women’s rights are valuable to our society and women can inspire positive change,” she said.

Following the conference will be the WICCD Table Talk’s Native American Dinner at the Cress Restaurant on nearby West Indiana Avenue from 6 – 8 p.m., featuring a family-style dinner with food from local farmers.

“Table Talks allows us to spark new ideas and inspirations for the future,” said Pulapaka. “The date of this gathering takes place on the Trail of Tears Commemoration Day, giving us a chance to celebrate Native Americans’ rich heritage, to socialize with old friends and make new ones, and to eat food inspired by centuries-old tradition.”

Registration and payment for the general public is required by Sept. 15.

A special free general admission with advance registration will be honored through Sept. 5 for Stetson students, faculty and staff, along with students under 22 years old with current school identification.

-Trish Wieland

If You Go

Ticket Pricing: General Admission $10
Optional items: Bag Lunch Ticket for $20 and Table Talks Dinner Ticket for $40

Individual Business Package
1 Business Package $70 includes: 1 General Admission Ticket, Express Registration, 1 VIP Wristband, 1 Bag Lunch Ticket, 1 Swag Bag, 1 Coffee and Juice Bar Access, and 1 Table Talks Dinner Ticket – Saturday Night.