Jonel Beauvais to Receive WILL Award

The biennial Seneca Falls Dialogues event includes several presentations and workshops that engage audiences and empower women to effect change, in their own lives and in those of others.  Writings of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a foremother of women’s rights and the inspiration for much of the Dialogues, include discussions about personal accountability as the key to women’s self-actualization – and empowerment.

Stanton lived in Seneca Falls, and though she was but one voice from a small Village in New York, she sought to challenge societal “norms” across the globe – specifically those that excluded women from basic human rights, including a voice and ability to choose one’s own destiny. 

Reflecting the spirit of Stanton’s work, Jonel Beauvais has devoted her life and career to giving women a voice, and helping them attain the pride and power of personal accountability.  In recognition of her achievements, the Directors of the Women’s Institute of Leadership and Learning (WILL) will present Beauvais with their biennial WILL Award on October 8 in Seneca Falls.  She will serve as keynote speaker at the Saturday night dinner, a highlight of the Seneca Falls Dialogues weekend event held every two years. 

For details about the Dialogues event and tickets to the dinner or event workshops, click here.

In concert with this year’s Dialogues theme, Rematriation: Restoring Balance to Humanity, Beauvais will share her experience as a member of the Wolf Clan (Mohawk) and how her work has earned her the title of Wellness Warrior

Beauvais is the mother of three children, and a chosen friend, Auntie, sister and mentor to many.  She is a community outreach worker for the Seven Dancers Coalition in her home community of Akwewansne.

Her work there involves providing presentations and training for Tribal communities and service providers on sexual assault, domestic violence, campus safety, teen dating, sex trafficking and stalking.

WILL Board Members will honor Beauvais and present her with a plaque in recognition of her personal and professional accomplishments.  It is hoped that her keynote address will include some of her experience as an activist including her recent audience with the Pope during his visit to Canada. 

Beauvais dedicated four years as Lead Auntie for all the girls entering their first year of fasting in Oheronkon “Under the Husk,” which is the Rights of Passage for youth Akwesasne.  She is a seasoned volunteer dance teacher with the St. Regis Recreation Dance Club, and a member of the Neh Kanikonriio Council, a restorative justice initiative that integrates Indigenous ways of mediation to reduce incarceration and provide a more interpersonal means of healing. 

She is Founder of the Tiny Home Project, that supports individuals in the Akwesasne community returning home home from prison/rehabilitation and reintegrating into community.  She is also a Section 84 Parole Board Member. 

Beauvais was chosen as one of ten women nationally to represent a fellowship for formerly incarcerated or directly impacted women of color, through the Community Change organization, which fosters peer-to-peer mentorship, community organizing, skill building, and “cultivating change in the hearts of women directly impacted by social violence, prison systems and immigration.”

In 2020, Beauvais joined a national cohort of women through Columbia University’s Women Transcending Fellowship, organized to support formerly incarcerated women, helping them to build power, gain resources and strengthen leadership development.  She was also invited to sit on the national #FREEHER board with the Circle of Justice Innovations, administering grant opportunities for women of color who are working in their communities to address mass incarceration.

Hosted by WILL, the Seneca Falls Dialogues Saturday Dinner and Award Ceremony is open to the public.  Tickets can be purchased either as part of an All-Access pass to the entire Dialogues weekend event, or individually.  Seating is limited and early reservations are encouraged.  Learn more about tickets and options here.