William Woods Plans ‘Equality Matters’ Symposium

equalityIn an effort to explore how sexism and racism work together to hinder the American dream of equality, William Woods University will conduct a symposium titled “Equality Matters: Conversations on Gender and Race” Feb. 29 to March 4.

“We have always realized that these kinds of conversations are important,” Dr. Jahnae H. Barnett, WWU president, said, referring to William Woods University as “one that promotes learning, mutual understanding, respect and a commitment to acceptance for all.”

She explained that the university began making plans last year for a symposium on gender and racial equality and called the event “even more timely” given the events of last fall.

“We have watched as college campuses around us address important issues related to race relations, social and economic equality, and free speech. Clearly, this is our opportunity to stop, observe and consider how we can learn from the past, not just necessarily our past, and how we can provide a better world for the future while we live wisely in the present.”

Danielle McGuire
Danielle McGuire

The keynote speaker for the symposium will be Danielle McGuire, is author of “At the Dark End of the Street – Black Women, Rape, and Resistance – A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power.” She will give her speech, “To Gain Title to Our Bodies: Black Women, Rape and Resistance—a New History of the Civil Rights Movement,” at 7 p.m. March 1 in Dulany Auditorium.

Throughout the week, there will be several events, a few of which include:

A showing of the movie “The Hunting Ground,” followed by a discussion with the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence;

Theo Peoples
Theo Peoples

A concert by Theo Peoples, Grammy award-winning Motown musician and former member of the Temptations and the Four Tops;

A panel discussion, “Stories Along the Way,” with Mary Mosley from the National Organization for Women, Steve Calloway, president of the Minority Men’s Network; and Karina Galve, a Fulbright Scholar and Spanish teacher;

Amy Hunter
Amy Hunter

“Lessons from Ferguson,” a talk by Amy Hunter, director of racial justice at the YWCA Metro St. Louis;

An Equality Matters art exhibit, which will explore how the issues of gender and race influence contemporary culture.

According to Dr. Shawn Hull, WWU director of advancement, the symposium aims to engage the campus community, especially the students, in a robust intellectual conversation.

“We recognize that the topics raised will make some people uncomfortable,” Hull said. “Nonetheless, recent events make it clear that college campuses have an obligation to address these important issues. Our students are discussing these issues amongst themselves and we owe it to them to help them explore those types of topics in an atmosphere of civility and mutual respect.”

William Woods will accept submissions through Feb. 15 for the art exhibit, which will take place March 3-April 3. More information and registration forms can be found at www.williamwoods.edu/coxartgallery.

All the events throughout the week and the art exhibit will be free and open to the public. For more information, contact Dr. Hull at (573) 592-4389 or shawn.hull@williamwoods.edu.