William Woods University will host a week-long symposium called “Equality Matters: Conversations on Gender and Race” in an effort to start an intellectual conversation about sexism, racism, and social and political equality.
The symposium, to be held on campus Feb. 29 to March 4, is made possible by a generous gift from Dr. Mary Mosley, associate professor of Spanish. All events are free and open to the public.
“I would like the campus community–especially students–to have a better understanding of the dynamics of social change,” Dr. Shawn Hull, director of advancement, former history professor and one of the symposium planners, said.
As a historian, Hull said he often is dismayed by how ahistorical people can be.
“In our minds, we divide past events and present events, failing often to connect the two. When we do draw the connections, they are often superficial and simplistic.”
He gave Rosa Parks as an example.
“As we’ll see when Danielle McGuire, our keynote speaker, talks, Rosa Parks’ motivations are much more complicated than that. The popular account, that she was simply tired, strips the real story of its historical context and significance.”
He said his hope “is that people will not only see the richness of historical events, but begin to see themselves as actors on what will someday be the historical stage. That sometimes requires us to challenge, and accept the resulting criticism, existing notions of how things should be.”
McGuire, the keynote speaker, 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.
The symposium begins at noon Feb. 29 with Dr. Stephanie Wells, associate professor of English, discussing “Girls Don’t Count,” the themes in her as-yet-unpublished novels based on actual events depicting the need for the women’s movement in rural Missouri, particularly the Ozarks. She will speak in the Ivy Room on the lower level of Tucker Dining Hall.
At 6:30 that evening, “The Hunting Ground,” a documentary film about alleged incidents of rape on college campuses in the United States, will be shown in Dulany Auditorium, followed by a discussion facilitated by Mathew Huffman of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
Events on March 2 include:
- 9 a.m.: discussion with Dr. McGuire at the Owls Nest in the McNutt Campus Center.
- Noon-1 p.m.: Steve Hageman, Washburn University history lecturer and former William Woods instructor, presents “From Jackie to Black Lives Matter: Civil Rights, Race and Sports in America” in the Ivy Room.
- 4-5 p.m.: “Difficult Dialogues,” a program of the University of Missouri designed to empower students to express opposing views respectfully and in the spirit of open-mindedness, takes place in Dulany Auditorium.
- 7:30-8:30 p.m.: , Grammy award winning Motown musician and former member of the Temptations and the Four Tops, performs in Dulany Auditorium.
Events on March 3 include:
- 4-5 p.m.: “Stories Along the Way,” a panel discussion in Dulany Auditorium featuring advocates for equality who will discuss social change made during their lifetimes—Steve Calloway, president of the Minority Men’s Network; Karina Galve, a Fulbright Scholar and Spanish teacher; and Mary Mosley from the National Organization for Women.
- 5:30 p.m.: opening reception for Equality Matters art exhibit in the Mildred Cox Gallery of the Gladys Woods Kemper Center for the Arts
- 7 p.m.: “Lessons from Ferguson,” a talk by Amy Hunter, director of racial justice at the YWCA Metro St. Louis, in Dulany Auditorium.
On March 4, a play, “In His Service,” by CA Neilson will be performed from 6 to 7 p.m. at the First Christian Church, 6 East 7th St. The play is a fictionalized account of the Celia trial held in Callaway County in 1855. Donations may be made to the Coalition Against Rape and Domestic Violence (CARDV) in lieu of an entry fee. A reception with the playwright, who is the former owner of Romancing the Past Bed and Breakfast in Fulton, will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Playhouse Bistro, 613 Court St.