URI to celebrate International Women’s Day March 6

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KINGSTON, R.I.- February 27, 2008- The University of Rhode Island Women’s Studies Program will host a series of presentations and activities in honor of International Women’s Day, Thursday, March 6 from 9 a.m. through 9 p.m. primarily in the Memorial Union, 50 Lower College Road, Kingston campus. A full schedule with locations is attached.

International Women’s Day is a day of global celebration of the economic, political, and social achievements of women. URI’s daylong event includes talks, music and dance, exhibits and film.

The URI celebration is presented by a coalition of groups including the Women’s Studies Program, the Women’s Center, the Violence Prevention Program, the Work-Life Committee of the ADVANCE Program, the GLBT Center, the Sociology and Anthropology Departments, Sociologists for Women in Society, Hillel, the Body Acceptance Committee, the President’s Commission on the Status of Women, the student groups PAGE (Promoting Awareness for Gender Equality), P.I.N.K. Women, the Cape Verdean Students’ Association, and LASA (Latin American Students Association).

Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards will deliver the keynote lecture, “Can I be a Feminist and…Shave My Legs, Love My Boyfriend, Make Money, Get Married, Be Pro-Life?” at 5:30 p.m, in the Memorial Union Ballroom. The Student Entertainment Committee is sponsoring their visit. Since the 2000 publication of their book Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future, the two women have lectured at more than 200 colleges and high schools. The pair are also the authors of the book Grassroots: A Field Guide for Feminist Activism as well as numerous articles.

Donna Hughes, URI professor of women’s studies, kicks off the day at 9:30 a.m. speaking about sex trafficking. A leading international researcher on trafficking of women and children, Hughes has researched this topic for the United States, Russia, Ukraine, and Korea. She is consulted by government and non-governmental organizations on policy related to women’s human rights, particularly in the area of trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation.

Other talks include Rethinking Globalization: Gender and the Politics of Possibilities with Professor Manisha Desai from the University of Connecticut and a poetry reading by Lisa Starr, Rhode Island Poet Laureate.

Music and dance will be interjected throughout the day including Israeli folk dancing, salsa dance, and dances of the women of Cape Verde. The Raging Grannies of Westerly and URI’s Cognitive Dissidents will sing songs of social justice and women. A series of films will run during the day in the Ballroom and in Atrium II , and at 7:30 p.m. in the GLBT Center, 111 Adams Hall.

An international fashion show, an exhibit about cultural perceptions of beauty, and information tables regarding women’s health and businesses will be set up in the Memorial Union as well. For more information, visit the Women’s Studies program online or call the Women’s Studies Department at 874-5150.