A. Ray Olpin University Union

The University of Utah

A photo of the Union in fall.

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    Women’s Week Recap

    As the Spring Semester comes to a close, the Union would like to recap events happening in the building and around campus. One of the significant events this year was Women’s Week. Internationally, March is celebrated as Women’s Month and centers on highlighting the contributions of trailblazing and resilient women. Centering spaces and the voices of women is a significant year-long event, yet a designated month and specific events add to the pivotal role women play on and off campus. From March 4th- 7th, the University of Utah, specifically the Office for Equity and Diversity held its annual weeklong event, Women’s Week, with this years theme being Redefine. In conversation with Estela Hernandez, PR and Special Events Coordinator for the Office, and facilitator of the week; Women’s Week is meant to highlight more in-depth discussions on the socio-economic, political, cultural, and intersectionality of movements and challenges for women. Information and recaps of the week/events are as follows:

    Women’s Leadership Summit:

    Women’s Week kicked off on Tuesday, March 7th with the Women’s Leadership Summit. The theme this year was Rise Up Lift Up focused on the engagement and inclusion of voices. The theme emphasized and allowed space to develop one’s definition of leadership for a diverse range of folxs. The event was open for all students, faculty, staff, and community members; with workshops and networking events focused on women-specific topics. The keynote featured Nona E. Richardson, the Senior Associates Athletics Director/Senior Women’s Administrator on-campus.

    To find out more on the Summit, please see: leadership.utah.edu/wls

    Empower U Symposium:

    On upper campus at the Health Sciences and Education Building, in collaboration with the Office of Health Equity and the Women in Health, Medicine, and Science (WiHMS); the Empower U Symposium kicked off. The program included a keynote by President Ruth Watkins and various salary negotiation based workshops for faculty, staff, and trainees. President Watkins is the first woman president of the University, and as such her remarks focused on the importance of helping women meet their career potential.

    Pizza & Politics:

    The Hinckley Institute of Politics regularly hosts its public forums featuring local, national, and global activists, lobbyists, thinkers, and political leaders. On brand with Women’s Week on March 6th, the panel focused on feminist political engagement through grassroots & community organizers. The featured panelist was Ediz Betts, a Blackfoot Filipina Trans/Queer liberation artist advocating for various social justice issues.

    More information on public forums visit: hinckley.utah.edu/forums

    Redefine Dialogue on the International Tolerance Project:

    The international tolerance project is a collection of selected works with a focus on TOLERANCE. The Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) was host to this project, showcasing over one hundred works of art from artists across the globe. The project aims to “ highlight art’s relevance in creating a just world to advance diversity, equity, and accessibility, and inclusion.”

    From more information on the project visit: umfa.utah.edu/tolerance

    Keynote Address, Gabby Rivera:  

    To finish off the week, Gabby Rivera a queer Latinx writer from the Bronx, spoke on her experiences and the use of love and joy as a form of radical transformation for change. She currently writes for Marvel’s America Chavez Comics, and is the author of  Juliet Takes a Breath; her first novel focused on understanding the identities of being queer and Puerto Rican. Gabby holds various positions through the community, using her platform and work to advocate and advance change for Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC), LGBTQ youth, Latinx women, and People of Color.

    Learn more about Gabby Rivera: gabbyrivera.com

    Women boast a vibrancy of work on groundbreaking activism, breaking barriers and ceilings throughout history, across the world, and on-campus. The continuation of women’s week aims to contribute and propel further engagement in movements and discussions that push relevant and crucial change within individuals, and around the campus community. There are continuing pervasive challenges of inequity for women of all voices, ideas, and experiences. Women’s week this past March was hopefully space for visible discourse and transformation. As one of the many on-campus community centers, the Union was proud to be a host for an incredible week, speakers, and dialogue.

    To see more of Women’s Week and other events, please visit: diversity.utah.edu/ww

    Written by: Danielle Martinez

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