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Downtown Lecture Series announces theme "Woman Power"

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The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences is hosting a downtown lecture series called WOMANPOWER through October 2020. Courtesy SBS

The University of Arizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences is presenting its annual Downtown Lecture Series, "Woman Power," on Thursdays in October. 

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Maribel Alvarez, associate dean of community engagement, was one of the people who helped to decide on the theme this year along with SBS Dean John Paul Jones. They looked at topics that would be important to talk about as a theme. Through the college, they have experts in a variety of topics that are relevant to 2020, such as climate change, race and social movements and political science experts. 

“We thought to ourselves, 'What is the one event that is also happening this year that represents a change in history, something that we can grab onto more thoughtfully?' and that was the 100 year anniversary of the 19th Amendment of the women’s right to vote,” Alvarez said.

Alvarez also addressed how people will miss going downtown, since the series will be held virtually this year due to COVID-19. A big part of the college engagement with community was going downtown and bringing people back to the realization of the downtown core. Jones will be recording an introduction to each lecture at a different downtown location to bring some aspect of downtown into the series.  

“It meant that people would get ready, would go downtown, and after the lecture we would gather at the cafes and bars and have conversations about these interesting topics, so we know that that will now be limited,” Alvarez said.

She further explained that although the series is online, the important part which is sharing knowledge and making that knowledge accessible to people who are not inside the university. 

The first part of the series called Power Imagined: Fairy Tales as Survival Strategies, will be held on Oct. 1 at 5:30 p.m. The guest speaker Kate Bernheimer will be exploring Little Red Riding Hood and Snow White through the centuries of their survival.

The second lecture called Power Contested: Rape and Skepticism, will be held on Oct. 8. The guest speaker Elise Lopez will be exploring two foundational issues that underpin skeptical public attitudes about rape.

The third lecture called Power Wielded: Latinas and the Quiet Power of Sacrifice will be held on Oct. 15. The guest speaker Lisa Sanchez will be exploring topics such as why Latinas are rare in politics and the current nature of Latina power in the United States.

The fourth lecture called Power Spoken: Black Women Be Knowing will be held on Oct. 22. The guest speaker Sonja Lanehart will be exploring several ways Black women use language to tell the truth and shame the devil.

The final lecture called Power Represented: An Interview with Indigenous actress Yalitza Aparicio will be held on Oct. 29. The lecture will explore how Aparicio has broken many barriers. Guest speaker Michelle Tellez will talk to the actress about her childhood, her experiences with discrimination, her role in “Roma” and her activism for domestic workers and Indigenous peoples. 

Anyone interested in attending the lectures can register to receive a link to each talk.  


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UA COVID-19 Test Tracker

Daily (10/22)
1,074 8 0.7%
Total (8/4)
54,122 2,441 4.5%
Includes tests since August 4, 2020
Data from https://covid19.arizona.edu/updates
Updated October 22, 2020