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Diversity and Social Justice Lecture Series To Begin September 9, 2005

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY –Beginning Wednesday, September 21, with a presentation by Georgetown University law professor Mari Matsuda, Vassar College will present "Common Ground," a year-long lecture series to foster continuing dialogue on affirmative action, diversity, and social justice at the college and in the broader community. All lectures in the series are free and open to the public.

Wednesday, September 21

"The Last Public Place: Saving Public Education as the End of Affirmative Action."
Mari J. Matsuda, professor, Georgetown University Law Center
4:00 p.m., Villard Room, Main Building

Mari J. Matsuda will explore the "politics of learned futility," arguing that Americans must resolve to make quality education for all children one of the nation's highest priorities. Only by leveling educational opportunities, Matsuda contends, will issues of race, class, and gender be removed from society, rendering affirmative action programs unnecessary. In her lecture, Matsuda will address how a grassroots movement to make equal education a reality could be successful.

Thursday, October 6

"Leveling the Playing Field: Title IX and Athletics."
Leslie Annexstein, American Association of University Women; Neena Chaudhry, National Women's Law Center; Christine H. B. Grant, University of Iowa
5:30 p.m., Blodgett Auditorium

Leslie Annexstein is director of the American Association of University Women Legal Advocacy Fund, a project of the AAUW's Educational Foundation. Annexstein is the author of several books and articles and is an adjunct faculty member at American University in Washington, D.C.

Neena Chaudhry is senior counsel at the National Women's Law Center, where she has participated in many Title IX cases focusing on the availability of athletics to women.

Christine Grant is an associate professor of sports administration at the University of Iowa, where she previously directed women's athletics. She is known nationally for her work enacting Title IX, often testifying in discrimination lawsuits against universities.

Wednesday, November 2

"Gender Equity in Higher Education: Challenges and Solutions."
Leslie Annexstein, American Association of University Women; John W. Curtis, American Association of University Professors; Gloria Thomas, American Council on Education
6:30 p.m., Blodgett Auditorium

The panelists will discuss the current state of gender equality in academia, discussing issues such as sex discrimination and harassment, under-representation, and marginalization.

Leslie Annexstein is director of the American Association of University Women Legal Advocacy Fund, a project of the AAUW's Educational Foundation. Annexstein is the author of several books and articles and is an adjunct faculty member at American University in Washington, D.C.

John Curtis is director of research at the American Association of University Professors, studying issues of faculty compensation. He also heads the Association's Access to the Profession project, which aims to reconcile the commitments of one's academic career with one's family life.

Gloria Thomas is associate project director of Creating Options: Models for Flexible Faculty Career Pathways, a project of the Office of Women in Higher Education at the American Council on Education. Before joining the Council in 2001, Thomas had held several jobs involved in recruitment of and support for people of color in higher education.

The event is also part of the Gender Equity Lecture Series sponsored by the Office of Equal Opportunity. Female teachers and students in secondary schools are encouraged to attend.

Tuesday, November 8

"Isms: Racism, Classism, Sexism, Heterosexism, Ageism, and Others."
C. Nicole Mason, National Women's Alliance
5:00 p.m., Villard Room, Main Building

Nicole Mason is the founder and Executive Director of the National Women's Alliance, a grassroots organization for women of color. Mason will discuss how "isms" present challenges to building coalitions of groups within a College.

Thursday, March 2

Lecture on affirmative action
Kimberle Williams Crenshaw, Columbia University Law School
Villard Room, Main Building (time TBA)

Kimberle Williams Crenshaw is professor of law Columbia Law School and UCLA.

Crenshaw, who specializes in gender and race equality, is one of a handful of scholars credited with the development of Critical Race Theory, which places race in the center of critical analysis of race-neutral concepts such as "rule of law" and "equal protection." Crenshaw and Vassar's own Luke Harris, associate professor of political science, are co-founders of the African-American Policy Forum, which aims to bridge the gap between scholarly research and public discourse.

For more information, please call Belinda Guthrie, Director of Equal Opportunity, at (845) 437-7584. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Cathy Jennings in the Office of Campus Activities, at (845) 437-5370.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Friday, September 9, 2005