Women's Week lecture explores pop culture, feminism, activism
For the 40th year, Women’s Week at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln will honor the accomplishments of women and the struggles they face today.
Organized by the UNL Women’s Center in accordance with Women’s History Month, the campus observance is March 1-8. The 2019 theme is “Creating Change Through Courage and Compassion.”
Events offered include a lecture by Emerald LaFortune, a whitewater, wilderness and fly fishing guide based in Idaho; a staged reading of the original play, “Elizabeth I: To Speak or Use Silence; a talk about the impact of pop culture on feminism, activism and social justice; an inter-disciplinary conference for students; a festival featuring films by and about indigenous women; and the 12th Women’s History Month Banquet.
“Women’s Week at Nebraska is intentionally a collaborative effort that offers something that relates to everybody — regardless of gender,” said Jan Deeds, director of the Women’s Center. “Like all of our programming in the Women’s Center, the activities are intended to showcase and raise awareness about the different experiences women face.”
The university has celebrated Women’s Week since 1979. It was aligned with Women’s History Month in 1987 after Congress declared March as the month to honor the extraordinary achievements of American women. The observance grew out of a message from President Jimmy Carter that, in 1980, designated March 2-8 as national Women’s History Week.
A complete list of 2019 Women’s Week activities on campus is below. All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. Learn more about Women’s Week and other related campus programming offered through the UNL Women’s Center.
2019 Women’s Week at Nebraska
“The View of a Raft Guide,” 7 p.m., Nebraska Union Auditorium — Drawing on a decade of experience, outdoorswoman Emerald LaFortune will deliver tangible tips for creating conversation and change to make rivers, trails, crags and slopes more welcoming for all. LaFortune is also director of the Redside Foundation, a nonprofit that supports the health and strength of Idaho’s guiding community. Her talk is sponsored by UPC Nebraska, Outdoor Adventures and the UNL Women’s Center.
“Elizabeth I: To Speak or to Use Silence,” 2 p.m., Nebraska Union Auditorium — Staged reading of an original play followed by a facilitated discussion with cast members, including Carole Levine (author), Jan Deeds and two students. The discussion will examine women, issues of power today, and how they intersect with events and issues within the play. The production will include Tamar Meneghini, an actress and educator who played Elizabeth in the touring production of “Elizabeth I — In Her Own Words.” Meneghini will play Elizabeth in the campus reading.
Film screening: “Trials of Spring,” 2 p.m., Nebraska Union, Colonial Room — Presented by NET and the UNL Women’s Center, the film features a story about a young Egyptian woman who travels from her village to Cairo to protest 60 years of military rule. She is arrested, beaten and tortured by security forces, then punished and imprisoned by her family for daring to speak out. Through it all, she remains undaunted, setting out in search for freedom and social justice. The story, by Hend Nafea, mirrors the trajectory of the Arab Spring.
Empowering Aspiring Women Leaders, 7 p.m. Memorial Stadium, West Stadium Club — Women student-athletes and aspiring businesswomen will practice networking skills and broaden their networks. This event offers young women the chance to learn from successful women and be inspired to achieve success in their professional careers. Light refreshments will be provided. Includes a keynote address from a distinguished speaker who will discuss thoughts on achieving success, critical leadership characteristics and overcoming obstacles.
Lecture, “Don’t Just Change the Channel: Why Pop Culture Matters to Feminism, Activism and Social Justice,” 7:30 p.m., Nebraska Union Auditorium — Andi Zeisler, co-founder and creative/editorial director of Bitch Media, a nonprofit feminist organization based in Portland, Oregon, will discuss the impacts of pop culture on women and why “just changing the channel” is not a good idea.
12th annual Women’s History Banquet, 6 p.m., Champions Club — This ticketed event includes presentation of Women of Character, Courage and Commitment awards; a performance by the University Chorale; and a keynote address from Michelle Zych, a former member of the UNL Women’s Center and executive director of the Women’s Fund of Omaha. Tickets can be purchased by contacting Jeff Rech at 402-472-5668.
No Limits! Conference — An interdisciplinary conference that explores issues related to women, gender and sexuality. A keynote address will be delivered by Shireen Ghorbani, a Democratic candidate for Utah’s second congressional district. Ghorbani, who was featured on the cover of Time magazine, is an Nebraska alumna, having earned a master’s degree in communication studies and a specialization in women’s and gender studies. Learn more about the conference.
Vision Maker Film Festival, “Indigenous Women’s Films,” 11:30 a.m., NET Center, 1800 N. 33rd St. — Festival begins with “Return: Reclaiming Native American Foodways for Health and Spirit,” produced by Karen Cantor. Other films scheduled include “Daughter of a Lost Bird,” “After the Apology,” “Mankiller,” “Ohero:kon — Under the Husker,” and “Warrior Women.” Access the complete schedule on the UNL Women’s Center website. Sponsored by PREVENT, M@N, University Program Council, Vision Maker Media, Outdoor Adventures Center, the Women and Gender Studies program, Center for Civic Engagement, Athletics, NET, and Humanities Nebraska.