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Women’s Week at U to Feature Events Centered on “Women In Leadership: Shaping the Future”

February 9, 2004 – For more than two decades, the University of Utah has recognized and celebrated the historical and contemporary contributions of women during Women’s Week at the U. This year Women’s Week will be held March 1 through 6 and will include a variety of activities centered around the theme “Women in Leadership: Shaping the Future.” All Women’s Week events are free and open to the public.

“Women’s Week at the U is a collaborative effort between the University campus and the community to offer a forum for discussion of important issues that affect all women,” notes Helen Graber, Women’s Week committee chair and the Belle S. Spafford Chair in the University’s College of Social Work.

More than a dozen new oil paintings, all self-portraits, by local Chicana artist Ruby Chacón will be exhibited March 1 through 27 in the Olpin Union Gallery. Chacón explores themes of humanity through vivid colors, thick layers of paint and bold strokes-all against the backdrop of her Mexican heritage. Exhibit hours are from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily, except on March 20, when the exhibit will open from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m., and on March 14 and 21 when it will be closed because of the University’s Spring Break.

An interactive tribute to women leaders will be held March 1 through 5, in the lobby of the Olpin Union Building. The Leadership/Dedication Display will honor women who have shaped a better future for all. Visitors to the display can share the name and a short description of a woman who has made a difference in their lives, be she a coworker, politician, teacher, neighbor, relative or friend. The names will be added to the list in the display and exhibited through March 5, 2004.

The Women’s Week Film Festival will be held in the Olpin Union Theatre March 1 and 2. Screenings are as follows:

March 1
1-3 p.m.-“Bend it Like Beckham”
5-6 p.m.-“Heart of the Sea”
7-9 p.m.-“Whale Rider”

March 2
1-2 p.m.-“Heart of the Sea”
5-7 p.m.-“Whale Rider”
7-9 p.m.-“Bend it Like Beckham”

A community service project-collecting Professional Clothing to benefit the YWCA’s Residential Self-Sufficiency Program, which aids women in entering the workforce-will be held during Women’s Week. All sizes of women’s professional clothing will be accepted, including suits, skirts, pants, blouses, nice sweaters, pantyhose, shoes, socks, underclothing, coats and purses. Personal hygiene and hair products, including curling irons and blow dryers, will be collected as well. These items will be accepted at the U’s Women’s Resource Center, room 293, Olpin Union Building; the YWCA, 300 E. 300 S.; and O.C. Tanner Company, 1930 S. State Street. For more information, call 801-537-8650.

A Campus/Community Panel, “Leading Women: A New Power Paradigm,” will be held Wednesday, March 3, at noon, in the Marriott Library’s Gould Auditorium, located on the University of Utah campus. The panel will be moderated by Sociology Professor Theresa Martinez, special assistant to the U’s senior vice president for academic affairs, and will feature Ann Weaver Hart, University of New Hampshire President and former dean of the University’s Graduate School; Karen Shepherd, former Congresswoman of Utah’s 2nd District; Joanne Milner, community and secondary education activist; and Women’s Week featured artist Ruby Chacón.

During the Campus/Community Panel, for the first time in the history of Women’s Week at the University, events of the week will be dedicated to a leader who shaped a better future for all women. The late Frances Farley, Utah State Senator who was a trailblazer for women in Utah politics, will be remembered and a presentation in her honor will be made to a member of the Farley family at the panel. Farley, a Democrat, spoke out to banish the MX missile from Utah, advocated removing sales tax from prescription drugs and food and fought for legislation that would prevent discrimination in housing. She helped organize the Utah Women’s political caucus in 1972 and fought to remove sexist language from the Utah code. She made back-to-back, but unsuccessful bids for the U.S. Congress in 1982 and 1984, and in the second attempt was defeated by 436 votes.

Award-winning journalist and author Maria Hinojosa, CNN Urban Affairs Correspondent and host of “Latino USA,” will deliver the Women’s Week keynote address on Thursday, March 4, at noon, in the Union Saltair Room, and will be followed by a book signing.

Prior to Hinojosa’s address, the Women’s Week Committee and the U’s Presidential Commission on the Status of Women will present the sixth annual Linda K. Amos Award to an individual for Distinguished Service to Women at the University of Utah. The award recognizes a female staff or faculty member who has selflessly given time and energy to improve the educational and/or working environment for women at the U. Nominations for the award are due Feb. 15 and must be made by a member of the University community (faculty, staff, or student). For more information, call 581-8030 or send e-mail to

A poetry slam by Diva Diction will conclude Women’s Week on Saturday, March 6, at 7 p.m., in Kingsbury Hall. Diva Diction consists of Bassey, Ishle Park and Amalia Ortiz, who have been called “three of the most powerful female poets both on page and on stage.” All three participate in the National Poetry Slam and appear on Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry on HBO. The Women’s Week performance is free, but general admission tickets are required. Tickets are available at the Kingsbury Hall ticket office (801-581-7100) or at the Union Main Desk (801-581-5888) or by calling Art Tix at 801-355-ARTS.

Women’s Week sponsors include the University’s College of Social Work, Office of the Associate Vice President for Diversity, Office of the President, Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Office of the Senior Vice President for Health Sciences, Office of the Vice President for University Relations, Marketing & Communications, Women’s Resource Center, KUED, YWCA and O.C. Tanner Company.

Following Women’s Week, a related event for University women faculty, “Changing the Academic Climate for Women Faculty,” will take place on Tuesday, March 9, from noon until 2:30 p.m., in the Marriott Library’s Gould Auditorium. Following lunch, a keynote address will be given by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Biology Professor Nancy Hopkins, a former committee chair of MIT’s Committee on the Status of Women Faculty in the School of Science. She will present “MIT’s Response to a Report on the Status of Women.” Following Hopkins’ presentation, University women faculty will participate in a panel discussion, followed by a question and answer session. For more information on the seminar, or to make a reservation, contact Brenda Flynn at 801-581-8746 or at

For more information on Women’s Week, go to or call 801-581-7659.