Photo courtesy UTEP

UTEP Conference Celebrates Women’s History Month

More than 100 experts will participate in an eclectic array of talks and presentations during the 8th annual Women’s History Conference March 27-28, 2018.

The conference will be held in The University of Texas at El Paso’s Union Building East. This year’s theme is “She Persisted: Celebrating Herstory.”

Lead organizer Stacey Sowards, Ph.D., chair and professor of communication at UTEP, said the theme is based on the rallying cry popularized after Republican leadership in the U.S. Senate silenced U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, on Feb. 7, 2017, during a confirmation hearing. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell explained that Warren had violated a Senate rule and was warned to stop, but “she persisted.”

Sowards said she expects about 300 people from UTEP, the community and regional academic institutions, to include a few from Juárez, Mexico, to attend the free conference from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, and from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The first day will end with the 2nd annual Femme Frontera film festival from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the Union Cinema, on the first floor in Union Building East.

The presentation topics include health, education, theater, media, politics, feminism, history, sexual abuse, environmentalism, gender advertising, advocacy and activism, and living with disabilities. Each will be tied to the #MeToo and #TimesUp anti-sexual harassment efforts and unfair gender assessments on social media.

“We want to bring women’s voices to the foreground where they will not be afraid,” Sowards said. “That’s why there was such an avalanche of support for Me Too and Time’s Up. There’s power in numbers.”

The keynote speakers will by Sylvia Acosta, Ph.D., director of the YWCA El Paso del Norte Region, and Lois F. Stark, Emmy Award-winning producer, documentary filmmaker and author. Both will speak at 12:30 p.m. in the Tomás Rivera Conference Center on the third floor of Union Building East. Acosta will speak on March 27 and Stark will speak the next day.

Another conference highlight will be a presentation by border rights representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union – Astrid Dominguez from Texas and Cynthia Pompa from New Mexico – at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 28, in Union Building East’s Templeton Suite, Room 313