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Author of “The Color Purple,” Alice Walker, and acclaimed filmmaker Pratibha Parmar to visit the U discussing women’s rights and human rights.

By Chanapa Tantibanchachai

On Wednesday, April 20 and Thursday, April 21, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and poet Alice Walker and acclaimed filmmaker Pratibha Parmar will participate in a series of events as part of the U’s Barbara L. & Norman C. Tanner Center for Nonviolent Human Rights Advocacy’s “Artists as Advocates: Women’s Rights and Human Rights” series. All events are free and open to the public.

Walker, best known as the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Color Purple,” grew up during the era of segregation, which inspired much of her later work after graduating from Sarah Lawrence College. Walker was active in the civil rights movement and worked as a social worker, teacher and lecturer before her work gained critical acclaim in the 1980s.

“Alice Walker’s life and work embody the connection we are examining between art and human rights advocacy. Issues of discrimination and marginalization are illuminated in her fiction and poetry, and in her daily life she engages in advocacy on a wide variety of issues.  Similarly, Parmar’s filmmaking illustrates the ability of an artist, through her craft, to promote empathy and insight around very challenging subjects,” said Thomas Maloney, director of the Tanner Center for Nonviolent Human Rights Advocacy.

Parmar is a filmmaker whose work focuses on telling stories surrounding race, sexuality and feminism. “Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth” is her most recent feature documentary film and chronicles Walker’s life from the cotton fields of Georgia to becoming the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize.

Parmar has won a number of awards, including the One in Ten Visionary Award, the Pink Peacock Award and the Frameline Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Screening of “Beauty in Truth” and discussion with Walker and Parmar
Wednesday, April 20, 2016 | 7-9 p.m.
Rose Wagner Performing Arts Theater

Screening of “Warrior Marks” and discussion with Parmar
Thursday, April 21, 2016 | 12 p.m.

Law School Moot Courtroom

A reading with Walker and discussion with Walker and Parmar
Thursday, April 21, 2016 | 7 p.m.
Rice-Eccles Stadium Scholarship Room

Book signing hosted by King’s English of Salt Lake City to follow.

The screening of “Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth” is part of the Through the Lens series, a collaboration between KUER and the Utah Film Center.


Chanapa Tantibanchachai is an associate science writer at University Marketing and Communications. If you have an interesting story idea, email her at