Women’s Week: ‘Redefine’

Women’s Week is an annual, weeklong event focused on issues and challenges women face in America. Topics are relevant to today’s socio-economic and political climate, intersectionality and cultural movements.

This year’s Women’s Week theme “Redefine” explores what it means to be powerful or to be radically creative. Join us as we hear how folks like Gabby Rivera define these traits and incorporate them into their work, their communities and their daily lives.

Events are listed below.

Empower U Symposium
Tuesday, March 5, 2019 | 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Health Sciences Education Building (HSEB)

In celebration of Women’s Week, the Women in Health, Medicine and Science (WiHMS) program and the Office of Health Equity and Inclusion is pleased to host the EmpowerU Symposium. President Ruth Watkins will give a keynote address, followed by a series of negotiation workshops aimed at faculty, staff and trainees.

To register, click here.

Women’s Leadership Summit
Tuesday, March 5, 2019 | 1-6 p.m.

Union Ballroom

When faced with choices that affect who we are and what we want to become, we need to ask ourselves how we can impact our communities for the greater good. The Leadership Summit, “Rise Up, Lift Up,” will engage a broad spectrum of voices. It will allow space for participants to explore what leadership means and how to harness skills that can build on in their own lives. To register, click here.

Hinckley Institute Panel
Wednesday, March 6, 2019 | 12-1 p.m.
Hinckley Caucus Room (Gardner Commons 2018)

How do communities redefine political engagement and organize themselves to address the marginalization imposed by systems of power? What lessons can we learn from past and present autonomous organizing and social movements? Featured panelist, Edxie Betts, is a Black Blackfoot Filipina/Trans/Queer liberation artist and autonomous organizer. Their work is centered around advocating for non-white queer and trans communities. Moderator, Roxanna (Rox) Curiel is a community organizer guided by reproductive justice values. Her work includes sexual and reproductive justice education, queer liberation and supporting #chingalamigra efforts.

Redefine Dialogue on the International Tolerance Project
Wednesday, March 6, 2019 | 3-4:30 p.m.

The International Tolerance Project is a traveling poster exhibition created and organized by world-renowned designer Mirko Ilić. The exhibition features more than one hundred works from artists around the world and deals with topics of tolerance that the artists care about. More than 20 of the posters were carefully chosen by the Utah Museum of Fine Art’s ACME Lab team to feature locally with the goal to present tolerance of others as a starting point toward the broader goal of acceptance.

Thursday, March 7, 2019 | 12-1:30 p.m.
Union Center Ballroom

Gabby Rivera (she/her) is a Bronx-born, queer Latinx writer. Her critically acclaimed debut novel “Juliet Takes a Breath” was listed by Mic as one of the 25 essential books to read for women’s history month, and was called the “dopest LGBTQA YA book ever” by Latina Magazine. Rivera is also the writer for AMERICA – Marvel comics’ first Latina lesbian character, America Chavez. Outside of writing, Rivera is also the Youth Programs Manager at GLSEN, a leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools regardless of students’ sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. She is also a film and multimedia teaching artist who is dedicated to empowering women and improving conditions in marginalized communities. Rivera considers it vital to encourage people of all backgrounds to create, daydream and tell their own stories—and in so doing, open a radical space for creativity. Her work speaks on her experiences as QTPOC writer, an LGBTQ youth advocate and the importance of centering joy in the narratives as queer people, Latinx women and people of color.

Writing Workshop with Gabby
Thursday, March 7, 2019 | 1:30-3 p.m.

Union East Ballroom

Gabby Rivera will talk about ways to combine writing with radical creativity.


The U Department of Theatre presents women on stage with “Men on Boats”
Thursday, March 7-Saturday, March 9
Studio115, Performing Arts Building

No men? No boats? No problem! The University of Utah’s Department of Theatre steers into Women’s History Month with Jaclyn Backhaus’ adventurous and laughable “Men on Boats.” Directed by Sarah Shippobotham, the production runs March 1-10, 2019, in Studio 115 in the Performing Arts Building, 240 S. 1500 East.

“Men on Boats” is the true(ish) history of an 1869 expedition, when a one-armed captain and a crew of insane but loyal volunteers, set out to chart the course of the Colorado River. Through clever satire and contemporary style Backhaus recounts and retells history from a modern perspective. This is best illustrated by a note from the playwright on casting the play: “The characters in ‘Men on Boats’ were historically cisgender white males. The cast should be made up entirely of people who are not.”

The cast is made up of 10 women from the Musical Theatre and Actor Training programs, directed by the well-known dialect coach and theatre professor Shippobotham. The purposefully inclusive writing and casting empowers and normalizes women to shine in roles they’re not normally able to inhabit. “It provides a cutting insight into whose stories are normally told, and the glaring omission of stories we have not heard,” Backhaus explains. The dynamic production spins historical, theatrical and gender conventions on their heads, this subversive tale of 10 men, four boats, and two rivers contains none of the above.

Click here for times and ticket pricing.

For more information on weeklong events, click here.