For the third year in a row, the Women and Gender Studies Program at Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMUK) will be hosting their student symposium on March 20. This year’s theme is “Gender in the New Millennium.”
The event will consist of both student-led presentations and a faculty roundtable at the Student Union Building (SUB) in Room 221 A and B starting at 1:30 p.m. Gender issues that will be discussed range from the arts to psychology. A panel on domestic violence in Kingsville is also on the agenda.
“The symposium provides an opportunity to initiate an informed dialogue – on campus and in the greater Kingsville community – on issues such as women’s reproductive rights, domestic violence, and LGBT justice,” said Brooke Mascagni, Assistant Professor of Political Science.
The keynote speaker of the evening will be Patricia Rodriguez, political director at Planned Parenthood South Texas. Her talk on “Protecting Reproductive Health Care in South Texas” will begin at 6 p.m. She will speak about reproductive justice and how the Texas legislature has limited women’s access to health care.
“We believe it is important to raise awareness of the significant health services provided by Planned Parenthood, particularly at a time when the Texas Legislature has passed tough restrictions on women’s reproductive rights,” Mascagni said. “The legislation has forced numerous health clinics all over Texas to shut their doors, including the last remaining abortion clinics in the Rio Grande Valley. The actions of Texas lawmakers have drastically reduced women’s access to safe, legal abortions –especially for poor, Hispanic women living in rural areas of the state.”
Professors in the Women and Gender Studies Program worked on various aspects of the event and were led by its program director, Abigail Mann, Assistant Professor of English, Mascagni said.
Mascagni said she hopes attendees will be able to walk away with a greater understanding of feminism.
“Feminism is a movement for social justice, regardless of one’s gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, nationality, and other socially constructed differences,” she said.
Refreshments will be served at 5:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.