UMF Presents Series on Sexual and Reproductive Justice

FARMINGTON, ME (September 16, 2013)—In response to the complex issues behind today’s headlines on marriage equality, healthcare access and reproductive laws, the University of Maine at Farmington is holding a series of free and open to the public events on Sexual and Reproductive Justice. This series hopes to help define the principles of reproductive and sexual justice and to discuss how they can be achieved through education, care, activism and public policy.

RP134-JNorsigian.jpgThe series will begin with Judy Norsigian and her talk “Our Bodies Ourselves: Advancing Reproductive and Sexual Justice” at 11:45 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 25, in room C23, UMF Roberts Learning Center. Norsigian is the founder and executive director of the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective. She will speak about the organization’s past and its new global health initiative. Based in Cambridge, Mass., the organization is “devoted to accurate, evidence-based information on girls’ and women’s reproductive health and sexuality, and addresses the social, economic and political conditions that affect healthcare access and quality of care.”

Jim Hubbard’s documentary “United in Anger: A History of ACT-UP” will be screened at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 3, in Thomas Auditorium, UMF RP134-JHubbardPreble/Ricker Halls. Hubbard will follow with a discussion about the history of HIV healthcare and activism and about the role of art in social change. Hubbard is a documentary photographer and the co-founder of the USC Institute for Photographic Empowerment.

“The Education of Shelby Knox: Sex, Lies, and Education, “will be screened at 7 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 20, at 7pm, in Thomas Auditorium, UMF Preble/Ricker Hall.

Lisa Sockabasin, director of the Office of Minority Health, Maine DHHS, will give a talk on racial disparities in health outcomes with a focus on reproductive and sexual health at 11:45 a.m., Oct. 30, room 101, UMF Roberts Learning Center.

“Mass Appeal,” a two-character play by Bill C. Davis, will be performed at 7:30 p.m., Thursday and Friday, Nov. 7 and 8, in the Emery Community Arts Center. Directed by Jayne Decker, UMF faculty member, the play tells the story of a priest who avoids controversial issues while a passionate young seminarian is determined to make them part of his preaching.

RP134-LPaltrowLynn Paltrow will speak on “40 years After Roe v Wade: Reproductive Justice in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” at 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 14, in Thomas Auditorium, UMF Preble/Ricker Halls. She will talk about the current legal status of women’s reproductive rights, focusing in particular on low-income women’s access to reproductive and sexual healthcare. Paltrow is the founder and director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women. The organization’s work focuses on the healthcare needs and rights of pregnant and parenting women, particularly low-income women and women of color.

This series is sponsored by the UMF University Culture Committee, Women’s and Gender Studies Program and student club Student Activists for Gender Equality. Additional events will be added to the schedule in the future. For the latest details, visit the UMF Women’s and Gender Studies Facebook page.

More on University of Maine at Farmington

A nationally-recognized liberal arts college, UMF enjoys a 150-year tradition of providing a quality academic experience combined with the personal attention and close student / faculty collaboration that helps prepare all students to be successful. Rooted in a tradition of teacher preparation, UMF offers top quality programs in the arts and sciences, teacher preparation, and pre-professional studies. UMF is located in the heart of Maine’s four-season outdoor recreational region and is a welcoming, close-knit academic community that prepares students for engaged citizenship, enriching professional careers and an enduring love of learning.

 # # #

 Media Contact: Tanya Kennedy, UMF associate professor of women’s and gender studies, at or 207-778-7370

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photos can be found at:

Photo Credit: Submitted photos