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Activist Angela Davis Speaks At Women's Studies Conference

UWF Women's Studies Collective

The University of West Florida’s 14th Annual Women’s Studies Conference gets underway Monday, March 16 at the UWF Conference Center. Internationally-known activist Angela Davis will be the keynote speaker.

Sandra Averhart has a preview of Angela Davis' talk happening at UWF Monday.

A guest of the UWF Women’s Studies Program, Angela Davis will visit Pensacola for two days, speaking first at Monday’s conference and Pensacola State College on March 17. Her talks will address issues of feminism, justice, and mass incarceration in her two Pensacola speeches. Both talks are open to the public, but registration is required for the talk at UWF.

“Pensacola has a history of supporting Dr. Davis, and our student body could not be more delighted to hear her speak at our conference next month,” said Becca Namniek of the Women’s Studies Collective.

The Women’s Studies Collective, a student organization dedicated to the promotion of women's and gender studies at UWF, has taken the lead on the conference organization this year. The Collective was co-founded in January of 2014 by Namniek and Taylor Willbanks, who also serve as co-presidents.

The group has worked to develop partnerships with a wide array of local organizations and university divisions to make the conference bigger and better than ever.  

Credit UWF Women's Studies Collective
UWF Women's Studies Collective

The UWF Women’s Studies Conference, now in its 14th year, is an event sponsored by UWF’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program that showcases student scholarship relating to women, gender, and sexuality across the disciplines. 

This year’s event features a few changes such as inclusion of presentations from students in a diverse array of disciplines and departments across campus.

There will panels on medieval matriarchs, female psychologies and the politics of psycho-analysis, and socio-sexual injustice.

One of the most significant changes at the Women’s Studies Conference is the addition of a keynote speaker. Featured this year is an address by Dr. Angela Davis.

Angela Davis—known internationally as an activist, scholar, and writer— took part in the Civil Rights Movement and Radical movements of the 1960s and 1970s.

Dr. Davis taught philosophy in the University of California system since 1969. She came to national attention after being removed from her position as a result of her political activism. In the early 1970s, Davis spent 16 months in prison, but was acquitted in 1972 and released after a massive “Free Angela Davis” campaign.

The “Free Angela Davis” campaign organized support networks across the nation, including one in Pensacola in the early 1970s, which held at least one rally at Pensacola Junior College.

Since the 1970s, Angela Davis has been an outspoken critic of racism in the criminal justice system. She’s a distinguished professor emerita in History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies Departments at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In 1994, Angela Davis was appointed the University of California Presidential Chair in African American and Feminist Studies.

The UWF Women’s Studies Conference is free and open to the public, but registration is mandatory and seating is limited. Those interested in attending the conference should contact Taylor Willibanks or Becca Namniek of the Women’s Studies Collective by email at uwffeministtheory@gmail.com.

Credit UWF Women's Studies Collective
UWF Women's Studies Collective

Who: Angela Davis speaks in Pensacola

When: March 16th at UWF Women’s Studies Conference at 5pm

March 17th at PSC Hagler Auditorium at 6pm.

Sponsored by: UWF Women’s Program and the Women’s Studies Collective.

Contact: Taylor Willibanks or Becca Namniek at uwffeministtheory@gmail.com

Sandra Averhart has been News Director at WUWF since 1996. Her first job in broadcasting was with (then) Pensacola radio station WOWW107-FM, where she worked 11 years. Sandra, who is a native of Pensacola, earned her B.S. in Communication from Florida State University.