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MICA, ACLU of MD Present Constitution Day Event Focusing on Women's Rights

Free Sept. 12 Symposium Features Angela Davis, Amy Goodman, Helen Molesworth; WYPR’s Sheilah Kast to Moderate

Posted 07.01.09 by MICA Media Relations

Angela Davis

BALTIMORE--MICA and the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland (ACLU-MD) will commemorate Constitution Day with the free symposium, How Soon Is "Equal Rights Now"? Women's Rights After Women's Lib, on Saturday, Sept. 12, 5-7 p.m. in Falvey Hall, Brown Center (1301 Mount Royal Ave.). The panelists are civil rights activist Angela Davis, political journalist Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! and Helen Molesworth, a curator at the Harvard Art Museums and an expert on feminism in the art world.

"The question of women's rights in the 21st century is a vexed and complicated one," Molesworth said. "Despite the ‘gains' made in the 20th century, women and men in Western countries still labor under the psychological ramifications of patriarchy."

The panel moderator will be Sheilah Kast, the host of Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast, which airs Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings on WYPR (88.1 FM).

Conference participants will discuss the state of the women's rights movement 30 years after its ascendancy, including current issues with reproductive rights, female stereotypes portrayed in the media and recent decisions in the Supreme Court that some say undermine women's rights in the workplace.

"We are excited to have Angela Davis, who is well-known for advocating the causes of minority women, which sometimes get lost from mainstream middle class feminism," said Firmin DeBrabander, an assistant professor of philosophy and intellectual history at the College. DeBrabander organized the panelists for this year's Constitution Day. "Amy Goodman is a champion of human rights and women's issues in the political arena, especially reproductive rights. And Helen Molesworth can speak to our young artists about feminist issues from an artist's perspective."

The ACLU of Maryland will be on site at the symposium, educating young women about their rights to equal protection and privacy under the law, and inspiring them to take leadership roles in protecting women's rights for the future.

"With a new nominee for the Supreme Court and women's rights, including equal treatment, workplace discrimination and reproductive freedom issues, hanging in the balance, 2009 is a pivotal year," said Susan Goering, executive director of the ACLU of Maryland. "That's why the ACLU is once again thrilled to partner with MICA to host another timely installment of our Constitution Day event, which each year educates hundreds of students-the future of our democracy."

Officially established in 2005, this annual event recognizes the ratification of the United States Constitution and continues MICA's tradition of leadership in raising and exploring important issues surrounding the framework for the organization of the U.S. government.

In addition to free tickets distributed in advance to the MICA community and ACLU constituents, a limited number of free tickets will be available to the general public on the day of the event, beginning at 3 p.m.

About the Constitution Day panelists:

Angela Davis
Davis is a political activist and university professor who was associated with the Black Panther Party for Self Defense and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. She has spent the last 15 years at the University of California Santa Cruz, where she is a professor of the history of consciousness, an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program, and a professor of feminist studies. Through her activism and her scholarship over the past decades, Davis has been deeply involved in this nation's quest for social justice.

Amy Goodman
Goodman is an award-winning investigative journalist, syndicated columnist, author and the host/executive producer of Democracy Now!, a daily, independent news program airing on approximately 800 television and radio stations. She is the first journalist to receive the Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the "Alternative Nobel Prize," for "developing an innovative model of truly independent grassroots political journalism that brings to millions of people the alternative voices that are often excluded by the mainstream media."

Helen Molesworth
Molesworth is the head of the department of modern and contemporary art and the James R. and Maisie K. Houghton curator of contemporary art at the Harvard Art Museums. From 2000-2002, she was the curator of contemporary art at the Baltimore Museum of Art, where she organized Work Ethic, which traced the problem of artistic labor in post-1960s art, and BodySpace, which explored the legacy of minimalism for contemporary artists. Her research areas concentrate largely around the problems of feminism, the reception of Marcel Duchamp and the socio-historical frameworks of contemporary art.

About the moderator:

Sheilah Kast
Kast, host of Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast on WYPR (88.1 FM), learned the craft of broadcasting at ABC News, where she was a Washington correspondent for 15 years. Her first public-broadcasting venture was in association with BusinessWeek magazine in the late 1990s, when she began and hosted a weekly national public television show, This Week in Business. During her reporting career, Kast has mostly focused on the economy and workplace, and how they affect people's everyday lives.

For more information, call 410-225-2300.

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 49 states and 52 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. With art and design programs ranked in the top ten by U.S. News and World Report, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.