OU’s Gender + Equality Center and International Advisory Council will celebrate International Women’s Day with a brunch promoting gender equality on March 8.
The “International Womxn’s Day: Equality Brunch” will feature complimentary brunch foods and discussions about women. The theme is #EqualforEqual, which encourages people to recognize what it means to seek gender equality, according to The Gender + Equality Center’s website.
Keynote speaker Roksana Alavi will lead the discussion. Alavi is associate professor of interdisciplinary studies at OU’s extended campus and affiliate faculty member of OU’s Women and Gender Studies program.
Alavi has her graduate certificate in women’s studies, her Ph.D in philosophy, and has done extensive research on topics of identity formation, race, gender, rights, stereotyping and oppression. She said she will use her background to discuss the relevance of these topics.
International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It is meant to promote unity and advocacy for women at local and global levels, according to International Women’s Day’s website.
Alavi said in an email she hopes her message will celebrate the accomplishments of women while encouraging people to continue pressing forward in the fight for equality.
“I want the attendees to feel good for the work they have done, and empower them to both keep going and stop going when they need to hand the fight over to someone else for a bit,” Alavi said.
On its website the the Gender + Equality Center said it hopes to remind people how they can individually choose to challenge stereotypes and collectively create a gender-equal world.
“The road to equality is full of potholes and speed bumps but women around the world have crossed over mountains, and walked across valleys for equality,” Alavi said. “I want us to remember that they didn’t do it alone then, and we won’t have to do it alone now.”
The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 8 in the Beaird Lounge of the Oklahoma Memorial Union. It is free and open to the public.