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10 June 2021

The Lady Ademola Lecture 2021: ‘Appropriate Whiteness’ with Professor Loretta J Ross

We are delighted to invite you to the inaugural ‘The Lady Ademola Lecture’ which will be held virtually on Thursday 10 June 2021 at 5pm (UK time), when Professor Loretta J Ross will give a talk on ‘Appropriate Whiteness’.

‘Appropriate Whiteness’ is a lecture series based on Professor Loretta Ross’ experience doing anti-Klan and anti-white supremacy organising. It is directed at young people who want to move beyond the hurtful, hardened racial patterns of the past and live more intersectional lives. It explores how technology can play a role in easing and crossing rigid boundaries. The lecture addresses situations of racial awkwardness and fears of “messing up.” It helps normalise discussions of race with a frank analysis of what to do and not to do in moving forward difficult dialogues.

Professor Loretta Ross is an Associate Professor at Smith College in Northampton (USA), MA in the Program for the Study of Women and Gender. She teaches courses on white supremacy, human rights, and calling in the calling out culture. She has taught at Hampshire College and Arizona State University. She is a graduate of Agnes Scott College and holds an honorary Doctorate of Civil Law degree awarded in 2003 from Arcadia University and a second honorary doctorate degree awarded from Smith College in 2013. She also has credits towards a Ph.D. in Women’s Studies from Emory University. She serves as a consultant for Smith College, collecting oral histories of feminists of colour for the Sophia Smith Collection, which also contains her personal archives. Please see below for further biography information.

The Lady Ademola Lecture is delivered annually by an eminent speaker of black, African, or Caribbean heritage who can speak on any topic related to their expertise or experience. The lecture is named for Kofoworola Ademola Moore, who arrived at St. Hugh’s College in 1932 to study English and became the first black African woman to achieve a degree at Oxford in 1935. Lady Ademola, as Kofoworola would become, was a lifelong advocate for women’s education and social reform

Join us on 10 June 2021, 5pm-6pm (UK time), for a very special online event with Professor Loretta Ross

This event is part of the College’s series celebrating the life and work of alumna, Kofoworola Ademola Moore (English, 1932).

Booking Information

This event will take place via Zoom webinar. To register to attend, please fill in our booking form below by 12 noon on 10 June. The event is free but we ask you to consider making a donation to the College’s Lady Ademola Fund when you book your ticket. Established in 2020 to support Black graduate students and visiting scholars from Africa, this fund is central to the College’s efforts to encourage greater participation and representation from Africa.

Please note that you do not need a Paypal account to make a donation online when you book your ticket. If you would prefer to make a donation over the phone, please do book a free ticket below and telephone Hannah Manito on +44 (0)1865 613839 during office hours (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm).

Joining details will be sent out to those who have registered the day before the event (please ensure that you enter your email address carefully on the booking form).

Please note that St Hugh’s College’s virtual events may be recorded.

Loretta J Ross

Loretta’s activism began when she was tear-gassed at a demonstration as a first-year student at Howard University in 1970. As a teenager, she was involved in anti-apartheid and anti-gentrification activism in Washington, D.C., as a founding member of the DC Study Group. As part of a 50-year history in social justice activism until her retirement from community organizing in 2012, she was the National Coordinator of the SisterSong Women of Colour Reproductive Justice Collective from 2005-2012 and co-created the theory of Reproductive Justice in 1994.

Loretta was National Co-Director of April 25, 2004, March for Women’s Lives in Washington, D.C., the largest protest march in U.S. history at that time with 1.15 million participants. She founded the National Center for Human Rights Education (NCHRE) in Atlanta, Georgia from 1996-2004. She launched the Women of Colour Program for the National Organization for Women (NOW) in the 1980s and was the national program director of the National Black Women’s Health Project. Loretta was one of the first African American women to direct a rape crisis center in the 1970s, launching her career by pioneering work on violence against women, as the third Executive Director of the D.C. Rape Crisis Center. She is a member of the Women’s Media Center’s Progressive Women’s Voices.

Loretta has co-written three books on reproductive justice: Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice in 2004; Reproductive Justice: An Introduction in March 2017; and Radical Reproductive Justice: Foundations, Theory, Practice, Critique in October 2017. Her newest book, Calling In the Calling Out Culture is forthcoming later in 2021.

Loretta is a rape survivor, forced to raise a child born of incest, and also a survivor of sterilization abuse at age 23. She is a model of how to survive and thrive despite the traumas that disproportionately affect low-income women of color.

Loretta is a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. The one thing left on her bucket list is to see Venus and Serena Williams play tennis live. She is an avid pinochle player, competing in tournaments across the country because this is how she balances her activist life with apolitical hobbies.

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