Archive for Thursday, January 26, 2012

Activist Angela Davis to speak at February Sisters anniversary at KU

Clippings from the Lawrence Daily Journal-World on Feb. 5 and 7, 1972, chronicle the February Sisters' sit-in. Their protests helped spur the women's movement in Lawrence in the 1970s.

Clippings from the Lawrence Daily Journal-World on Feb. 5 and 7, 1972, chronicle the February Sisters' sit-in. Their protests helped spur the women's movement in Lawrence in the 1970s.

January 26, 2012


Angela Davis

Angela Davis

February Sisters anniversary events

Feb. 1

• 4:30 to 6 p.m., Opening of “Where We Were Then Where We Are Now: Women Artists at the Spencer Museum of Art,” Spencer Museum of Art.

• 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Student re-enactment of February Sisters Occupation, Wescoe Hall.

Feb. 2

• 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., “Women and Peace: the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Trio of Laureates,” a roundtable discussion, English Room, Kansas Union.

Feb. 4

• 7 p.m., “February Sisters Speak Out! Forty Years After the Occupation.” Two oral historians interview six February Sisters, Spencer Museum of Art Auditorium.

Feb. 6

• 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., Hall Center Gender Seminar meet the author session with Virginia Scharff, women’s historian and author of “The Women Jefferson Loved,” Hall Center conference hall.

• 7:30 p.m., Virginia Scharff public lecture, “The Women Jefferson Loved,” Lied Center pavilion.

Feb. 7

• 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., Angela Davis lecture, “Feminism and Activism,” Room 120 Budig Hall. Free tickets can be obtained from Student Union Activities in the Kansas Union and from the women, gender and sexuality studies department, in room 213 of Bailey Hall.

A series of events at Kansas University, including a lecture from activist Angela Davis, will mark the 40th anniversary of the February Sisters occupation, which helped spark a number of reforms for women on campus.

In 1972, a group of students and staff members occupied what was the East Asian Studies building, 1322 La., and presented a list of demands for the administration. They were assisted by others, including faculty members, on the outside of the building, too, said Tami Albin, an associate librarian at KU who has researched the incident.

Albin and another oral historian, KU professor Sherrie Tucker, will interview six people involved in the effort, including three people who were inside the building, Mary Coral, C.J. Brune and Christine Smith, along with three retired KU professors: Beth Schultz, Marilyn Stokstad and Betty Banks.

The discussion is scheduled at 7 p.m. Feb. 4 in the Spencer Museum of Art auditorium.

After the brief occupation, members of the February Sisters group met with administrators and began to address their list of demands.

Many of their demands — a child day-care center on campus, more female administrators, better health services for women at the campus health center and the establishment of a women’s studies program — were eventually met.

Today, the executive vice chancellor of the KU Medical Center is a woman, seven of KU’s 13 academic deans are women and, of course, the university’s chancellor, Bernadette Gray-Little, is a woman.

“Who’d have thought that 40 years ago?” said Ann Schofield, a KU professor of women, gender and sexuality studies who has been helping to coordinate the week of events.

The week will feature a public lecture by feminist scholar and activist Angela Davis.

“We saw her as someone who is going to be able to pick up the theme of what was activism then and what is activism today,” Schofield said.

The event, scheduled from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 7 in room 120 of Budig Hall, is free to the public, but tickets are required. They can be picked up from Student Union Activities on the fourth floor of the Kansas Union or at the women, gender and sexuality studies office in room 213 Bailey Hall.


its_just_math 6 years, 4 months ago

Ths same Angela Davis who is was associated with the Communist Party, Black Panthers and was on the FBI's most wanted list? That Angela Davis. Wow, libs really are progressive.

'Scholar and activist' kill me Andy. lol!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 4 months ago

"and was on the FBI's most wanted list"

On charges for which she was acquitted by an all-white jury.

Gareth Skarka 6 years, 4 months ago

Ah, yes -- the Fox News Crowd. Bravely fighting battles that they lost 40 years ago.

Maybe we should just re-name all Conservatards as "The Committee to Re-elect Barack Obama", because that's exactly what their laughable, pathetic philosophy is going to do....

Paul R Getto 6 years, 4 months ago

You go, girl! I remember the February sisters..........gutsy women are scary aren't they, Nancy Boy? As I recall, most of the Feb Sisters were mottled pinks (aka 'whites.')

appleaday 6 years, 4 months ago

Yep; demanding a day care center on campus is radical stuff.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 4 months ago

Today is Angela Davis' birthday. Happy birthday to you...

Aiko 6 years, 4 months ago

I think she is here to speak about her being Pro NRA.

begin60 6 years, 4 months ago

KU in my experience offers few reasons for feminist celebration.On the contrary , this town prides itself on being a throwback to the 50s and a beacon of some of the nastiest most dishonest forms of southern justice imaginable. If a great activist like Angela Davis knew about some of the despicable civil rights injustices the crooks in KU HR staff and the school's General Counsel are behind she wouldn't come within a hundred miles of Lawrence. She hardly believes in abusing law enforcement and the criminal injustice system to exact revenge against innocent workers with zero internal due process, which is not unusual at KU. Send in the hicks, just send in the mountain people. For her sake, I hope she is not allowed to witness much of this town's unique blend of hate and ignorance.

WillNotSufferFools 6 years, 4 months ago

Contrary to myth, the progressive movement in Lawrence in the late sixties and early seventies was hardly advanced. After all, it was, and still is, Kansas. The occupation of the East Asian Studies building was neither planned nor organized. As I understand the facts, shortly before the takeover a well-known feminist (whose name escapes me) gave a talk on campus, which inspired several of the young women to ‘do something,’ resulting in the spontaneous occupation of the building, and the birth of the February Sisters.

My late father, Social Welfare Professor Norm Forer, well-known at the time as the ‘Campus Radical, was requested by Chancellor Laurence Chalmers to meet with women, ascertain their concerns and demands, and otherwise act as a intermediary between the central administration and the group.

As my father told me the story several years later, he was somewhat surprised with the response when he inquired as to their demands--they had none. In so many words he explained to the leadership that when one occupies a building, well-established rules for radicals require a political action to have an intent and purpose, and in the garden variety case of students occupying a campus building, demands were typically made by the occupiers consistent with that particular movement’s philosophy and goals.

Well, the women got to work and drew up a list of demands, which my father delivered to the Chancellor. As my father tells me, the Chancellor was ‘relived’ that the demands were ‘reasonable’ and the occupation was thereafter amicably and quickly resolved to the satisfaction of all parties, and without the threat or use of force.

An interesting tidbit of ‘inside history.’ .

Bob Forer

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