Face Everything And Rise

January 18 - January 25, 2020

James L. Farmer, Jr., leader and activist of the Civil Rights Movement, highlighted the true process of social change when he stated, “Anyone who said they weren’t afraid during the civil rights movement was either a liar or without imagination. I was scared all the time. My hands didn’t shake, but inside I was shaking.” In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and countless others who chose to vacate their comfort zones and stand for a cause, this year’s MLK Week challenges us to redefine the definition of fear and its role in the fight for freedom and equality. As individuals (and a community), we must remember to never be deterred by fear, as it is an essential milestone in successfully combating systematic racism and oppression. This year’s theme will challenge you to redefine, persevere, and overcome the urge to fear everything and run, but rather Face Everything And Rise.

Click on the boxes below to get more information on each event!

Thank you to our committee members and sponsors!
  • Teshia Griswald-Koffi
  • Frances Battle
  • Steven Bell
  • Ella Blanchard
  • Cha McNeil
  • Matthew Wong
  • Eric Nhem
  • Franci Taylor
  • Meligha Garfield
  • JaTara Smith
  • Kaya Aman
  • Feleti Matagi
  • Emily Pantoja
  • Sheena McFarland
  • Kadija Mohamed
  • Erica Rojas
  • Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Bennion Center
  • Utah Presents
  • Black Cultural Center
  • David Eccles School of Business
  • East High School
  • Hinckley Insitute of Politics
  • ASUU
  • Office for Health Equity and Inclusion

Past Events

2019

Indigenous Rising: Warriors in Leadership

For Native American women, the election of Davids and Haaland reclaims their ancestral right to leadership in a society that has undermined the power of Indigenous women. The Inter-Tribal Student Association chose to honor these women with Indigenous Rising: Warriors in Leadership as a way to highlight the return of women to their place of leadership.

2019

MLK 2019

MLK Week 2019 served as a call to action for young people across our campus to engage in grassroots movements and communities that promote social change. Keynote Charlene Carruthers Carruthers lead a discussion on the power of grassroots movements, youth leadership development work, ways to strategize activism and build community solidarity.

2019

Redefine

This year’s Women’s Week theme “Redefine” explored what it means to be powerful or to be radically creative. Keynote Gabby Rivera explored the definition of these traits and how to incorporate them into work, communities, and daily lives.

2019

Queeroes: Reclaiming Hero

Pride Week 2019 highlighted queeroes in modern-day, who are taking a stand against bigotry and discrimination. This year’s theme, “Queeroes: Reclaiming Hero” recognized the hero in all of us – especially the heroic efforts exerted by each LGBTQIA+ person as they live their lives every day.

2018

TOXIC: A Conversation on Environmental Racism

This year’s theme addresses the intentionality of environmental racism through systems and policies that disproportionately regulate zoning laws, chemical and toxic waste, and access to natural resources for communities of color as a way to further inequity of social, economic, and political power.

2018

Resilience: We are powerful because we have survived.

Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress. For social justice movements, the term has also come to reflect attention to resilience through individuals and group actions. People are engaging in politics, activism and the arts to improve their personal situations, but also move society as a whole. This year’s theme highlighted the lived experiences of women with events focused on the power of resilience that women, and especially women of color, have shown, and continue to demonstrate, in the face of increasingly repressive policies.

2018

In Honor of Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women

Historically, for many tribes, women are the heart and backbone of their communities. From colonization to the present, there have been disproportionally higher rates of violence and assault towards indigenous women. Though there is little official collection of data, many families recount stories of missing family members. This year’s theme focused on creating awareness around the widespread problem facing women in indigenous communities.

2018

Em(body) Pride: Art. Activism. Accountability.

Pride Week 2018 featured author and spoken word artist Sonya Renee Taylor and her work around radical self-love for our bodies. “Embody Pride: Art. Activism. Accountability” was a call for folks to express, represent, and make tangible their Pride in the ways that make sense for their specific identities and bodies, particularly through different art mediums.

2018

Unified Resistance: Tales of the White Rose

Unified resistance groups seeking civil rights today are primarily led by our youth and influenced by our current social, economic, political and environmental climate. Keynote Jud Newborn, drew lessons and parallels of the Holocaust – particularly the German university students who formed the Nazi resistance group called the White Rose – to the resistance in today’s current events.

2017

We Live It. We Breathe It.

Inspired by the analogy of Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum who describes systemic racism as smog in the air, this year explored the ways in which these systems are manifested and ways we can achieve more fundamental and systemic levels of change. “Sometimes it is so thick it is visible, other times it is less apparent, but always, day in and day out, we are breathing it in.” Keynote Ta-Nehisi Coates spoke to the policies, practices, behaviors, and ideas that have affected how we all navigate the socio-political and economic realms today and throughout our U.S. history.

2017

In recent years, scholars and activists have pointed out society’s desensitization to rape. Because sexual violence and rape happen often, and rarely go punished, we operate under the assumption that rape is an inevitable fact of life. This normalization of rape has led people to internalize beliefs and attitudes that condone and even encourage gendered sexual aggression and violence. The events of this year’s Womens Week promoted ways in which everyone can take steps to disrupt the current status.

Face Everything and Rise

January 18 - January 25, 2020

James L. Farmer, Jr., leader and activist of the Civil Rights Movement, highlighted the true process of social change when he stated, “Anyone who said they weren’t afraid during the civil rights movement was either a liar or without imagination. I was scared all the time. My hands didn’t shake, but inside I was shaking.” In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and countless others who chose to vacate their comfort zones and stand for a cause, this year’s MLK Week challenges us to redefine the definition of fear and its role in the fight for freedom and equality. As individuals (and a community), we must remember to never be deterred by fear, as it is an essential milestone in successfully combating systematic racism and oppression. This year’s theme will challenge you to redefine, persevere, and overcome the urge to fear everything and run, but rather Face Everything And Rise.

Click on the boxes below to get more information on each event!

Thank you to our committee members and sponsors!
  • Teshia Griswald-Koffi
  • Frances Battle
  • Steven Bell
  • Ella Blanchard
  • Cha McNeil
  • Matthew Wong
  • Eric Nhem
  • Franci Taylor
  • Meligha Garfield
  • JaTara Smith
  • Kaya Aman
  • Feleti Matagi
  • Emily Pantoja
  • Sheena McFarland
  • Kadija Mohamed
  • Teshia Griswald-Koffi
  • Frances Battle
  • Steven Bell
  • Ella Blanchard
  • Cha McNeil
  • Matthew Wong
  • Eric Nhem
  • Franci Taylor
  • Meligha Garfield
  • JaTara Smith
  • Kaya Aman
  • Feleti Matagi
  • Emily Pantoja
  • Sheena McFarland
  • Kadija Mohamed

Past Events

2017

Be Legendary, Honoring Our Unity: A Tribute to the Northern Ute Tribe

Despite the low number of American Indian students at the U, the opportunity to receive an education creates the responsibility to legendary and give back to their community. Though this year’s Powwow was dedicated to the Northern Ute Tribe, ITSA also wanted to highlight the unity that Native American tribes have demonstrated during recent events, such as the opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

2017

Queer Resistance: Revisiting Past, Reclaiming Present, Reimagining Future

This year’s Pride Week at the U explored past and present forms of resistance and imagined what queer resistance can and should encompass. This included guests Julio Salgado and J Mase III who both approach their work as a means to engage in activism that re-centers intersectional identities in movements where these are typically ignored: immigration and trans people of color.

2017

The Power of Propaganda

Although most agree that propaganda was a critical tool during the Holocaust, many don’t easily recognize the continuation of propaganda as a tool for promoting political agendas and shaping political climate. College students are constantly connected to mainstream media and are avid consumers of the narratives that shape the public perception of certain ethnic and religious groups. This year’s events analyzed 1940’s Nazi propaganda with Keynote Jason Stanley and examined how propaganda operates subtly, undermines democracy, and damages democracies of the past.

2016

The Political Body

How we approach women’s health — as individuals, communities and as a country — is tied up in broad issues of political personhood and women’s rights. This year’s theme, “The Political Body” focused on the political implications of legislated regulation of women’s bodies. Topics included adoption as a form of reproductive access, campus rape culture, and local access to health care for marginalized communities. Former Texas state Senator Wendy Davis delivered a keynote address on the implications of removing access to reproductive health care.

2016

Activism: Now It's Our Turn

Like so many social movements in the past, young people have been at the center of driving social change. With technological advances and the use of social media, activism has changed over time. All of this year’s events are geared toward exploring the many complex topics and critiques around contemporary social actions through the lens of youth activism. The year’s theme focused on youth activism and strategies employed in current social movements, including the use and effectiveness of activism through social media, art, demonstration, acts of solidarity and ally work. Legendary rapper and activist Talib Kweli delivered the week’s keynote address, where he discussed his personal experiences as an activist through music and the importance of continued engagement by today’s youth.

2016

Sustaining Our Culture

The term “powwow” originates from a Narragansett word, pau wau. It became an instrumental platform for passing down knowledge such as language, song, dance and medicine. Today, the powwow at the U is an opportunity for tribal members throughout the Intermountain West and others to meet to honor the cultural and religious practices of the American Indian community.This year’s northern host drum was White Bull and the southern host drum was performed by Southern Style.

2016

Queering Safe Spaces

When it comes to sanctuary spaces for the LGBTQIA+ community, oftentimes these spaces are found in realms of art, athletics, or various social pockets in the community. Sanctuary spaces offer refuge and a sense of freedom, but what happens when these spaces end up excluding parts of the community or are no longer safe? This year’s theme explored the meaning of a “safe space” and how they affect those included – or excluded – in those realms. Featured guests included Jeff Sheng, Sky Cubacub, and B Cole.

2016

Misrepresented. Misunderstood.

Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are two well-known phenomena that fuel religious discrimination. Though they stem from distinctly different histories and ideologies, both have historically and recently been triggered by economic, political and social stress, and its perpetrators relied heavily on misrepresentation and misunderstanding of a religious community. Guest speakers Professors Reuven Firestone and Simran Jeet Singh explored how these two phenomena differ, but also how they illuminate one another.

2015

Stolen Rights: Repressed. Revoked. Redefined.

Focused on civil rights that have been repressed throughout history; revoked in current events; and redefined through service, art, and activism, Princeton professor, activist and author Imani Perry gave the week’s keynote address on recent police shootings, the battle of racial inequality, and American race relations in the 21st century.

2015

Consider it Handled

Women’s Week offers a forum for students, faculty and the community at large to have an open dialogue on issues around gender inequality, sexual identity, women in leadership, mentorship and empowerment. This year’s theme guided workshops and dialogues on advocacy and allyship within leadership, money management, networking, and community building.

2015

Sustaining Our Culture

The Sustaining our Culture Powwow is a time for American Indian/Alaskan Native students, faculty, and staff to come together and promote appropriate representation of their culture on campus. Additionally, the Powwow provides an opportunity for the Inter-Tribal Student Association to engage and connect with the larger American Indian/Alaskan Native community in the Wasatch Front. This year’s northern host drum was North Bear, a celebrated drum group from the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. Grayhawk, a local Utah group performed the southern host drum.

2015

Pride Week at the U

Diversity and inclusiveness are core values of the U, and Pride Week celebrates the diversity of gender and sexual identities among the larger campus community and diversity within the LGBTQIA+ community. The week’s events provided a forum to promote the visibility of and diversity within the LGBTQIA+ community, engage in dialogue around LGBTQIA+ identities and issues and provide welcoming and affirming spaces for LGBTQIA+ students, faculty and staff.

2015

Policing Sexuality Then & Now

This year’s theme explored normalization and the oppression of non-heterosexual individuals during the German Holocaust. The events were a platform to discuss ways in which sexual desire and orientation are policed in the 21st century. The University of Utah’s U Remembers logo stands both as an act of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust and stance against genocide. The open hand asks for forgiveness while securing the eternal flame. We must not let history repeat itself. The U Remembers.

2015

Theme

2014

Beneath the Hoodie: A Look at Racial Profiling in America

MLK 2014 created a platform for a discussion of police brutality and racial profiling. The keynote address was given by Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, one of the leading hip-hop generation intellectuals in the country. Additional guests included Sybrina Fulton and Joaquin Zihuatanejo.

2014

What Matters

The University of Utah has a strong commitment to helping women succeed. The university has programs in place to support women year-round, and taking a week to celebrate women elevates those programs. This year aimed to allow women to connect with each other, identify goals and passions and learn skills to confront challenges that inhibit their progress. This included a dialogue on how to support parents in the workplace, collaborative workshops, and exploring social barriers that prevent success.

2014

Imagine U: Beyond Marriage, Moving Forward

This year’s theme focused on living authentically by achieving equality beyond marriage and gender expectations. Keynote Laverne Cox shared personal experiences to explore how the intersections of race, class, and gender affect the lives of transgender women of color.

2014

U Remembers

How does your community remember? This year’s theme, “U Remembers,” focused on communal memory – how people collectively look back at events through memorials, artwork, museums and other actions. The Holocaust epitomizes one of the darkest periods of world history – an example of human cruelty played out on a massive scale. It exemplifies a powerful majority’s refusal to tolerate minorities and to respect their right to survive. Commemorating the Holocaust provides an opportunity to reflect on this tragic failing and to understand that the victims were human beings just like us. Preventing this type of atrocity from reoccurring can only succeed if we can begin to recognize the other as ourselves.

2014

Face Everything And Rise

James L. Farmer, Jr., leader and activist of the Civil Rights Movement, highlighted the true process of social change when he stated, “Anyone who said they weren’t afraid during the civil rights movement was either a liar or without imagination. I was scared all the time. My hands didn’t shake, but inside I was shaking.” In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and countless others who chose to vacate their comfort zones and stand for a cause, this year’s MLK Week challenges us to redefine the definition of fear and its role in the fight for freedom and equality. As individuals (and a community), we must remember to never be deterred by fear, as it is an essential milestone in successfully combating systematic racism and oppression. This year’s theme will challenge you to redefine, persevere, and overcome the urge to fear everything and run, but rather Face Everything And Rise.

2013

Justice for All: At What Cost?

The keynote address was given by Rev. Jesse Jackson, a world-renowned civil rights activist and politician who worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and has since continued the fight for social change. At his sold-out event, he challenged attendees to “honor the American promise of equal rights and possibilities for all”.

2013

Learning through Giving: Mentoring Young Women

Keynote Dr. Edith “Winx” Lawrence presented her thoughts on the benefits of mentoring to both adolescent and college women in the areas of self-esteem and finding one’s passions and meaningful careers that can make a difference in critical issues young women face today.

2013

Pride Has Many Voices

This year’s Pride Week at the U explored the diversity and intersectionality within the LGBTQIA+ community. This included a panel on trans identity in diverse communities and performance and Q&A with Dan Savage.

2013

70 Years Later: Remembering the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943

This year’s theme recalled the largest Jewish revolt of World War II. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising represents the indomitable human spirit rising up against impossible odds in the face of abject horror and inhumanity. Keynote Peter Black, Senior Historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, focused on genocide motivated by religious and ethnic hatred. Highlights included the significance of religious discrimination as well as the role that all religions play in resisting and combating intolerance.

2012

Moving Forward

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” This year’s events shared experiences of overcoming obstacles and reaching milestones.

2012

Powerful Beyond Measure: Women, Work & Education

This year’s theme honored the achievements women have made professionally and the importance of education in those achievements while focusing on the conflicts and challenges encountered by various identities in education, research, healthcare, and the workplace. Keynote Dr. Cynthia A. Bioteau, the first woman CEO of Salt Lake Community College, discussed her expertise and passion for establishing accessible and critical education for all community members.

2012

Pride Has No Borders

The theme for the week was “Pride Has No Borders.” Some of the more notable events included: A special production of “Geography Club” was put on by the Theatre Department; bingo night with the Cyber Sluts; showing and discussion of the documentary “Transgender Basics—Gender Identity Project (GIP)”; a panel discussion on the intersection of immigration and LGBTQIA+ identities; the annual Gay-la and Silent Auction.

2012

70 Years Later: Remembering the Wannsee Conference and the “Final Solution”

“1942 was the most astounding year of murder in the Holocaust. One of the most astounding years of murder in the whole history of mankind.” On the 70th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, Holocaust historian and keynote speaker Mark Roseman shared insights into the infamous January 1942 meeting in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee, where top Nazi leaders met to discuss and coordinate the Holocaust. “Wansee offers a window into a paradigm of a chilling, recognizably human, indescribably inhumane process of evolution and adaptation. [At Wansee] what we find is the capacity in individuals and the system to evolve and adapt into murder.”

2011

Reaffirming Equal Opportunity: Keeping the Dream Alive

This year strove to ‘keep the dream alive’ and highlighted the contributions and legacy of the late community leader as work continues toward the realization of equal opportunity for all. Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw and Dr. Michael A. Olivas gave keynote addresses on reaffirming equal opportunity and the dangers of anti-immigrant narratives, respectively.

2011

Ain’t Misbehaving: Women Making History, Fighting for Equality

In many areas, women are still fighting for equality. Both nationally and locally women are paid less than men for doing the same work; lag behind in graduation rates and in entering the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Women’s Week celebrates women’s accomplishments but also reminds us there is work to be done. Women’s Week 2011 highlighted the progress women have made toward equality in the workplace, education, athletics and more, while underscoring the need for continued strides toward full parity.

2011

Are U Out?

Pride Week at the University of Utah celebrates the contributions of LGBT students, faculty and alumni who enrich the culture of the campus and community. Together, we work to create an educational environment that fosters greater understanding and respect for all people. This year celebrated the remodel for the LGBT Resource Center and welcomed nationally-renowned gender rights activist Pauline Park and Broadway performer Staceyann Chin to campus.

2011

70 Years Later: Remembering the Nazi Invasion of the Soviet Union

On June 22, 1941, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union in what has been called a “war of annihilation” in Hitler’s quest for world domination and Jewish extermination. This week commemorated the Holocaust of World War II with an examination of this tragic invasion, in which hundreds of thousands of lives were lost. Millions of victims, including over 6 million Jews, were murdered by the Nazi regime during the Holocaust. The commemoration featured a keynote address by Peter Black, chief historian at the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D. C.

2009

Rights, Resistance, and Resilience: Indigenous Peoples Continue the Struggle

This year explored topics surrounding ethnocultural respect and indigenous rights on both a national and global perspective. Nobel Peace Prize recipient Rigoberta Menchu Tum gave the keynote address on resistance, activism, social justice, and ethnocultural reconciliation.

2008

A Right Delayed is a Right Denied

2007

Motherhood Matters: Challenges, Complications & New Definitions