Roanoke College to kick off Women’s Forum 2012

(From left to right) "Miss Representation" film image, Comedian Michelle Buteau, Author Tamara Duricka Johnson

(From left to right) "Miss Representation" film image, Comedian Michelle Buteau, Author Tamara Duricka Johnson

Salem, Va. - Talk about dating, meet a hip-hop artist and be inspired by women from all walks of life.

For two weeks this month, Roanoke College will host Women's Forum 2012. The forum kicks off March 13 with lectures, performances, discussions and other events that celebrate women's achievements. It coincides with National Women's History Month.

Highlights will include an appearance by Tamara Duricka Johnson, a Roanoke graduate who last fall published the book, "31 Dates in 31 Days," and a talk by Mary Badham, who played Scout in the 1962 movie class, "To Kill a Mockingbird."

There also will be an appearance by hip-hop artist, Toni Blackman, and a comedy show by nationally-known comedian, Michelle Buteau.

A detailed list of public events are below. For more information about the forum, visit

Women's Forum 2012 Kickoff - Film Screening: "Miss Representation"
Tuesday, March 13, 7:30 p.m., Colket Center Wortmann Ballroom

The film, "Miss Representation," challenges the media's limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which makes it difficult for them to achieve leadership positions and to feel powerful. Stories from teenage girls and provocative interviews with politicians, journalists, activists and academics, such as Condoleezza Rice, Katie Couric and Gloria Steinem, build momentum as "Miss Representation" accumulates startling facts and statistics.

Women's Spirituality Group lunch discussion - "Concentrated Stillness"
Thursday, March 15, Noon-1 p.m., Chaplain's Office

Join us for a discussion on "Concentrated Stillness" and the importance of creating stillness and time in our daily routine to connect with our inner soul. Lunch provided.

"To Kill a Mockingbird:" An Evening with Mary Badham
Thursday, March 15, 7:30 p.m., Colket Center Wortmann Ballroom

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of the classic movie, "To Kill a Mockingbird," Mary "Scout" Badham will speak about her film-making experiences and the impact that the 1962 movie has had on American society.

Religion and Philosophy Colloquium, "The Devil's Whore: Reason and Philosophy in the Lutheran Tradition"
Friday, March 16, 2:30 p.m., Monterey House

Guest scholar Dr. Jennifer Hockenbery Dragseth will lead a discussion of her latest book and new ways of doing and seeing philosophy.

Women's Twilight Retreat
Friday, March 16, 6-8 p.m., Antrim Chapel

The retreat will continue the theme of Concentrated Stillness. Come for a quiet evening exploring ways to bring quiet time to our busy lives. A light supper and refreshments will be provided.

Comedy Night with Michelle Buteau
Saturday, March 17, 9 p.m., Alumni Gym

Comedian Michelle Buteau's bouncy, sunny appearance is betrayed by her devilish wit. She recently made her late night stand-up debut on George Lopez's "Lopez Tonight," and she has performed at countless prestigious comedy festivals. Buteau is most recognized for her performances on NBC's "Last Comic Standing" and her appearances on Comedy Central's "Premium Blend." Tickets are free and available at or by calling (540) 378-5125.

Bead for Life
Monday, March 19, 11 a.m. -2 p.m., Pickle Lounge

Ugandan women turn colorful recycled paper into beautiful beads, which provide income for food, medicine, school fees and hope for the women, their families and their communities. All profits from Bead for Life are invested in the community development projects that help women work their way out of poverty. There will be beautiful handmade jewelry for sale as well as an ongoing video presentation detailing the program, how the beads are made and the women who make them.

Freestyle Hip-Hop Master Class with Artist-in-Residence, Toni Blackman
Monday, March 19, 7:30 p.m., Colket Center Wortmann Ballroom

Toni Blackman is an international champion of hip-hop culture, known for the irresistible, contagious energy of her performances and for her alluring female presence. An award-winning artist, her steadfast work and commitment to hip-hop led the U.S. Department of State to select her to work as the first ever hip-hop artist as an American Cultural Specialist. Highly respected as the founder and director of Freestyle Union, a cipher workshop that uses free styling as a tool to encourage social responsibility, Blackman's work has held great influence in the world of hip hop activism.

"Coffee Shop Conversations" with Artist-in-Residence, Toni Blackman
Tuesday, March 20, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Mill Mountain Coffee & Tea, Salem

Tamara Duricka Johnson: "31 Dates in 31 Days"
Wednesday, March 21, 7:30 p.m., Colket Center Wortmann Ballroom

After countless breakups and years of painfully bad dates, Tamara Duricka Johnson, a 1998 Roanoke College graduate, decided that it was time to take matters into her own hands. She spent a month going on 30 first dates, each costing less than $31, and blogging about them. On the 31st day of her project, which was Valentine's Day, Johnson allowed herself to go on a second date. One year later, Johnson and her date, Evan Johnson, were married. Her book about the dating project, "31 Dates in 31 Days," is sold online and in bookstores, including at Roanoke College.

Film Screening and Discussion - "Remarkable Women Saints"
Monday, March 26, 6 p.m., Kime Meeting Room

"Remarkable Women Saints" is a documentary film that depicts Catholic women who dedicated their lives to knowing and serving God. The documentary highlights St. Katharine Drexel, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Edith Stein and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. Mike Leonard, a veteran NBC Today Show correspondent and acclaimed filmmaker, is executive producer of this production.

"Lorca's Moon and Female Representation"
Tuesday, March 27, 7 p.m. Colket Center Wortmann Ballroom

The department of Modern Languages presents a bilingual poetry recital featuring readings by Roanoke students and faculty.

Roanoke College, a classic liberal arts college in Salem, Virginia, combines firsthand learning with valuable personal connections in a beautiful, undergraduate setting. Roanoke is one of just seven percent of colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. The Princeton Review lists Roanoke as the 18th most beautiful campus in its "Best 376 Colleges" 2012 guidebook.

Released: March 6, 2012
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