Roanoke College Women’s Forum to spotlight dating, oppression, work-life balance and other topics relevant to women

Salem, Va.-With topics that include fighting women's oppression, gay marriage, dating and more, the upcoming Women's Forum at Roanoke College will feature events for a variety of interests.

In honor of National Women's History month, Roanoke will host its 7th Women's Forum this month. The forum's events feature or focus on women in areas across the liberal arts.

This year's forum will include speakers from around the country, thoughtful discussions, films and even a self-defense class. It kicks off on March 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Colket Center's Wortmann Ballroom with Zach Wahls, author of "My Two Moms."

The forum's finale will be on March 27 with guest speaker, Amber Madison, a dating and relationships expert and author of a book that could restore women's faith in men.

A detailed list of the forum's free public events is below. For more information about the forum, visit

Zach Wahls - Author of "My Two Moms"
Wednesday, March 13, 7:30pm, Colket Center Wortmann Ballroom

What makes a family? Zach Wahls tried to answer that question when he testified before the Iowa House Judiciary Committee in 2011. The son of two lesbian mothers, the University of Iowa engineering student had no idea that his heartfelt testimony that day would spread like viral wildfire. Wahls offers a bold perspective on an always contentious issue--gay marriage. You'll laugh, you may even cringe, and no matter your thoughts on marriage equality in our country, you'll walk away with a new perspective.
This event is sponsored by Roanoke's Sociology Department, College Democrats and the Office of Community Programs and Special Events.

Reader Performativity: Border Hopping as a Tool to Enrich One's Moral Life
Thursday, March 14, 4:30 p.m., Colket Center Kime Meeting Room

A reader of short stories is exposed to unique ethical complexities, especially when dealing with un-translated works. Using the work of Rosario Ferre, Dr. Minerva Ahumada will address these complexities, as well as explain how grappling with such issues can deepen and improve a reader's moral life. This event is sponsored by the D.L. Jordan Endowment for the Humanities.

From the Table to the Grave: Using Animal Bones to Uncover Past Human Behavior
Thursday, March 14, 6 p.m., Colket Center Pickle Lounge

Kristen Gardella has spent more than 19 years working on archaeological sites throughout North, Central and South America. She is currently the project zoo archaeologist for a multidisciplinary investigation studying climate change and early hunter-gatherer societies in the high Peruvian Andes. The event is sponsored by Roanoke's anthropology concentration and the Department of Fine Arts.

Women's Self Defense Class
Monday, March 18, 7 p.m., Colket Center Pickle Lounge

Don't be a victim, learn to defend yourself. Participate in a live workshop that demonstrates practical self-defense techniques that can be used in daily life.


Coffee Shop Conversation - Women in the Work Force: Balancing, Challenging, Progressing
Tuesday, March 19, 3-4 pm, Mill Mountain Coffee, Salem

The event is hosted by Roanoke's Honors Program.

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
Wednesday, March 20, 7:30 p.m., Colket Center Pickle Lounge

Discover the landmark movement that is galvanizing people to fight for the end of oppression of women and girls worldwide. Hidden in the overlapping problems of sex trafficking and forced prostitution, gender-based violence, and maternal mortality is the single most vital opportunity of our time - and women are seizing it. From Somaliland to Cambodia to Afghanistan, women's oppression is being confronted head on and real, meaningful solutions are being fashioned. Change is happening, and it's happening now. Learn more about Roanoke's Half the Sky initiatives.

Walking with Mindfulness
Thursday, March 21, Noon to 1 p.m., Chaplain's Office

Join the Roanoke College's women's spirituality group for a lunch discussion "Walking with Mindfulness." Living with more awareness and immediacy is key to staying vibrant. It is also a pathway to an increased sensitivity to God's presence. All women are welcome to join our group discussion as we explore ways to be more mindful of our daily encounters and experiences.  Lunch provided.  Walk-ins are welcome, but RSVP is helpful in planning lunch. For more information, please call Kathy Russo 375-2300.

Film Screening and Discussion - "The Education of Shelby Knox"
Thursday, March 21, 7 p.m., Colket Center Pickle Lounge

"The Education of Shelby Knox" is a Sundance award-winning film that chronicles Shelby's high school activism for comprehensive sex education and the establishment of a Gay Straight Alliance in her conservative hometown. This event is sponsored by the College's Sociology Department, Health Educators Awareness Team and the Office of Community Programs with Planned Parenthood Health Systems, Inc.

Praying the Stations with the Women of the World
Friday, March 22, Noon, Antrim Chapel

These stations were written as a way to walk in solidarity with women living in global poverty, often the sole caregivers of their children, women living in oppression, addiction, homelessness, abuse, etc.  They represent the suffering Christ in our midst.  Praying the Stations will take place from Noon to 12:30 p.m., with an optional discussion from 12:30-1 p.m. Bring a bag lunch for discussion time. For more information contact Kathy Russo, Chaplain's Office 375-2300.

Hispanic Women in Exile: The Quest for a Voice
Monday, March 25, 7:30 pm, Colket Center Wortmann Ballroom

This is a poetry performance to acknowledge Hispanic women who had to endure political and cultural exiles from Spain and Latin America. Their poetic voices allude to displacement, social and cultural (des)integration, and political denunciation. The performance is presented by the Modern Languages Department. For more information, contact Dr. Jose Banuelos-Montes.

Phi Beta Kappa Charter Week Speaker - "The Politics of Passion," Diana Taylor
Wednesday, March 27, 5 p.m., Colket Center Pickle Lounge

Diana Taylor is a professor of performance studies and Spanish at New York University, as well as founding director of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. She has edited more than a dozen books, and she is the author of several award-winning books, including "Theatre of Crisis: Drama and Politics in Latin America." She has two books forthcoming in Spanish. Taylor lectures extensively around the world, and she is the recipient of many awards and fellowships, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005. 

Amber Madison - Dating and Relationship Expert
Wednesday, March 27, 7:30 p.m., Colket Center Wortmann Ballroom

Amber Madison is a nationally noted dating and relationship expert and coach, and she's the author of several books, including "Talking Sex with Your Kids." She appears regularly in the media, and she is the sex and dating advice columnist for "Seventeen," as well as an award-winning lecturer. She returns to Roanoke College to discuss her latest book, "Are All Guys Assholes?"

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 8, 2013
Contact Name: Public Relations
Contact Phone: (540) 375-2282
Contact Email: