Mount Holyoke's Weissman Center Presents Family Matters Series

Events to address civil unions and women's role in the American military

For Immediate Release,
February 13, 2007

Contact Janet Lansberry

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass.--Family Matters, the spring 2007 series of Mount Holyoke's Weissman Center for Leadership and the Liberal Arts, will focus on two compelling contemporary issues that are shaping and redefining families in and beyond the United States.

The series will begin February 15 with "Civil Rites: Marriage, Partnerships, and Same-Sex Unions," an event that will set in historical, political, legal, and social context the ongoing events, activism, and debates relating to marriage and civil unions. The event will take place at 7:30 pm in Gamble Auditorium in the Art Building.

Panelists include Katherine Arnup, hailed as one of Canada's most respected scholars on same-sex marriage; Mary Hunt, an established scholar, lesbian feminist theologian, and cofounder and codirector of W.A.T.E.R., the Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual; Pedro Julio Serrano, who works for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and is a respected leader in the Latino LGBT movement (in 1998 Serrano became the first openly gay political candidate in the history of Puerto Rico to run for office); and Nancy Whittier, an associate professor of sociology at Smith College, who focuses on the contributions of social movements to changes in public policy and culture.

The series continues with "Home Fronts: Women and the Realities of War" March 8 at 7:30 pm in Gamble Auditorium in the Art Building. The program will address the substantial ways in which women are shaping today's American military and responding, at home and on the front lines abroad, to the war on terror and the current military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Through public roundtable discussions and workshops, the event will address the ways in which the family functions and evolves as a private and public entity.

Panelists include Kristin Henderson, an author, journalist, and military spouse known for her writings about military issues and military families and author of While They're At War: The True Stories of American Families on the Homefront; Erin Solaro, author of Women in the Line of Fire: What You Should Know About Women in the Military; Brenda Moore, a former Army reserve officer and a nationally recognized sociologist whose research and publications focus on military sociology, race and ethnic relations, and gender and social stratification; and Lisa Thomas-Prowell '97, a Mount Holyoke alumna whose husband, Kerry, is an active duty major in the U.S. Army Acquisition Corps. During her husband's tenure as a company commander, Thomas-Prowell led the company's Family Readiness Group, which offered support to the 248 soldiers and their family members.

Family Matters also will feature student leadership workshops. These sessions, held on mornings following public discussions, enable students to meet with guest speakers and to learn more about event-related academic and professional opportunities.

Related Link:

Family Matters

Weissman Center for Leadership and the Liberal Arts