Monday, October 30, 2023

Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Program is Part of the Dialogues Across Differences Project 

Creating a Calling In Culture within the Reproductive Health, Human Rights, and Justice Movements

Loretta Ross, Smith College

Professor Ross will speak on transforming the Calling Out Culture into a Calling In Culture within the Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice movements. She is committed to changing our national dialogue and improving our work on human rights by inviting us to deeply explore how we can most effectively affect change in our society to protect women’s human rights.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and is part of the Dialogues Across Differences Project, which is funded by a grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. The program is also co-sponsored by the Women’s & Gender Resource Center, the Department of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies, and the Churchill Fund.  In addition, it is part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Topic overview written by Phuong Hoang ’26, Clarke Forum Student Project Manager

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Loretta J. Ross is an Associate Professor at Smith College. As a 2022 recipient of the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” award, she is an activist, public intellectual, and scholar. Her passion is innovating creative imagining about global human rights and social justice issues. As the third director of the first rape crisis center in the country in the 1970s, she helped launch the movement to end violence against women that has evolved into today’s #MeToo movement. She also founded the first center in the U.S. to innovate creative human rights education for all students so that social justice issues are more collaborative and less divisive. She has also deprogrammed members of hate groups leading to conceptualizing and writing a book on Calling In the Calling Out Culture to transform how people can overcome political differences to use empathy and respect to guide difficult conversations.

Loretta started her career in activism and social change in the 1970s, working at the National Football League Players’ Association, the D.C. Rape Crisis Center, the National Organization for Women (NOW), the National Black Women’s Health Project, the Center for Democratic Renewal (National Anti-Klan Network), the National Center for Human Rights Education, and SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, until retiring as an organizer in 2012 to teach about activism.

Her most recent books are Reproductive Justice: An Introduction, co-written with Rickie Solinger, and Radical Reproductive Justice: Foundations, Theory, Practice, Critique. Her forthcoming book, Calling In the Calling Out Culture, is due in 2024.

She has been quoted in the New York Times, Time Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post, among others. In addition, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2023.

Related Links

TED Talk: Don’t call people out — call them in
Article: Teaching Tolerance Magazine, Southern Poverty Law Center, “Speaking Up Without Tearing Down” 
Article: The New York Times, “What if Instead of Calling People Out, We Called Them In?” by Jessica Bennett 
Podcast: Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris, “How to Call People In (Instead of Calling Them Out) 

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