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SimmonsPalooza Launched

February 20, 2013

What do Gloria Steinem, Bread & Roses, Whitney Young, Women on Boards, banned books, Simmons Global Day of Service, Stand against Racism, and the Boston Citywide Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast have in common?

They are all part of the SimmonsPalooza, which launched in December with “Onawumi Jean Moss: The Soulful Storyteller,” continued with Simmons students representing the College at the MLK Jr. breakfast, and is lining up events and activities for 2013 and beyond around the theme: “1965 to 2015: Changing Our World Through Social Justice and Activism.”

SimmonsPalooza’s goals are to:

  • Celebrate Simmons’s history of increasing inclusiveness – and the ongoing struggle, at Simmons, in the United States, and the world, for social justice and inclusion.
  • Bring together, highlight, and support existing and new diversity and inclusion programs and activities of the College.
  • Build ongoing celebrations of Simmons’s social activism into the traditions of the College (e.g., May Day) and annual commemorations and celebrations (e.g., Women’s History Month).
  • Create a greater sense of community and student-centeredness.

Sponsored by the President’s Diversity and Inclusion Council (PDIAC), the SimmonsPalooza is collaborating with faculty, staff, and students to support existing and create new programs with those goals in mind.

Chaired by Gary Bailey (Professor of Practice, SSW), the SimmonsPalooza team of Jawad Brown, Donna Dolan, Mary Dutkiewicz, Lisa Smith McQueenie, and Richard Voos recently announced funding support for seven proposals. The program titles alone reinforce the theme: “Give a Damn,” “Resilience and Liberation,” “Stand Against Racism.” Perhaps the largest event of the semester will be Gloria Steinem’s return to campus. She received an honorary degree from Simmons in 1973 and will spend time with students, alumnae, faculty, and staff on Friday, March 22 at 7 p.m. for a talk on “The F Word: Feminism Today.” Ticket information will be available in the upcoming weeks.