“True gems of Africa” and other speakers are on the program for next week’s African Lioness Symposium, presented by the UC Davis Blum Center for Developing Economies, a unit of Global Affairs, and the Davis-based Tese Foundation.
The symposium is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Monday (Nov. 5) at the UC Davis Conference Center. African attire is encouraged. Admission is free and open to the public; registration is required and can be arranged here.
The Blum Center and the Tese Foundation, which sponsors students in Zimbabwe, have organized the symposium around the theme, “Empowering a Generation: Reflections by African Women.”
“World-renowned international guests from Africa and African Diaspora will take the stage sharing their riveting success stories and struggles. These are the ‘African Lionesses’ — the true gems of Africa,” the organizers said.
The speakers include:
- Rahma Wako, a survivor of genital mutilation and early marriage who is now a woman human rights defender, or WHRD, and an active member of Mathare Social Justice Centre in Nairobi.
- Moleen “Molly” Madziva, who left her native Zimbabwe in 1995 to pursue a college education in the United States. She earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering, a master’s in software engineering and a Ph.D. in sustainability, and now works in biomedical engineering.
- Joy Mutare Fashu Kanu, who immigrated to the United States in 1997 after graduating from the University of Zimbabwe and who now combines activism with scholarship on patterns of disease within societies. She cofounded Project It Takes A Village, dedicated to mitigate social inequalities “one child at a time” by offering scholarships to primary and high school children who have been impacted by HIV/AIDS.
- Karima Bennoune, who grew up in Algeria and the United States, has been a professor of international law in the UC Davis School of Law since 2012. Before that, she worked as a legal adviser for Amnesty International and has since served as U.N. special rapporteur in the field of cultural rights.
The program also includes panel discussions covering a variety of topics, from genital cutting and child marriages, to charity and compassion and breaking the glass ceiling.
Several UC Davis officials will share information on their efforts to promote effective inclusion, diversity and equity on campus. The speakers: Ralph J. Hexter, provost and executive vice chancellor; Joanna Regulska, vice provost and associate chancellor of Global Affairs; Rahim Reed, associate executive vice chancellor and interim lead of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; and LeShelle May, wife of Chancellor Gary S. May.
The symposium program, including the AfroVibes dancers and African Drummers, will run from 4 to 6:30 p.m. A reception will follow, with African delicacies on the refreshment menu.
Sponsors include the UC Davis Office of Campus Community Relations; Department of African American and African Studies; UC Davis ADVANCE Program and its Center for the Advancement of Multicultural Perspectives on Science, or CAMPOS; Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Program, PERIOD @ UC Davis, International House and Davis Network for Africa.