Keynotes and Plenaries

4W Women & Wellbeing Keynote

FEMRITE – Art; Activism; Change: Uganda Women Writers Shifting the Centre

Virtual Event: Friday, April 9 at 10:00-11:30am

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Co-Organized by the Department of Afro-American Studies 

and the 4W Women & Wellbeing Initiative

FEMRITE – Uganda Women Writers Association founded in the early 1990s and registered in May 1996 was one of the earliest writers associations in Africa. It was established to support, nurture, promote, train and empower women writers looking to write and get published. Since inception, FEMRITE has consistently worked towards developing and empowering women writers, thereby contributing to women’s emancipation and providing alternative narratives, making it one of the most successful writers’ organisations in Africa.

This presentation will highlight FEMRITE’s beginnings and acts of activism that have seen the organisation register remarkable achievements, and the impact the organisation has had, not only in Uganda, but on the the continent as well through various partnerships. FEMRITE has fundamentally changed the face of writing and publishing in Africa over the past two decades.

Goretti Kyomuhendo

Goretti is one of Uganda’s leading novelists. She holds an MA in creative writing from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Her début novel, The First Daughter, was published in 1996, followed by Secrets No More in 1999, which won the Uganda National Literary Award for Best Novel in the same year. In 2002, she published a novella, Whispers from Vera. Her third novel, Waiting, was published by The Feminist Press in New York in 2007. In 2014, she published the Essential Handbook for African Creative Writers. She has also published short stories and children’s books. Goretti is a founding member of FEMRITE –Uganda Women Writers’ Association and Publishing House –and worked as its first Director for ten years (1997-2007).In 2009, she founded and is now Director of the African Writers Trust, an organization that aims to bridge the divide between African writers and publishing professionals living in the Diaspora and on the continent, bringing them together in order to promote synergies between the groups. Goretti was the first Ugandan woman to receive an International Writing Program fellowship at the University of Iowa, and has since participated in many literary events internationally. In 2013, Goretti was one of the five international judges for the Commonwealth Book Prize. She lives in the UK and Uganda.

Hilda Twongyeirwe

Hilda J. Twongyeirwe is a Ugandan Feminist, a mother and a member of different women empowerment initiatives including FEMRITE, Uganda’s Women Writers Association; Action for Development; and the Pan-African Graca Machel Trust’s Women in Media Network. A founding member of FEMRITE, Ms. Twongyeirwe is FEMRITE’s current executive director, a position which has enabled her to initiate and contribute to several actions for the advancement of women writing in Africa. She is a member of the Permanent Bureau of African-Asian-Latin American Writers Union and the National Book Trust of Uganda. She received the Uganda Government National Medal in recognition of her contribution to women empowerment and emancipation through Literary Arts. She is also a recipient of The Women for Women Award -Uganda 2018 and Uganda Registration Services Bureau Recognition Award 2018 for contribution to Uganda’s Cultural and Literary arts. She holds a Master of Arts Degree in Public Administration and Management from Makerere University, Kampala. She is a published writer of short stories, poetry and creative non-fiction and an editor of several literary works by women writers. Her political satire short story, “Baking the National Cake” was translated into Vietnamese in a journal of Vietnamese writers. Her poem, “Threshold,” introduces a section in Mire Soraya’s memoir against Female Genital Mutilation titled The Girl with Three Legs. Ms. Twongyeirwe is one of the “New Daughters of Africa” in Margaret Busby’s ground-breaking 2019 anthology of women writers of African descent.

Student Poetry Reading:

Picture of Agnes Phoebe

Agnes Phoebe Muyanga (she/her) is a PhD student in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies at the University of Kansas. She is a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in the Department of Gender & Women’s Studies (MA, 2020) and the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis (MS, 2017). Her research explores the intersection of Feminist Activism and Ethical Caring Practices in Uganda.

Picture of Omolola Okunlola

Omotola Okunlola is a PhD student at the African Cultural Studies department, UW-Madison. She earned her BA and MA degrees in English from Obafemi Awolowo University and the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, respectively. Her research interests lie at the intersection of popular culture, gender and literary studies. In 2018, she was a Fulbright Scholar at the African Cultural Studies department.

Picture of Astou Gueye

Astou Fall Gueye is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of African Cultural Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Gueye’s dissertation investigates Jongé, a set of embodied and discursive practices revolving around Senegalese womanhood, femininity, and sexuality. She examines how Senegalese women in the diaspora negotiate this concept in their daily lives. Her work shows how not only cultural practices but even conceptions of gender gain new meanings when transplanted into a different context.  

 Her other research interests are Francophone Women’s writings, film studies, and Popular Culture.




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Language, Intentions, & Meanings: Women Poetic Voices from Latin America

Featuring Nadia López García and Alicia Borinsky, along with a bilingual poetry reading by 4W WIT

Virtual Event: Saturday, April 10th, 1:30-3:00pm

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With the underlying ideas that poetry is ultimately an act of translation and that the praxis of literary translation becomes a poetic event in itself, the 4W Living Poetry: Women in Translation Initiative (4W-WIT) will be presenting a brief selection of their bilingual poems by Latin American contemporary writers and scholars. Questions on the meaning of translation as a collective approach that aims to reimagine a larger cultural dialogue on issues of genre, wellbeing, urban and rural sustainability, will also be address. This event will end with the participation of our invited guest and collaborator, Mexican Mixtec poet Nadia López García, who will be presenting “Mujeres con alas. Escritura en lenguas originarias” [Women with Wings. Literature in Indigenous Languages]. English translation will be provided.

Women in Translation panelThe 4W-International Women Collective Translation Project at the University of Wisconsin Madison gathers a community of readers, translators and interpreters from various disciplines and institutions as part of a collaborative translation praxis of literary texts by writers from the Americas and Spain. Literary and translation studies, cultural anthropology, education, public health, cancer biology, and gender and women studies are among the disciplines and institutional fields of research represented in the group. Readings and discussions of selected texts aim to illuminate the multiple perspectives, cultural experiences and depth of each one of them, crucial elements required for the creation of new versions done either in English or Spanish.

This collective translation approach inspires also a larger dialogue with the writers themselves, along with literary critics and other professional translators. Indeed, the collaborative effort—one that has shaped key cultural or artistic groups and movements in the past such as Avant Garde literary movements, Mexican Muralism or the Cartoneras Editorial Houses, to name a few—makes this translation initiative a real “zone of contact” with the different linguistic experiences, knowledges and cultural backgrounds that collaborators from Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Panamá, Nicaragua, England, France, Spain, Poland and the USA contribute to the task of translation.


Nadia López García
Image provided by Wikipedia under the Creative Commons BY-SA 4 License

Nadia López García

“Mujeres con alas: Escritura en lenguas originarias / Women with Wings: Literature in Indigenous Languages”

Tu’un Savi (Mixtec), known as Nadia López García in Spanish, is a writer, essayist and award-winning poet. A promoter of her Mixtec culture, she was awarded of the 2017 Cenzontle Prize in indigenous literatures, the 2018 Youth National Literary Prize, and the 2019 Mexico City Youth Literary Prize. She has published the poetry collections Ñu´ú Vixo /Tierra mojada [Wetted Earth] (2018) and Tikuxi Kaa/El Tren, [The Train] (2019). Her work has been translated into Arabic, English, French, Hindi and Catalan [and now into English by 4W-WIT]. She has also participated in numerous recitals, poetry festivals and workshops in Mexico, India, Colombia, Guatemala, Puerto Rico and other parts of the United States. Forbes listed her as one of the “most creative Mexicans of 2018.” Born in the community  of Caballo Rucio, Mixteca Alta, Oaxaca, Nadia studied Pedagogy at the School of Philosophy and Letters at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, (UNAM) and Pedagogical Anthropology and Education at the University of Barcelona. Additionally, she has studies Comparative Politics of Migration in the MA Immigration Management Program at the Universidad Pompeu Fabra Barcelona, Spain.


Alicia Borinsky

Alicia Borinsky is a fiction writer, poet and literary critic writing in English and Spanish. Among her bilingual volumes of poetry are Frivolous Women and Other Sinners, Lost Cities Go to Paradise and My Husband’s Woman. She is the recipient of several awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Latino Award for Fiction, and the author of numerous scholarly volumes. Her most recent book in English is One Way Tickets, Writers and the Culture of Exile. She is currently Professor of Latin American and Comparative Literature at Boston University and Head of Spanish.

Title:  IS SHE LAUGHING AGAINST ME? Poetry and the politics of embarrassment


Resistance and Reimagination in the Health of African Americans:  Programs and Poetry

Virtual Event: Friday, April 9 at 4-5:30pm

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The African American Health Network is a non-profit organization whose mission is to foster networking among African American health professionals and community health advocates and promote health education, healthy lifestyles, self-advocacy, empowerment and well-being among African Americans in Dane County.

Eva Marie Vivian

Eva Marie Vivian

Eva Marie Vivian is a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy. She received her doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy in 1995, Master of Science in Population Health from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in 2013, and Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin- Madison School of Human Ecology in 2020.

Eva has been referred to as “the researcher with a servant’s heart” because of her service to underserved communities in Madison, WI. She is the current president of the African American Health Network of Dane County whose mission is to promote health education, healthy lifestyles, self-advocacy, empowerment and well-being among African Americans in Dane County. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Access Community Health Centers, a local federally qualified health center; and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Metropolitan Madison Chapter of the Links, organizations that work tirelessly toward social justice.

Ms. Charlie DanielsMs. Charlie Daniel

Ms. Charlie Daniel has been an award-winning advocate and ally to underrepresented groups for more than 35 years. She is past Education Director for Minority Students and Displaced Homemakers through the WI Technical College System, and past President of Access Community Health Centers. She is currently Director and Founder of the African American Opioid Coalition and Program Coordinator for Falls Prevention at Safe Communities Dane County, and remains active in many national, regional, and local service organizations. She is also an original member of the African American Health Network.


Fabu Phillis CarterFabu Phillis Carter

Fabu, as she is professionally known, is a poet, columnist, storyteller, and an educator who works and writes to encourage, inspire, and remind.  As the Madison Poet Laureate (2008-2012), she continues to share experiences living in the South, the Midwest and in Africa.  As an outreach specialist for the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease and Research Center, she recruits African Americans into memory studies and facilitates free Get Movin’ Exercise classes (a day and night class), a free computer class with DoIt and the Urban League of Greater Madison, as well as educational events for brain health. Fabu was selected as the 2019 recipient of the School of Medicine and Public Health Staff Award for Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the 2019 award-winner from the Madison Black Chamber of Commerce for making her love of poetry into a business.  She received the 2016 UW Madison Women of Color Award for her work in poetry and community.  Poet Fabu is also a recent graduate with a PhD from the African Women’s Center at the University of Nairobi. She is a scholar of African American literature, and published four books of poetry: Poems, Dreams and Roses; In Our Own Tongues; Journey to Wisconsin:  African American Life in Haiku; and Love Poems.

Gale Johnson

Gale Johnson

Gale Johnson (Moderator) has been the director of the Wisconsin Well Woman Program (WWWP) in the Department of Health Services for more than 20 years. This statewide program is Wisconsin’s component of the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Ms. Johnson is a past Chair of the CDC Council for Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control. For three years she was also a member of the CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection and Control Advisory Committee. For many years, Ms. Johnson has been a very active member of the Wisconsin Women of Color Network. She has also been a member of the African American Health Network of Dane County since its inception in 2003. Recognizing the importance of women living long healthy lives, Ms. Johnson has coordinated health programs for both organizations.

Ms. Johnson is a “life-long learner” and has had the opportunity to work with, and learn from many outstanding clinicians, researchers, advocates and community leaders who are dedicated to the health and well-being of women and their families.

4W STREETS:  “Pedagogy of Care: Artistic Tools for Discussing Human Trafficking”

Virtual Event: Thursday, April 8, 11:00am-12:30pm

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Social Transformations to End Exploitation and Trafficking for Sex (STREETS) is contributing to the end of human trafficking through education and action research that is grounded in the perspectives and preferences of survivors. STREETS aims to be an effective voice in the academic, legal, and policy realms, impacting communities locally and globally through creative collaborations. Through this work, STREETS has built a community of engaged scholars, practitioners, and survivors from around the world whose continued collaboration is centered on survivor-led policy and programs for healing and growth across the life course.

4W STREETS poster
Cassie Barwick, Hannah Redpath, and Justine Hill combined multiple images and ideas to speak on multiple themes, such as empowerment, community, and education.


Araceli Alonso, Rachel Sina, Justine Hill, Sruti Mohan

Moderator:  Jean Geran


Virtual Event: Thursday, April 8, 4:00-5:30pm

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Crip of Color Made Mutual Aid and Survival Networks in the Triple Pandemic

A Virtual Performance Lecture

Co-Organized by

The UW System Gender and Women’s Studies Consortium

The Mellon-Borghesi Workshop on Care: Politics, Performances, Publics, Practices,

and Co-Sponsored by

UW-Madison’s Gender & Sexuality Campus Center, The Department of Asian American Studies, The Department of English, and 4W

**Funding also provided by University Lectures, UW-Madison

The future is disabled and so is the present! In the 2020 triple pandemic of COVID-19, white supremacist and fascist violence and ableism, disabled people, as we have always done, have created so many ways to fight for our own and our communities’ survival – organizing that is often invisible to the abled.  In this performance lecture, disability justice/transformative justice writer, organizer and poet Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha will share new poetry and writing and stories about disability justice survival strategies and tactics, what happens when mutual aid erases disabled BIPOC labor and brilliance, and ask us to reflect on our own survival pathways. Q&A to follow.

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha (she/they) is a queer disabled autistic nonbinary femme writer, educator and disability/transformative justice worker.  They are the author or co-editor of nine books, including (with Ejeris Dixon) Beyond Survival: Stories and Strategies from the Transformative Justice MovementTonguebreaker, Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice and  Dirty River: A Queer Femme of Color Dreaming Her Way Home. With Ching-In Chen and Jai Dulani, she co-editedThe Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities. They are the 2020 recipient of the Lambda Foundation’s Jeanne Cørdova Prize in Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction, recognizing “a lifetime of work documenting the complexity of queer experience” and a 2020 Ford Foundation Disability Futures Fellow.. Since 2009,  she has been a lead artist with the disability justice performance collective Sins Invalid. The co-founder of QTBIPOC performance collective Mangos With Chili and Toronto’s Asian Arts Freedom School, they are a VONA Fellow and hold an MFA from Mills College.  Proud to be raised in Worcester, MA, they have called Brooklyn, Oakland and most of all Toronto home, but have been living in South Seattle, Duwamish territories for the last five years.


Charlotte Hill O’neal, AKA Mama C

Virtual Event: Thursday, April 8, 2:30-3:30pm

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Charlotte Hill O’Neal, aka Mama C, is a writer/poet, visual artist, musician, healer, inspirational speaker, longtime community activist and Director of United African Alliance Community Center (UAACC) based in Arusha, Tanzania in East Africa. Mama C. will guide listeners through a pre-recorded video montage of UAACC, offering a ‘walk about’ around the campus, including a focus on Murals of Reimaginings virtually on every wall. The presentation will feature interviews with UACC resident artists and musicians as well as some poetry readings and songs by Mama C. Mama C. will frame this pre-recorded tour with a live introduction that provides some of the history of UAACC and her life as an artist.

Mama C

Mask-ulinity: A Socially Distanced Drag King Revue

Virtual Event: Friday, April 9, 7:00pm

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A drag show hosted by Will X. Uly

Mask_Ulinity graphic

You’ve heard of drag queens, but have you heard of drag kings? This live virtual drag show will showcase 10 drag kings and things to introduce you to the theory and practice behind drag king performance. It will be hosted by Will X. Uly (pronounced “Will Actually”), an award-winning drag and burlesque performer.

Will’s “real-life” persona is Kai Prins, a graduate student in the UW-Madison Department of Communication Arts. S/he is pursuing a Masters and Ph.D. in Rhetoric, Politics, and Culture, with a focus on the intersections of gender, performance, and bodies. S/he is especially interested in the line between authenticity and performance and the rhetoric of gender performance online, in person, and on the stage. Kai’s background is in theatre and dramaturgy, and s/he has been performing burlesque as DeeDee Queen/Lydia La Vie since 2015 and drag as Will X. Uly since 2017. Kai is also the host of the Your Body, Your Brand Podcast, an audio documentary about why women drop out of the workforce to seek careers in wellness entrepreneurship.

Will X. Uly (pronounced “Will Actually”) is an award-winning, internationally-traveled drag and burlesque performer. He is the reigning “Leading Man” of the Hollywood Burlesque Festival and the 2018 winner of the San Francisco Drag King Contest. He was a bronze medalist at both the 2020 WI Regional Burlypicks and the 2018 CA Regional Burlypicks, where he also won Master of Amazement (2018; 2020), Master of Tassels (2018), Master of Singing (2020), Master of Lip Sync (2020), and Master of Comedy (2020). He is the host of the All the Kings’ Voices Podcast on Youtube, he has chair-danced from Anchorage to Amsterdam, and he’s coming all the way from his mother’s basement to mansplain boylesque to you!

Learn more and connect with Kai/Will:

Social media: @performingwoman (Facebook/Instagram/Twitter)
Podcast: All the Kings’ Voices |



Will X. Uly

Will X. Uly (pronounced “Will Actually”) is an award-winning drag and burlesque performer. He is the reigning “Leading Man” of the Hollywood Burlesque Festival and the 2018 winner of the San Francisco Drag King Contest. He is also the 2020 Wisconsin Burlypicks Master of Singing, Master of Amazement, Master of Lip Sync, and Master of Comedy, as well as winner of the bronze medal. He is the producer of Nearly Naked Broadway, teaches online beginner and intermediate chair tricks, and hosts the All the Kings Voices podcast on YouTube. He has chair danced from Anchorage to Amsterdam, and he’s coming all the way from his mother’s basement to mansplain boylesque to you!

Instagram: @performingwoman

Anna Mae

They’re the nonbinary multidimensional gremlin your parents warned you about. Their goal is to sexually confuse everyone into submission through genderf*ckery inspired by pop culture (including Anime, comics, movies, etc;). They’ve been up to their shenanigans for going on 4 years now, and until people see gender is a contract meant to be torn apart, they don’t plan on stopping.

Instagram: @totallyannamae


Eddi Licious

Eddi Licious is a Lekwungen territory based dancer, gender bender, shape shifter and performance artist who began exploring Drag as an art medium in 2005. A mix of deep thoughts, primal urges, weirdness and whimsy, Eddi is passionate about experimenting with concepts and characters as a means of promoting acceptance and diversity. This Two Spirit Métis artist was featured on Season 2 (Ep. 9) of CBC’s Canada’s a Drag (episode available on CBC Gem and YouTube)

Instagram: @eddi.licious


Ennis F.W.

Ennis F.W. is the “Cure for Bi-curiosity,” a drag king and boylesque performer known for his creative characters and comedic prowess. He is the creator of the Drag King Name Registry, an international directory of performers with over 1100 submissions from 15 different countries. He is based in Los Angeles, CA.

Instagram: @ennisfw


King Perka $exxx

King Perka $exxx is an Atlanta based drag king who brings you comedy, social commentary, and dad jokes. He hails from Haus of Eventual $uccess (H.O.E.$.) He is co host of Cabbage Patch, a family friendly drag brunch at Georgia Beer Garden. He is also currently a cast member of Kingdom, a drag king and hyper queen show in Asheville North Carolina. He also is currently the cutest drag king in Cobb County

He has been featured in Q Magazine, Nose Dive Magazine, and FLAME! magazine. He also is the season 1 winner of Drag Me King! A drag king competition on YouTube. If you want to see any of his past performances be sure to check out his patreon!

Instagram: @kingperkasex



LOTUS BOY is a genderqueer, Chinese-American drag thing based in the Bay Area, CA who loves to play with their food, educate people, and make ya laugh. Most recently, he is a co-producer of the forthcoming media project, @Dragis4Everyone – a channel which aims to produce educational content for youth about drag, gender, and sexuality! D4E is in the process of fundraising to create, cast, and produce videos for the first year and they need your help! Donate to to support FREE drag education for youth!

Instagram: @kinglotusboy


Madazon Can-Can

Madazon Can-Can, M. Ed is a radical educator, shame anarchist, sex worker, clown, burlesquer and drag thing working out of the sex starved atmosphere of Salt Lake City, Utah. They work to bring awareness to gender, interpersonal relationships, self empowerment and acceptance in their performance art as well as their workshops and private consultations. The saying goes, if anyone can… Madazon Can-Can and they’re never one to disappoint.

Instagram: @madazon_can_can



Ricky Rosé

Ricky Rosé is an award-winning multidisciplinary artist who has taken the performance scene by a storm, performing with various events and festivals across the United States and Puerto Rico. Crowned DC’s very first Mx. DC Latinx Pride in 2018 and voted DC’s Best Drag King 2019, this Genderful Genderfucker is out to bring a whole new meaning to Mr. Worldwide, adding a little sazón and grit to the charming glitz of the world’s oldest, finest wine. Ricky Rosé is more than just a performer, they’re a way of life.

Instagram: @kinggrickyyrosee


Ty Torres

Ty Torres is the one man variety show, ready to tickle your every… interest. From comedy to Latin beats to live music, the Midwest’s sexiest stringbean is here to please your palate. This Minnesota grown king is the reigning Mister Great Lakes USofA M.I. 2019, a member of Dragged Out, Fusion Cabaret, Hot Pink/Werk, and Queerdo Collective, and can be seen performing all over the state (and occasionally the country!) Gird your loins and grab your dollars!

Instagram: @tytorresdrag



Tyson Check-in

Tyson Check-in“Tyson Check-in…. no breast here, only dark meat!”
“Tyson Check-in…. always packin’ never lacking.”
“Tyson Check-in…. packin’ like Godzilla’s tail… takes out half of Tokyo.”
“Tyson Check-in…. delivering more measure for your pleasure.”

Tyson is from The San Francisco Bay Or Yay Area. He is the singer of the metal band, ICEPICK TO THE FACE; producer of WomanopolySF; and producer of an online show on the occasional Wednesday on IG, FB, and Twitch called House Arrest Burlesque! Support black business by renting portable stages and stairs from Tyson’s staging company “Walk All Over Us! Staging Co.” which delivers in the Bay Area! Slide into Tyson’s DMs for inquires…serious proposals only! Tyson has performed in Spain, France, England, Ireland, Italy, Germany, and Scotland!

Instagram: @diewies

ZZ Topz

ZZ TopzZZ Topz is a gender-bending drag king hailing from Madison, WI. They have performed all over the state of Wisconsin and the midwest. They are a rock n roll stripper who strives to create theatrical performances with enthralling looks. They use their Masters in Fine Arts to create costumes and stylized makeup. They are the reigning Mr. Five Nightclub, a bar title in Madison, WI, who uses their platform to create space for new kings and AFAB performers in the drag community.

Instagram: @zz_topz_drag


Artist Roundtable

Deploying Art-based Activist Strategies to Address Environmental Justice Issues

Friday, April 9, 1:00-2:15pm

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This panel shares four art-based strategies that address current environmental and social justice issues, including often gendered creative approaches that speak to the broadest audiences possible.

A panelist will discuss her arts activism in reaction to the Enbridge line 5 intrusion into Tribal Sovereignty and lands. 

Another panelist will share Vantage Point, a 425 square feet of embroidered cloth panels depicting a cautionary landscape that addresses the impact of human activities including the production and consumption of food, oil, and power.

A third panelist will share The Tar Sands Storytelling Project,  launched in April 2019.  This project features a traveling exhibition highlighting the injustices of tar sands oil and pipeline infrastructures. This visual storytelling project is comprised of individual artworks created by ten Wisconsin artists, representing aspects of the cradle to grave story of tar sands oil. Wisconsin is currently home to the world’s largest tar sands oil pipeline outside of Russia – and is threatened by a proposed second line. 

The discussion will close with an examination of The Flowers Are Burning Art and Climate Justice Project.  This project is a collaborative effort of an exhibition of incandescent watercolors inspired by the scientific realities of climate change caused by human activities, and a website offering information linking organizations and thinkers inspiring individual and collective actions necessary to mitigate the impacts we can no longer deny.   


Abby Ross, (she/her/hers) project organizer of the Tar Sands Storytelling Project

Helen Klebesadel (she/her/hers), Emeritus Director of the UW Women’s and Gender Studies Consortium, and co-facilitator of The Flowers Are Burning Art and Climate Justice Project with Mary Kay Neumann. “The Flowers Are Burning… Oceans A Rising” virtual exhibition.


Valaria Tatera,(she/her/hers) a member of Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, a visual artist whose work investigates the intersection of ethnicity, gender, commerce, and the environment, Milwaukee, WI

Maggy Rozycki Hiltner, (she/her/hers) artist, Red Lodge, Montana, creator of Vantage Point.

Artist Roundtable

Activist Artist Roundtable: Reimagining Resistance, Gender and Change Through the Arts

Saturday, April 10, 10:00-11:15am

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This activist artist roundtable made up of visual artists, art historian, and creative writers/poets.  Each artist will do a 5-minute presentation of their creative work/activist art, followed by opening the floor to the audience for Q&A.  The presenters offer a diverse range of cultural approaches, media, feminist and activist art actions related to the conference themes.



Alison Gates, (she/her/hers) artist and Professor of the Art and Design, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay,

Helen Klebesadel, (she/her/hers), Emeritus Director of the UW Women’s and Gender Studies Consortium, and co-facilitator of The Flowers Are Burning Art and Climate Justice Project with Mary Kay Neumann. “The Flowers Are Burning… Oceans A Rising” virtual exhibition.


Finn Enke, (they/them) graphic artist and Professor of History, Gender and Women’s Studies, UW-Madison.  Forthcoming publication includes a graphic memoir, With Finn and Wing: Growing Up Amphibious in a Nuclear Age

Angie Trudell Vasquez (she/her/hers) is the current city of Madison Poet Laureate. She received her MFA in creative writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her third collection of poetry, In Light, Always Light, a finalist for the New Women’s Voices Series, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2019.

Gabrielle Javier-Cerullicommunity artist with Dane Arts Mural Arts (DAMA), art therapist, workshop facilitator,and author of the book Art Journal Your Archetypes, Madison, WI.

Leslee Nelson, (she/her/hers) fiber artist and organizer of the Memory Cloth Circle, Professor Emerita  UW-Madison, WI.  Author of the book Memory Cloths. Email Leslee

Sirinda Parin, (she/her/hers) writer, organizer, and author of poetry collection, Blood & Belonging. Madison, WI @sirinda_pairin

Melanie Herzog, (she/her/hers) art historian and artist, Professor Emerita of Art History, Edgewood College, Madison, WI, and Senior Lecturer in Afro-American Studies, UW-Madison. Publications include, Elizabeth Catlett: An American Artist in Mexico.

Introducing the art of Haitian American artist Babette Wainwright.

Disability Pride Madison

Virtual Event: Saturday, April 10 3:15-4:30pm

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Disability Pride art
Art credit: Rachel Lichtman

Disability Pride Madison is a grassroots organization that has produced the Disability Pride Festival for the last eight years. Performances at the festival all include at least one performer with a disability. Board members from DPM will cover Disability Justice, local disability politics and advocacy, intersectional identities, the importance of having community, economics of survival for a small, low-income grassroots group, how we are building networks of performers, makers and activists with disabilities and how activists and academics can inspire each other’s work, what we have learned about organizing groups of people across abilities and our plans for the future. We will also share how our work has shifted in light of the COVID19 pandemic.


Ti S Banks, (He/Him) Board Member, Disability Pride Madison

Jess Draws, (She/Her) Board Member, Disability Pride Madison

Sashe Mishur, (She/Her) Board Member, Disability Pride Madison

Kate Moran, (She/Her) Board Member, Disability Pride Madison

Jill Nagler, (They/Them or Ze/Hir) Board Member, Disability Pride Madison

Rachel Litchman, (She/Her) Board Member, Disability Pride Madison

Cecil Leigh Wilson, (Ze/Hir) Board Member, Disability Pride Madison

Women Directly Impacted by Incarceration Organizing for Housing Systems Change

Virtual Event, Saturday April 10, 11:30-12:30pm

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Although women’s rates of incarceration have been growing at twice the rate of men’s for the last 40 years, women’s voices are often excluded from policymaking. The FREE campaign develops the leadership and promotes the expertise of women directly impacted by mass incarceration and excessive supervision. We engage power-holders to address the harm done by our broken justice system, to heal communities, and to promote sensible and equitable policies. FREE is led by women members of ExIncarcerated People Organizing (EXPO), created by and for people who have lived experience with the justice system. Over the last year and a half, FREE has built a network of leaders from around the state, and has begun to develop an agenda for change anchored in a key challenges: safe housing that provides a base for economic stability and community and family reunification. In this conversation, members of the FREE campaign and their allies will describe the process of developing this issue-based agenda, as well as the strategies and self-reflection used to develop and stay accountable to feminist and trauma-informed organizing practice. Audience members will be invited to join the discussion and reflect on related issues in their own work.


Nicole Wallsch, FREE Regional Organizer for the Chippewa Valley
Latoya Greer, FREE Regional Organizer for Madison/Dane County
Christal Arroyo, FREE Regional Organizer for Milwaukee
Catoya Roberts, FREE Campaign Co-Founder
Molly Clark-Barol, PhD Student, Human Ecology and Sociology; Project Assistant: Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health (MATCH), Population Health Institute (PHI), University of Wisconsin-Madison

Growth Starts at the End of Your Comfort Zone

Virtual Event: Thursday, April 8, 12:45-2:00pm

***CART Captioning Provided

This panel begins with an explanation of the three zones of comfort level. Each panelist will describe their experiences including the manifestations of discomfort. Then, we will present strategies that we have used to make healthy adaptations in the unfamiliar environment. We will ask the audience to visualize a time when they stepped out of their comfort zone and had a personal growth experience as a result. Participants who choose to may share (as much as they are comfortable) their experiences, and strategies that they have found effective. Through this sharing of our collective strength, hope and experiences, we will validate the courage that it takes to step outside of your comfort zone and commit to further personal growth.


Rea Kirk, Professor, University of Wisconsin-Platteville

Gabby Garza, Undergraduate Student, University of Wisconsin-Platteville

Dong Isbister, Professor, University of Wisconsin-Platteville

Denneth Jackson, California State University, Northridge

Julie Philips, Professor, University of Dubuque

Sakara N Wages, Instructional Academic Staff, UW-Platteville