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USM Voices: Human rights advocate Loretta Ross visits USM

Loretta Ross signing books

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USM Voices: Human rights advocate Loretta Ross visits USM

by Kathryn Letellier, USM Public Affairs intern

On Friday, April 13, USM hosted Loretta J. Ross in Hannaford Hall. The event was called “Reproductive Justice in the Age of Trump” and it was free to students and the public alike.

I attended and, early as always, I watched as the auditorium filled up. Despite the lack of empty seats, I was discouraged at what I saw, a room filled with mostly women and fewer than ten men. “Where are all the men?” I thought.

The event started with USM Associate Professor Lisa Walker introducing Ross. Once Ross took over, it was clear that this was not going to be a lecture. She was funny as she walked the audience through her experiences as an activist. She kept the event informal, and although I went into it generally agreeing with her, she still taught me a lot that night.

Prior to the event, I had no knowledge of Loretta Ross, but through this talk, I learned that among her long list of accomplishments as a human rights advocate, she played a large role in organizing the 2004 March for Women’s Lives, the largest protest in U.S. history.

I’m glad I attended and learned about Loretta Ross because she is an incredible, inspiring woman. Ross’s message is important, but it shouldn’t only be important to women. I would have liked to see more men show up that night and educate themselves on what it is like to be a woman in the age of Trump.

So here’s what I’m asking of my fellow students: so maybe you missed this inspiring speaker that USM brought to you, but please don’t make a habit of it. USM will provide you with many, many more opportunities to expand your horizons, whether it be through a club or an on-campus speaker with a different background and perspective than you. Take these opportunities and learn something new. Make your education about more than just getting a degree.


Learn more about Loretta Ross.