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Shepard Symposium to Feature Films, Presentations

March 30, 2009

Academy Award-winning director Debra Chasnoff will screen her newest film "Straightlaced: How Gender's Got Us All Tied Up" from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, in the University of Wyoming Union ballroom. The free event will launch the 13th Annual Shepard Symposium on Social Justice.

"Straightlaced" takes a powerful look at how popular pressures around gender and sexuality are shaping the lives of American teens. The film showcases the diverse and unscripted voices of more than 50 youth who speak with honesty, insight and humor about gender roles and the struggle to be who they really are. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the director.

Rosa Clemente, hip hop activist, scholar, community organizer, journalist, and 2008 Green Party Vice Presidential Candidate, will give a presentation at 9 p.m. in the Wyoming Union ballroom part of the fourth annual Hip Hop Comes Home Social Justice and Hip Hop Event.

A progressive voice for her generation, Clemente has dedicated her academic work to researching national liberation struggles inside the United States. She is co-founder of the R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop, a media justice coalition, and co-host of a weekly talk show, "Where We Live," in New York City.

Local hip hop masters Collected Elements will perform, and three award-winning poets from the Laramie High School Social Justice Slam will also read their poetry.

The Shepard Symposium on Social Justice has been an annual event at UW since 1996. Named in memory of murdered UW student Matthew Shepard, the symposium promotes the need for information and dialogue about social justice concerns in America and beyond. The symposium runs April 1-3 in the Wyoming Union and includes numerous concurrent sessions, workshops and speakers. A complete schedule is available at

Posted on Monday, March 30, 2009

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