March 22-23 Conference and Presentations Explore Sex Trafficking, Gender Issues

Bemidji State University’s women’s studies gender studies program is holding a series of Women’s History Month events on March 22-23 in conjunction with the Metamorphosis gender conference being held at Bemidji’s Sanford Regional Hospital. BSU also is hosting the second day of the conference on March 23.

March 22 features a panel discussion on patriarchy and misogyny and a screening of the National Geographic documentary “Gender Revolution.” Minneapolis attorney Lori Peterson will give a signature presentation on March 23 as part of BSU’s Honors Council Lecture Series.

All Women’s History Month activities at Bemidji State are open free for everyone.

BSU is also hosting the March 23 sessions of the Metamorphosis conference, which focuses on issues of sex trafficking, gender bullying and LGBT health. The conference is open free to all, and professionals can register to obtain Continuing Education Unit credits. CEU registration is $25 for one-half day session and $35 for a full day, and includes lunch. Lunch is not available for those attending free.

March 22 – panel discussion, “Patriarchy and Misogyny”

Dr. Rucha Ambikar

Dr. Carol Ann Russell, writer and professor emerita of English at Bemidji State University, will facilitate a panel conversation featuring attorney Andrea Kingbird and Dr. Rucha Ambikar, assistant professor of sociology at Bemidji State, beginning at 4 p.m. in Hagg-Sauer Hall room 107. The panel also will feature a slam poetry performance by Shannon Murray.

Ambikar is an anthropologist who specializes in global issues on nation and identity. A native of India, she has been living in the United States for the past 16 years. She is in her second year teaching in Bemidji State’s Department of Sociology.

March 22 – “Gender Revolution” screening and talkback

The BSU Phoenix Club and Bemidji High School teacher Gina Bernard will screen the documentary “Gender Revolution” beginning at 6 p.m. in Hagg-Sauer Hall room 107, with a talkback to follow.

“Gender Revolution” is journalist Katie Couric’s groundbreaking exploration of the rapidly evolving complexities of gender identity. She also explores what the words “gender” and “transgender” mean during the two-hour documentary, which first aired on Feb. 7 on the National Geographic channel.

March 23 – Signature Lecture, “Misogyny, Bigotry and Bullying in American Politics”

Lori Peterson

Lori Peterson will give the signature presentation for BSU’s Women’s History Month activities as part of the university’s Honors Council Lecture Series.

The lecture, “Misogyny, Bigotry and Bullying in American Politics,” will begin with a 6:30 p.m. reception in BSU’s American Indian Resource Center.

Peterson is a Minneapolis-based attorney who heads the Lori Peterson Law Firm, which for 25 years has exclusively represented persons harmed by bullying, rape, harassment and discrimination. Her work has been featured in Time, Newsweek, CNN, Canadian Broadcasting Corp., the BBC, PrimeTime Live, Dateline NBC, Entertainment Tonight, Larry King Live, Redbook, McNeil Lehrer News Hour and more. Two of her landmark cases include a multiple-client litigation against the Strohs Brewery and a multiple-client litigation against the Hooters restaurant chain.

Metamorphosis: Transforming Gender Ideology and Practice Conference

Bemidji State is partnering with Sanford Regional Hospital to host the second day of the March 22-23 Metamorphosis: Transforming Gender Ideology and Practice Conference. Events begin at 8 a.m. and continue until 4 p.m. in the Beaux Arts Ballroom of BSU’s upper Hobson Memorial Union.

After an 8 a.m. keynote on sex trafficking presented by Minnesota police officers and support group Support Within Reach, the conference breaks into two parallel tracks – one focused on sex trafficking and one on gender diversity, bullying and health care. Most sessions are offered twice, once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

  • 8-9 a.m. – “About Sex Trafficking – Right Here,” presented by Minneapolis Police Sgt. Grant Snyder, Duluth Police Officer Kim Wick and Sara Collins, regional navigator for Support Within Reach.
  • 9:15-10:15 a.m. and 1:45-2:45 p.m. – “Building Coherent Capacities in Response to Sex Trafficking,” presented by Minneapolis Police Sgt. Grant Snyder.
  • 9:15-10:15 a.m. and 1:45-2:45 p.m. – “Gender Diversity: Courage and Compassion,” gender bullying information provided by Caige Jambor and Candy Roberts-Salter of Peacemaker Resources.
  • 10:30-11:30 a.m. and 3-4 p.m. – “Sex Trafficking: Victim — Advocacy,” presented by Duluth Police Officer Kim Wick and Sara Collins, regional navigator for Support Within Reach.
  • 10:30-11:30 a.m. – “Health Care for the Elderly LGBT Community – Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Caregiver Support,” presented by Mary Salter, Carol Priest and Glenda Duhamel of Northwoods Caregivers.
  • 3-4 p.m. – “Bullying and Gender Vulnerabilities” presented by Gina Marie Bernard.

Bemidji State University, located in northern Minnesota’s lake district, occupies a wooded campus along the shore of Lake Bemidji. A member of the colleges and universities of Minnesota State, Bemidji State offers more than 80 undergraduate majors and 11 graduate degrees encompassing arts, sciences and select professional programs. Bemidji State has an enrollment of more than 5,100 students and a faculty and staff of more than 550. University signature themes include environmental stewardship, civic engagement and global and multi-cultural understanding.