University hosts expert Loretta Ross to explore academic freedom and difficult conversations

April 26, 2024
By: Maureen Stokes

Worcester State University champions academic excellence in a diverse, student-centered environment that fosters scholarship, creativity, and global awareness. Given the current events here and abroad around topics of the First Amendment, human rights, politics, and race, difficult conversations are inevitable.

In fulfillment of its mission, Worcester State University’s 2023-2024 lectures and programs included divergent points of view, including “Violence Against Women and Settler Colonialism in Palestine” (November 16); “A Teach-In on Gaza” (November 29); “The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: An Interfaith Dialogue” (February 7); “Perspectives of an IDF First Responder: October 7 in Israel and Gaza” (March 13); and “Symposium on Solidarity for Justice in Palestine” (April 17).

As the campus community is challenged by opposing views, Worcester State University will be hosting a campus-wide lecture and workshop with noted expert Dr. Loretta Ross, titled “Calling In: Navigating Challenging Conversations and Cultivating Compassionate Connections,” on Tuesday, April 30, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. The virtual event will feature a high-level view of the First Amendment and academic freedom, along with breakout sessions for more in-depth discussions. This event is open to Worcester State campus members only and participants must sign in using their Worcester State email credentials. The event link is below.

  • “Calling In: Navigating Challenging Conversations and Cultivating Compassionate Connections” with Dr. Loretta J. Ross
  • April 30, 12:30-2:30 p.m.
  • Meeting:
    Meeting ID: 922 6371 5833
    Passcode: 973549

About Loretta Ross
Loretta J. Ross is an activist, public intellectual, scholar, the 2022 MacArthur Foundation Genius award recipient and is an associate professor in Study of Women and Gender at Smith College. Her passion for innovating creative imagining about global human rights and social justice issues have guided her career in activism and social change starting back in the ’70s. In 1978, she was the executive director the of the DC Rape Crisis Center, the first rape crisis center in the country. This was her entry point into the women’s movement, where she learned about women’s human rights, reproductive justice, white supremacy, and women of color organizing. Through her organizing she helped launch the movement to end violence against women that has evolved into today’s #MeToo movement. Through her 50-year career, she has worked with the NFL Players Association, the National Organization for Women (NOW), the National Black Women’s Health Project (now Black Women’s Health Imperative), the Center for Democratic Renewal (National Anti-Klan Network), the National Center for Human Rights Education, and SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective. She has co-authored three books on reproductive justice as well as several articles and videos. In 2023, Loretta was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Additional information is on her website


Leave a Comment

See for yourself what #woolife is all about.

The best way to learn about Worcester State University is to tour our beautiful campus. Be sure to let your student tour guide know your interests so they can personalize your tour.

See the tour schedule