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University Relations

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April 2, 2009
Contact: Kathy Rose-Mockry, Emily Taylor Women’s Resource Center, (785) 864-3552.

KU establishes Jana Mackey Distinguished Lecture Series

Kim Gandy

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas has created the annual Jana Mackey Distinguished Lecture Series in memory of late women’s rights activist and KU law student Jana Lynne Mackey.

Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women, will give the inaugural lecture, titled “The Equity Imperative: Why It Matters to Talk About Women.” The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, at the Dole Institute of Politics on KU’s west campus. The program is free and open to the public. Seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

“Jana dedicated her life to pursuing social justice and equality for women,” said Kathy Rose-Mockry, program director at the Emily Taylor Women’s Resource Center at KU. “There is no better way to honor Jana’s life’s work than by continuing to raise awareness and encourage others to ‘carry the torch’ related to those issues Jana was most passionate about. We are delighted to have Kim Gandy serve as our inaugural speaker since she shares a commitment to the success of women and their belief in the power of action to bring about social justice.”

Gandy is in her second term as president of NOW, first elected in 2001 and re-elected in 2005. She has been a national member of NOW since 1987 and in state and local positions since 1973. As president, Gandy is spokeswoman for causes such as advancing reproductive freedom, promoting diversity, ending violence against women, ensuring economic justice and achieving equality for women.

Mackey, 25, was found dead July 3 in her ex-boyfriend’s home. Mackey, a native of Hays, was a second-year law student at KU and a member of the Commission on the Status of Women. She volunteered for GaDuGi SafeCenter, as a lobbyist in Kansas for NOW and on several political campaigns. She received a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies from KU in spring 2004.

The Jana Mackey Distinguished Lecture Series is sponsored by the Emily Taylor Women’s Resource Center; School of Law; Department of Political Science; Dole Institute of Politics; Student Bar Association; Student Involvement and Leadership Center; Commission on the Status of Women; Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program; and Sabatini Multicultural Resource Center. The lecture series also received support from the Mackey family; GaDuGi SafeCenter; Women’s Transitional Care Services; Kansas chapter of NOW; Halcyon House; and Macelli’s.


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