Spring 2021 SSF Events


Getting in Your Pants: Confronting the Lasting Effects of Racism, Sexism, and the Historical Void in HIV Research and Treatment

View lecture online.

Gail Elizabeth Wyatt, Professor of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences at the Semel  Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles

This presentation will demonstrate how old myths and assumptions about behavior can derail prevention efforts to reduce the rates of HIV/AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Infections and unplanned pregnancies, especially in people of color. Based on over four decades of NIH funded research, Wyatt will discuss strategies that should be adapted to create prevention programs that are culturally congruent, women-centered, and realistic, as well as reasons why changes in policies meet with such resistance.

Organized by the Department of Psychology.


‘In the Room’:  Women of Color Doulas in a State of Emergency

View lecture online.

Jennifer C. Nash, Jean Fox O’Barr Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies
at Duke University

“In the Room” explores the work of women of color doulas laboring in Chicago in an era where doulas are increasingly hailed—by the state and by activists—as precisely the innovation that can save black mothers’ lives. Dr. Nash explores the complicated tensions around professionalization and the medicalization of birth that underpins their practice, and considers the place of their work in the ongoing effort to eradicate black infant and maternal mortality.

Korenman Lecture organized by the Department of Gender, Women’s, + Sexuality Studies.
Co-sponsored by the Provost’s Office; the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; the Departments of Africana Studies, American Studies, Media and Communications Studies, Political Science, and Social Work; the Public Humanities Minor; and the Initiatives for Identity, Inclusion, and Belonging (i3B).


 Slavery, Warfare, and Rebellion in the Caribbean

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Vincent Brown, Charles Warren Professor of American History and Professor of African and African American Studies, Harvard University.
Marjoleine Kars, Associate Professor of History, UMBC
Sharika Crawford, Associate Professor of History, US Naval Academy

Professors Brown and Kars discuss New World slave rebellions in Jamaica and Guyana, about which they just published books. Prof. Crawford moderates the discussion.

Low Lecture organized by the Department of History.


The Motivation to Exercise in Age

View lecture online.

Candace S. Brown, Assistant Professor of Gerontology, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

It is known that maintaining physical function, through activity, is one key to successful aging. Brown will present a session on understanding the role that motivation plays in maintaining an active lifestyle through the lifespan.

Organized by the Erickson School of Aging Studies.  Cosponsored by the Doctoral Program in Gerontology, UMBC Athletics, and Sigma Phi Omega, UMBC/UMB Chapter.


Playbook for Climate Justice:  Our Best Hope for Solving the Climate Crisis

View lecture online.

Tracey Osborne, Associate Professor of Management of Complex Systems
University of California-Merced

Climate change is deeply connected to systemic forms of injustice, disproportionately affecting the world’s low-income and marginalized communities, particularly people of color. This is true whether speaking of climate change drivers such as fossil fuel development and deforestation,  climate change impacts such as sea level rise and extreme heat, or climate change mitigation strategies such as carbon offsets. Climate change is fundamentally a social justice issue, and climate justice has emerged as a discourse and social movement that treats it as such. In contrast to the minor tweaks proposed by conventional approaches, climate justice addresses the systemic drivers of climate change while demanding social and political economic transformation. In this talk, I discuss the urgency of the climate crisis, the inadequacy of current strategies, and why I believe a climate justice approach is our best hope for solving the climate crisis. I will then lay out a set of concrete strategies that make up the playbook for climate justice. The playbook for climate justice advocates for a new paradigm for climate action that addresses the underlying drivers of climate change and aims to restore a healthy, more sustainable relationship between humans and nature for an ecologically resilient and socially just world.

Organized by the Department of Geography and Environmental Systems.