The Erie County Commission on the Status of Women, in collaboration with the UB Gender Institute received a Humanities NY Grant to support a virtual reading group on Women’s Suffrage and Intersectionality, which will begin in May 2021. 

The series will be facilitated by Carrie Tirado Bramen, director of the UB Gender Institute. We are proud to announce our selection for the Woman's Suffrage Reading Group's books.
To Register, click here.

held on TUESDAYS from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

May 18, 2021:
Suffrage Reconstructed: Gender, Race, and Voting Rights in the Civil War Era
by Laura E. Free

Suffrage Reconstructed Gender, Race, in the Civil War Era.

June 15, 2021:
Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Euality for All
by Martha S. Jones


June 1, 2021:
The Women's Suffrage Movement by Sally Roesch Wagner


The Women's Suffrage Movement by Sally Roesch Wagner .

June 29, 2021:
Recasting the Vote: How Women of Color Transformed the Suffrage Movement
by Cathleen D. Cahill

Recasting the Vote.

In partnership with Gender Institute, Humanities New York, Buffalo & Erie County Library, and Erie County Commission On the Status Of Women



An Evening of Conversation with Lillian Williams

Barbara Smith.


March 10, 2021 - 7:00 PM

Zoom platform 

Presented in collaboration with Africana and American Studies

Recording here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xc_sfgFJlmE

Barbara Smith is one of the most important black feminists of our time.  In 1974, Smith co-founded the Combahee River Collective in Boston, and co-authored their now famous Combahee River Collective Statement in 1977, which became one of the earliest explorations of the intersection of multiple oppressions, including racism and heterosexism. In 1980, Smith went on to found with Audre Lorde Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, which published the collection Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology. Smith's groundbreaking essay, “Toward a Black Feminist Criticism,” opened the door to serious critical consideration of Black women writers. Her most recent book is the award-winning Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith.

This event is a collaboration with the Department of Africana and American Studies and their 2021 Endowed African American Studies Lecture.


Loretta J. Ross

Loretta Ross.

February 17, 2021 - 12:00  - 1:00 PM
Zoom platform
In honor of Black History Month, presented in collaboration with the Office of Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence.

Recording herehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lW7amaAlnso

Image of the shape of three women holding up the globe. The words "Calling in the Calling Out Culture" circles the image.

Fighting against oppression and injustice are the dues we pay for the privilege of being conscious and we are honored to be able to challenge it with great responsibility. We begin to build a unified and strategic human rights movement that weaves our strengths together, that uses our differences as a platform for modeling a positive future built on justice and the politics of love, rather than a return to the past based on the politics of fear and prejudice. However, to create this movement we need to make a commitment to recognize and support each other – Calling People in rather than Calling them Out. Loretta will talk about how we can transform the Calling Out Culture into a Calling In Culture in order to build a united movement for human rights. 

Loretta J. Ross is an award-winning, nationally-recognized expert on racism and racial justice, women's rights, and human rights. Her work emphasizes the intersectionality of social justice issues and how intersectionality can fuel transformation.

Ross is a visiting associate professor at Smith College (Northampton, MA) in the Program for the Study of Women and Gender, teaching courses on white supremacy, race and culture in America, human rights, and calling in the calling out culture.

Ross has co-written three books on reproductive justice: Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice, winner of the Outstanding Book Award by the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights; Reproductive Justice: An Introduction, a first-of-its-kind primer that provides a comprehensive yet succinct description of the field and puts the lives and lived experience of women of color at the center of the book; and Radical Reproductive Justice: Foundations, Theory, Practice, Critique. Ross's current book, Calling In the Calling Out Culture, is forthcoming in 2021.

Ross appears regularly in major media outlets about the issues of our day. Ross was recently featured in a New York Times piece, "What if Instead of Calling People Out, We Called Them In?"

Ross was a co-founder and the National Coordinator, from 2005 to 2012, of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, a network of women of color and allied organizations that organize women of color in the reproductive justice movement. Other leadership positions have included:

  • National Co-Director of the April 25, 2004 March for Women’s Lives in Washington D.C., the largest protest march in U.S. history with more than one million participants.
  • Founder and Executive Director of the National Center for Human Rights Education (NCHRE)
  • Program Research Director at the Center for Democratic Renewal/National Anti-Klan Network where Ross led projects researching hate groups and working against all forms of bigotry with universities, schools, and community groups
  • Founder of the Women of Color Program for the National Organization for Women (NOW) in the 1980s
  • Leading many women of color delegations to international conferences on women's issues and human rights.

Ross serves as a consultant for Smith College, collecting oral histories of feminists of color for the Sophia Smith Collection which also contains her personal archives.

Ross is a graduate of Agnes Scott College and holds an honorary Doctorate of Civil Law degree awarded in 2003 from Arcadia University and a second honorary doctorate degree awarded from Smith College in 2013. Loretta J. Ross is pursuing a PhD in Women’s Studies at Emory University in Atlanta. Ross is a mother, grandmother and a great-grandmother.

Red, black, and white book cover image of Radical Reproductive Justice.
Orange book cover with a deeper orange circle in the center with the word "Reproductive Justice: An Introduction" across the circle.