UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — The University of Richmond’s WILL* Program and the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program are hosting a variety of renowned authors, poets, and educators for the annual WILL*/WGSS speaker series, which honors WILL*’s 40th anniversary this year.  

“Audacious Voices: Celebrating 40 Years of WILL*” includes the following:

September 24: If They Come For Us: An Afternoon with Fatimah Asghar
4:30 p.m., Weinstein Hall, Brown-Alley Room

Fatimah Asghar is a poet, screenwriter, educator, and performer. She is the writer and co-creator of Brown Girls, an Emmy-nominated web series that highlights friendships between women of color, and she is the writer of If They Come For Us, a collection of poems that explores being a young Pakistani Muslim woman in contemporary America. If They Come For Us was named one of the top ten books of 2018 by the New York Public Library, and it was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. She also is the co-editor of Halal If You Hear Me, an anthology that celebrates Muslim writers who are also women, queer, gender nonconforming and/or trans.

November 19: An Evening with Chet'la Sebree
7 p.m., International Center Commons

Chet’la Sebree is a poet, editor, and educator. She is the author of Mistress, a book of poems that presents a cross-generational conversation between Sally Hemings and a contemporary narrator about what it means to be Black women in their respective landscapes. Mistress won the 2018 New Issues Poetry Prize. Chet’la holds an Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from American University. She is an assistant professor of English at Bucknell and director of the Stadler Center for Poetry and Literary Arts. She is a 2010 graduate of the WILL* program.

March 18, 2020: Reproductive Justice as Human Rights with Loretta Ross
7 p.m., Jepson Alumni Center, Robins Pavilion

Loretta Ross is the co-founder and former National Coordinator of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective. She is the co-author of Reproductive Justice: An Introduction and Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice. Reproductive Justice, a term coined by African American women following the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, utilizes a human rights framework to look at reproductive oppression, sterilization abuse, immigration restrictions, gun culture, rape culture, the prison-to-school pipeline, and more. Her talk engages all aspects of Reproductive Justice, the primary framework being used to move beyond the paralyzing debates of abortion politics. 

These events are free and open to the public.

WILL* is a nationally recognized program for students interested in exploring gender and diversity issues both in and out of the classroom. Students strengthen their leadership skills as they actively work to create a more equitable world. To learn more, visit


The 2019-20 WILL*/WGSS Speaker Series is sponsored by Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Jepson School of Leadership Studies, Bonner Center for Civic Engagement, Cultural Affairs, Lewis T. Booker Professorship in Religion and Ethics, Department of English, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Office of the Chaplaincy, Office of Common Ground.  

Related Campus Units

School of Arts and Sciences

Director, WILL* Program
Associate Dean for Outreach Education and Development, Westhampton College
Affiliated Faculty, Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Associate Director, WILL* Program
Gender Research Specialist, Westhampton College
Affiliated Faculty, Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers