The Women’s Center will host its Gender and Equity Research Symposium (GERS) virtually this year on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 from 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. GERS is open to all students, staff and faculty at NC State and surrounding colleges and universities as well as community organizations.
This year the Symposium focuses on how critical theory, inquiry and practice can create and shape social justice for gender and sexual liberation. We also engage broad themes of race, class, gender, sexuality, nation, ability, place and space, bodies and activism. Students, staff, faculty and community members will lead scholarly paper talks, moderate panels and engage in interdisciplinary research that centers gender and equity to build a more just society.
The theme guides the schedule for the day and will include sessions that tie into theory, inquiry and practice. While these things are interconnected, we hope the different sessions will spark new projects, ideas and commitments around how to bridge the gap between theory and practice.
Our theory session focuses on how we understand and approach complex social issues and how we make sense of the world around us. While theory and inquiry are closely related, our Emergent Conversations session (4–5 p.m.) will feature developing theoretical and critical conversations from undergraduate and graduate students across campus. We encourage faculty research mentors to attend these sessions to provide feedback to students who are developing their work.
The inquiry sessions draw attention to what we discover and learn about how social problems, inequalities and phenomena occur. Moving from theory, our inquiry sessions include two concurrent oral presentation sessions held between 2:30–4 p.m.
- Session A focuses on education, gender and interpersonal violence.
- Session B includes work that focuses on race, sexuality, gender and the body.
These sessions include work from faculty and students who are engaging in research across the university and in the community. Participants will choose which breakout room they’d like to attend during the meeting and can float from one breakout room to another based on their interests.
Finally, GERS will include several practice sessions and chat opportunities. We understand practice as how we take what we’ve learned in research and from critical theories and use them in our classrooms, our campus and in our communities. Practice can be understood as personal practice, our experiences as activists and the ways we resist oppression.
Our first practice session (10–11 a.m.) is a thematic session featuring the work of scholars who have given serious thought to how their work shapes and is shaped by their communities. This session includes the work of scholars from NC State, Fayetteville State University and Appalachian State University.
Our second practice session (11 a.m. – 12 p.m.) will be a workshop on IPV prevention education, which will provide an overview of comprehensive prevention education models that focus on addressing root causes of interpersonal violence to create culture change. Participants will learn about campus-wide prevention education opportunities at NC State and engage in dialogue around ways to implement prevention education strategies in their own organizations and workplaces across campus.
The lunch panel, Connecting Theory, Inquiry and Practice: Working with Communities (12:30–2 p.m.), provides an opportunity to learn how scholars and community practitioners are bridging the relationship between the academy and communities. See the GERS website at go.ncsu.edu/GERS for the panelist bios.
Virtual Symposium Schedule
The symposium is free but registration is required. Register and learn more on the Women’s Center website at go.ncsu.edu/GERS. Once you’ve registered, you will receive a link to enter the symposium website, which will be live on April 14, 2021.
Chaniqua Simpson is a doctoral student in sociology and a graduate assistant in the Women’s Center.