WMU News

'Muslim feminist cowgirl' to speak in Kalamazoo

May 15, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- A book author and journalist who calls herself a 'Muslim feminist cowgirl' will speak in Kalamazoo Wednesday, May 28, as part of an annual diversity awareness event.

Lawyer and writer Asma Gull Hasan will present "Straight Talk From an American Muslim" at 7 p.m. in Chenery Auditorium. Part of the "Respecting Differences" diversity series sponsored by area governmental and higher education employers, her talk is free and open to the public.

During her presentation, Hasan will offer a profile of the Muslim community in the United States and a frank discussion of the problems it faces. Throughout her presentation, she will share personal and often humorous anecdotes about what it was like to grow up as a Muslim in American culture and society.

The author of the book "American Muslims: The New Generation," Hasan was born in Chicago to Pakistani immigrant parents and grew up in Colorado. A graduate of Wellesley College and New York University School of Law, she currently works for an international law firm. She also is a featured writer for the Denver Post, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Dallas Morning News. Hasan's unique perspective on race and society in the United States has made her a sought-after television commentator for "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher," CNN news and the History Channel's documentary "Inside Islam," among others. She is a contributing editor to the Web-based magazine The American Muslim.

Respecting Differences was founded in 1999 by Western Michigan University and the City of Kalamazoo in order to present ongoing diversity training for their employees. In addition to WMU and the city, current sponsors include the County of Kalamazoo, Davenport University, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Similar presentations exclusively for employees of the sponsoring organizations will be held in Chenery at 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 28, and 9 a.m. Thursday, May 29. This year marks the first time one of the presentations has been open to the public.

Speakers in previous years have included Dr. Patricia Russell McCloud, SST Communications Diversity Theatre, Juan Williams and Geri Jewell.

Media contact: Jessica English, 269 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu


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