(Posted January 11, 2016)

Loretta Ross, human rights advocate
Loretta Ross, human rights advocate

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Loretta Ross, a nationally recognized advocate for women's rights and human rights, will speak on "Building a Human Rights Movement for the 21st Century is Dr. King's Dream Realized" at Juniata College's Martin Luther King Convocation at 4 p.m., Monday, Jan. 18, in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Ross will talk about Martin Luther King's last Sunday sermon, delivered March 31, 1968 -- which was only four days before he was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn. Ross will discuss how King laid out a plan for a human rights revolution in that final sermon and how today's activists can use the same human rights framework to work for social justice in a way that includes everyone.

Ross also will talk about the need to remember that today's society demonstrates the lethality of inequality every day, and those that choose to work for social justice will honor Martin Luther King by pursuing his dream of universal justice.

Ross is co-founder and was the national coordinator, from 2005 to 2012, of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, a nationwide network of women of color and allied organizations within the reproductive justice movement.

Ross will discuss how King laid out a plan for a human rights revolution in that final sermon and how today's activists can use the same human rights framework to work for social justice in a way that includes everyone.

She co-wrote "Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice," which received the Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavus Meyers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights. She also wrote the "Color of Choice" chapter in the book "Incite! Women of Color Against Violence."

Her work emphasizes the intersection between social justice issues and how this transforms social change. She continues to write about the history of African-American women and reproductive justice.

Ross is a member of the Women's Media Center's Progressive Women's Voices group and often appears on television and radio news outlets as a commentator.

She earned a bachelor's degree from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Ga. She also received an honorary doctor of civil law degree in 2003 from Arcadia University in Glenside, Pa., and an honorary doctorate in 2013 from Smith College. She is currently enrolled in a doctoral program in women's studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga.

Contact Gabe Welsch at welschg@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.