Rebecca WalkerRebecca Walker

Author and Activist

Rebecca Walker's intention is to make the world a better place, one conversation at a time. She brings two decades of experience, insight, and innovation to the global conversation about race and gender, art and culture, and politics and power. Walker engages with audiences through writing and editing books, teaching and speaking at colleges and corporate campuses, blogging, social media, contributing to popular magazines and literary and academic journals, hosting and appearing on national and international radio programs, and developing and appearing in film and television projects. She has also founded nonprofits.

Walker's memoirs include the New York Times Best Seller "Black, White and Jewish" and the critically acclaimed "Baby Love: Choosing Motherhood After a Lifetime of Ambivalence." She has also edited a few anthologies: "To Be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of Feminism," "What Makes a Man: 22 Writers Imagine the Future," "One Big Happy Family," and her latest, "BLACK COOL." 

Walker's writing has appeared in Glamour, The Washington Post, Bookforum, BOMB, Newsweek, Vibe, Real Simple, Modern Bride, Essence, Interview, and many other magazines and literary collections. She has appeared on Charlie Rose, Good Morning America, Oprah, Fresh Air, BET, and dozens of other blogs, sites, and other media. Her first novel, "Adé: A Love Story," is currently being adapted for film, with Madonna attached to direct.  

Walker has addressed audiences at hundreds of universities and corporate campuses including Harvard, Brown, MIT, Oberlin, Seattle University, Yale, Tufts, MIT, Grinnell, Colgate, Hamilton, Vanderbilt, Smith, Mt. Holyoke, Xavier, Morehouse, Whitman, The University of Utrecht, The University of Linkoping, Rollins College, Union College, JP Morgan Chase, and Microsoft. She has participated in creative collaborations at the Walker Art Center, The Hammer Museum, the Headlands Center for the Arts, The Ministries of Gender and Culture of Estonia, The Jewish Museum in New York, Mocca: The Amsterdam Cultural Education Foundation, and the Merz Foundation in Turin.

Time Magazine named Walker one of the most influential leaders of her generation. She co-starred in the film, Primary Colors, with Emma Thompson and John Travolta. Most recently she worked with the amazing Jill Soloway and appeared on the powerful Amazon series "Transparent." 

When Walker isn't doing all of the above, she writes and develops television projects, and teaches a weeklong master class for creatives at various locations around the world. 

Rebecca Walker's participation in the 2018 Symposium is co-sponsored by Concordia Women's and Gender Studies.

Jackson KatzJackson Katz

Co-Founder, Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP)

Jackson Katz is an educator, author, filmmaker and cultural theorist who is internationally renowned for his pioneering scholarship and activism on issues of gender, race and violence. He has long been a major figure and thought leader in the growing global movement of men working to promote gender equality and prevent gender violence.

He is co-founder of Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP), one of the longest-running and most widely influential gender violence prevention programs in North America, and the first major program of its kind in the sports culture and the military. MVP introduced the “bystander” approach to the sexual assault and relationship abuse fields; Katz is a key architect of this now broadly popular strategy.

Since 1997 he has run MVP Strategies, which provides sexual harassment and gender violence prevention/leadership training to institutions in the public and private sectors in U.S. and around the world.

Katz is the author of two critically acclaimed books, “The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How all Men Can Help,” and “Man Enough? Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and the Politics of Presidential Masculinity.”

He has published numerous academic and journalistic articles on topics as far-ranging as Eminem, the gender politics of conservative talk radio, violent white masculinity in advertising, juvenile detention, pornography, and sports metaphors in presidential politics.

He is creator, lead writer and narrator of the award-winning Tough Guise videos. He lectures and trains widely in the U.S. and around the world on violence, media and the many intersections of gender, sexual orientation and race.

Debra Fitzpatrick

Co-Director, Center on Women, Gender and Public Policy, University of Minnesota

As co-director of the Center on Women, Gender and Public Policy, an academic center focused on gender and policy that fulfills the land-grant mission of a public university, Debra Fitzpatrick sits squarely at the intersection of sound, valid research and public action.  For her, research is a process as much as a product, one that builds investment and capacity as well as knowledge, leading to improved public policy.  Her interdisciplinary, intersectional quantitative and qualitative research focuses on the full-range of barriers women face in pursuit of economic parity (paid time off to balance work and care, equal pay for equal or comparable work, stereotyping and segregation in lower paying occupations) and is grounded in the collaborative networks necessary to achieve change.  For example, in collaboration with over 100 cross-sector working group members, she played a significant role in designing and successfully advancing the Women’s Economic Security Act (WESA), a broad-based nationally recognized legislative package simultaneously addressing the many factors that contribute to the gender pay gap.  As an engaged scholar, Fitzpatrick's work is designed to foster learning communities.  She collaborates with others to design and implement a range of creative learning environments where people from different backgrounds come together to co-create knowledge and build the capacity and relationships necessary to take action. 
Learn More about Fitzpatrick