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Serious Issues Facing Women Addressed March 23 During Women's History Month

Mar 13, 2023

Supporting the women of Iran and learning more about formerly incarcerated women are the subjects of two Women’s History Month events taking place at Fresno City College on Thursday, March 23.

  • Woman, Life, Freedom – A global action supporting and showing support of the courageous Iranian Women’s Movement.  12:15 to 1:15 p.m., University Mall in front of the Library.
  • Speakers Forum: Susan BurtonA Journey to Freedom and Purpose: The Unique Experience of Incarcerated Women. Presentation: 2:00-3:30 p.m., OAB Auditorium; Reception: 5:00 p.m., OAB 251

Woman, Life, Freedom

The world has witnessed outrage and protesting in Iran recently by women and students who are seeking change in the policies and laws of the country.  The protesting began with the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Zhina Armini, on September 16, 2022 at the hands of Iran’s “morality police” for alleged non-compliance with strict veiling laws.

Organizers of the FCC event say that it can help the movement in Iran because showing international support is an important part of helping the cause.

Recently, the Fresno City College Academic Senate passed a resolution to show support and solidarity.  Additionally, on March 7, the State Center Community College District Board of Trustees, approved a resolution recognizing Women’s History Month which also included support for the movement.

On Thursday, March 23, at 12:15 p.m., both resolutions will also be read in front of the FCC Library and will include expected guest speakers:

  • Dr. Robert Pimentel, FCC President
  • Dr. Carole Goldsmith, SCCCD Chancellor
  • Nasreen Johnson, SCCCD Board President
  • Jerry Dyer, Mayor of Fresno
  • Michael Takeda, FCC Academic Senate President
  • Dr. Ghada Al-Masri, FCC Vice President, Educational Services & Institutional Effectiveness

Speakers Forum: Susan Burton
A Journey to Freedom and Purpose: The Unique Experience of Incarcerated Women.

As part of Women’s History Month, Fresno City College will host author and activist Susan Burton for a discussion on her journey from prison to recovery. Ms. Burton will be speaking Thursday, March 23 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. in the OAB Auditorium. Ms. Burton will also be featured at a reception and informal discussion from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. in OAB 251. Ms. Burton will be available after both events for signing of her book Becoming Ms. Burton: From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women. Admission to both events is free and open to the public. Parking is free.

Ms. Burton’s appearance is sponsored by The FCC Speakers Forum, Building Healthy Communities, and the FCC Women’s Campus Connection.

Susan Burton is a visionary and an inspirational leader of the criminal justice reform movement who struggled to rise above a life of poverty, violence, and loss. After being released from prison for the sixth time, she was finally able to access recovery services in an affluent area of Los Angeles. There, she discovered and embraced opportunities that were never offered before. Determined to bring those resources to areas plagued by poverty and over-incarceration, Burton founded A New Way of Life Reentry Project (ANWOL) in 1998. Now, 25 years later, A New Way of Life is an internationally recognized non-profit organization that promotes healing, leadership development, and safety for formerly incarcerated women. ANWOL has supported the reentry of over 5,500 individuals through safe housing, pro bono legal services and leadership development to date.

In 2018, Ms. Burton launched the SAFE (Sisterhood Alliance for Freedom and Equality) Housing Network to replicate A New Way of Life’s effective and humane reentry model. Since then she has mentored and supported 24 organizations in 16 states and three countries to open their own safe homes. It is through this work that she thrives, enjoying the progress of her foundations, all while knowing how many individual lives she has touched and changed throughout her own journey.


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