Oregon’s woman governors to speak on campus

by Jennifer Johnson,

Daniel P. Santos Diversity Speaker Series will feature Gov. Kate Brown and former Gov. Barbara Roberts.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and former Gov. Barbara Roberts — the state’s sole female governors — will share the podium in the Daniel P. Santos Diversity Speaker Series on March 7 at Willamette College of Law.

The governors will discuss their experiences working in politics and their struggles and triumphs in the field from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the College of Law, Room 201. The series is a signature event sponsored by the Latinx Law Student Association (LLSA). The Law School Admission Council, the national nonprofit responsible for the LSAT, is co-sponsoring the event through a diversity grant.  

Latinx President Natasha Torres JD/MBA’20 said it’s a wonderful opportunity for the Willamette community to interact with the topic of politics and gender through genuine stories.

“It will offer a valuable perspective on an industry women are not well-represented in and teach them how to thrive in those professions,” said Torres.  

Named after Santos JD’86, a retired associate dean for the College of Law, the series aims to provide a space for dialogue between students from diverse or marginalized communities. LLSA members asked the governors to speak in honor of Women’s History Month.

Open to the public, the event includes remarks from Santos, Willamette President Steve Thorsett and Latinx members. Norma J. Paulus Professor of Law Robin Morris Collin will moderate the panel discussion with the governors. An audience Q&A will follow, as well as a reception with hors d’oeuvres at Rick’s Cafe.

Roberts, has authored two books, “Death Without Denial, Grief Without Apology: A Guide for Facing Death and Loss” and “Up the Capitol Steps: A Woman’s March to the Governorship,” which will be on sale for $25 each. She will sign copies after the event.

Past speakers of the Dean Santos Diversity Speaker Series include all five women justices of the Oregon Supreme Court and former Rep. Rocky Barilla, the first Latino elected to the Oregon Legislature who played a vital role passing “sanctuary state” legislation. Last year, Barilla spoke at Willamette before a measure repealing the law in Oregon was defeated.

Space may be limited, so organizers encourage people to RSVP as soon as possible. If the event moves to a different location, attendees will be contacted.

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