Programming and Special Events



2012-13 Special Events

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This is a story of hope of HIV/AIDS health treatment practices in Africa:


Makaria Reynolds of the “Elisabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation” will speak about current practices for treatment that is relevant across the health professions.

Date:        Wed., Nov. 14, 2012

Time:        noon to 2:00

Place:       HPC 2 Atrium, Pacific University, Hillsboro Oregon                       ( for map)

Lunch Served

Sponsors:  Center for Gender Equity, International Programs, Elise Elliott Foundation


ELIZABETH GLASER’S STORY:  Elizabeth contracted HIV from a blood transfusion in 1981 while giving birth to her daughter, Ariel. She later learned that Elizabeth had unknowingly passed the virus on to Ariel through breast milk and that her son, Jake, had contracted the virus in utero. The Glasers discovered that drug companies had no idea that HIV was prevalent among children. The only drugs on the market were for adults; nothing had been tested or approved for children.


Ariel lost her battle with AIDS in 1988. Fearing that Jake's life was also in danger, Elizabeth rose to action by creating a foundation that would raise money for pediatric HIV/AIDS research.


Elizabeth lost her own battle with AIDS in 1994 and her organization has become the leading global nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing pediatric HIV infection and eliminating pediatric AIDS.  Elizabeth’s legacy lives on in her son, Jake, who is now a healthy young adult.


MAKARIA REYNOLDS is the country support technical officer for Lesotho, Swaziland, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Congo.  She also provides support to the USAID-funded Call to Action Program, which focuses on preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV in numerous countries. Makaria received her degree in international affairs from Columbia University.

DR. JOHN REID-HRESKO will compliment Ms. Reynold's talk by addressing the culturally-situated ways in which northern Tanzanians understand the dynamics of HIV transmission and the ways in which these understandings influence the success of HIV prevention programs."  Reid-Hresko is a Sociology Professor at Pacific's Forest Grove campus, who researched responses to HIV/AIDS transmission in South Africa and Tanzania.


See the AIDS Quilt in the Pacific University Forest Grove Library, and in Creighton Hall, Pacific University Campus, Hillsboro Nov. 4 to Dec. 2.

Reynolds will also speak on the Forest Grove campus about the social implications of HIV/AIDS in Africa on Nov. 15th, 7:30 to 9:30 pm.  Marsh 216.  Reception to follow.


St. Anthony Dancers perform Nuestro Futuro - Traditional Mexican and South American Dances

Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012

7:00PM - 9:00PM

Taylor-Meade Performing Arts Center, Forest Grove Campus

General Admission $10; Pacific students/staff free


Pacific University welcomes back the St. Anthony's Dancers, a children's dance troupe created in 2007 by Xiomara Cerrud. These Latino dancers, aged 3 to 13, will perform a variety of traditional dances to the music of a live Mariachi band.


Xiomara Cerrud, the group's creator, choreographer and director, has a long history in dance performance. She has participated in Panamanian Folk Dance Festivals in 8 states, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and several cities in Mexico.


Ms. Cerrud created the dance group when she noticed that at St. Anthony's Church in Forest Grove there was a lack of activities for children who were too old for nursery care but still too young to attend catechism classes. The troupe began with only a handful of children and has now grown to over 20.


The St. Anthony Dancers not only entertain, but they educate the public about the beauty, diversity and richness of the South American and Mexican cultures. At Nuestro Futuro, a brief explanation of each dance will be given in both English and Spanish, so that the audience can better understand the cultural history behind the art form.


Ms. Cerrud observes, "There are many Hispanic people in the community of Forest Grove, and we are connected in many of these activities. This is just one way we are connected, by building community and teaching our heritage to our children."

Fundraising Breakfast: Come join CGE staff and supporters as we celebrate another year of activities promoting gender awareness and equality. Good eats, great company, and a chance at some fantastic raffle prizes.  Want more details?  Click here.

Human Canvas Project: Details coming soon!

Patricia Smith: Acclaimed Performance Poet, National Book Award Finalist

Patricia Smith, a poet, teacher, performance artist and author, will perform her poetry, talk about her work and help judge the Slam Poetry Festival in Forest Grove, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. March 8 at La Hacienda, 2020 Main St. Refreshments will be served.

“Reading poems like these, overflowing with life but contained by art, makes us all feel a little bit helpless. These poems are blessings that will move like white light through your veins.” —American Book Review

Patricia Smith, lauded by critics as “a testament to the power of words to change lives,” is the author of six acclaimed poetry volumes. Blood Dazzler, which chronicles the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Katrina, was a nalist for the 2008 National Book Award. In a review, South Carolina poet laureate Marjory Wentworth wrote, “Blood Dazzler is the narrative of a shameful tragedy, but it is  lyrical and beautiful, like a hymn we want to sing over and over until it lives in our collective memory.” In naming the book one of NPR’s Top 5 books of 2008, John Freeman called Blood Dazzler “a erce, blood-in-the-mouth collection” which “already has the whiff and feel of folklore.” She is currently at work on Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah (Coffee House Press, April)—a memoir written in formal verse—and the young adult novel The Journey of Willie J.

Smith’s previous book, Teahouse of the Almighty, was a National Poetry Series selection and winner of the rst-ever Hurston/Wright Award in Poetry. Her other poetry books are Close to Death, Life According to Motown, and Big Towns, Big Talk. She is the winner of the Chatauqua Literary Journal Award in poetry and a Pushcart Prize for the poem “The Way Pilots Walk.”

Smith's work has been published in Poetry, The Paris Review, TriQuarterly, and other literary journals/anthologies, and performed around the world, including Carnegie Hall, the Poets Stage in Stockholm, Rotterdam’s Poetry International Festival, the Aran Islands International Poetry and Prose Festival, the Bahia Festival, the Schomburg Center, the Sorbonne in Paris and on tour in Germany, Austria and Holland. A four-time individual champion on the National Poetry Slam—the most successful slammer in the competition’s history—Smith has also been a featured poet on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and has performed three one-woman plays, one produced by Nobel Prize winner Derek Walcott.

In addition to her poetic works, Smith is also the author of Africans in America, a companion volume to the groundbreaking PBS documentary; Publishers Weekly called the book “a monumental research effort wed with ne writing…ultimately shaped by Smith’s beautiful narrative,” and Michelle Cliff of the San Jose Mercury News said, “With its vivid language and historical integrity, ‘Africans in America’ is a major contribution to this country’s written history.” Smith also penned the children’s book Janna and the Kings, which won Lee & Low Books’ New Voices Award.

She has served as a Cave Canem faculty member, a Bruce McEver Visiting Chair in Writing at Georgia Tech University, and writer-in-residence at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. During a ceremony at Chicago State University’s Gwendolyn Brooks Center, Smith was inducted into the National Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent. In 2008 she was awarded a Lannan Foundation residency in Marfa, Texas.

Smith teaches in the Stonecoast MFA program at the University of Southern Maine and is a professor of creative writing at the City University of New York/ College of Staten Island. She has also done hundreds of writing and performance residencies in elementary middle schools and high schools.


Jeffrey, by Paul Rudnick, is a charming, sexy comedy about love in the age of AIDS. Dates: Feb. 16, 17 & 18 Time: 7 p.m. Place: Tom Miles Theatre Pacific University, Forest Grove.

Pacific University’s Center for Gender Equity presents Jeffrey, a charming, sexy comedy about love in the age of AIDS, by Paul Rudnick.

Jeffrey takes place in Manhattan at the height of the AIDS epidemic. After Jeffrey swears off the now potentially fatal act of sex, he immediately meets the hunky, charming, HIV+ Steve. Will he risk it all for love?

Jeffrey is student-directed by Janna Tessman and Lindsey McLaughlin, and student-produced by the staff of the Center for Gender Equity.

Playing at 7 p.m. Feb. 16, 17 and 18 in the Tom Miles Theatre, Pacific University, Forest Grove (directions). Admission is $7.50 ($5 for Pacific students). Pay at the door.

For more informaiton, email

Special thanks to Pacific’s Department of Theatre and Dance.

MENSCH Festival