Shakti Butler will provide keynote address for Ambrose Women for Social Justice Conference

Local News

Shakti Butler, PhD. (World Trust Educational
Services, Inc. photo)

Filmmaker and educator Shakti Butler, PhD, will provide the keynote address for the 17th annual Ambrose Women for Social Justice Conference on February 23.

Butler’s keynote “will focus on uncovering and interrogating the system of racial inequality that impacts our country, lives, and internal processes of thinking and acting in the world,” according to news release from St. Ambrose University.

The address will begin at 3:30 p.m. via WebEx and Butler will take questions from the audience after the one-hour presentation.

The event is free and open to the public, and the WebEx link can be accessed at

Butler is president and founder of World Trust Educational Services Inc., an organization dedicated to racial justice and healing through film, curricula and programs that spark institutional, structural, and cultural change. She has produced five documentaries and her latest project, Healing Justice: Cultivating a World of Belonging, is igniting national conversation about justice through the lens of restorative practices, accountability, and healing.

On Feb. 24, Butler will facilitate “Healing and Radical Imagination,” an interactive learning lab that is designed to encourage open conversation and exploration of first steps to begin working towards healing wounds caused by racial injustice.

The workshop runs from 4-6 p.m. It also is free and open to the public. Since it builds on the keynote address, participation in the prior event is assumed.

Brittany Tullis, PhD, associate professor and chair of the Modern Languages and Cultures program and director of the Women and Gender Studies program, says widespread racial injustice and continued violence and murder stemming from deeply ingrained, systemic racism is perhaps the greatest crisis of our time.

“It is also one that we can – and must – all work towards changing,” she said. “This requires first understanding and acknowledging the multiple forms of racial injustice that have characterized our nation from its very beginnings. Only after this first step has been thoroughly undertaken can the work of healing and restorative justice begin. These are the guiding principles of Dr. Butler’s work and the kind of justice-based activism that led us to invite her to give this talk and facilitate this interactive learning lab at St. Ambrose.”

Both AWSJ events are part of the St. Ambrose University College of Arts and Sciences 2020-21 Academic Theme, The Changing Climates: From Rising Seas to Societal Needs. The conference is sponsored by Ambrose Women for Social Justice, the Baecke Endowment for the Humanities, and the Rev. Joseph E. Kokjohn Endowment for Catholic Peace and Justice.

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