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Alumna to speak at Womxn Are Sacred exhibition Oct. 23

Tai Simpson, a storyteller in the indigenous language of the Nimiipuu nation (Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho), will visit and speak at noon Wednesday, Oct. 23, at the Womxn Are Sacred Exhibition in the Fine Arts Gallery. The event is free and open to the public.

The exhibition runs Oct. 16-Nov. 24 with a public reception scheduled for 4:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22.

Inspired by and following in the spirit of Canadian artist Jaime Black’s REDress Project, the exhibition is a collection of 75 donated red dresses gathered to raise awareness of violence against Indigenous women and girls. Multicultural Student Services and the student-led Intertribal Native Council arranged the exhibition to coincide with Native American Heritage Month in November.

Simpson, a Boise State alumna, serves as an organizer for the Indigenous Idaho Alliance and works as Social Change Advocate with the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence.

Simpson was invited to give her talk, “Protecting the Sacred: A Discussion of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls,” by Dora Ramirez, a Boise State professor of English, who then will facilitate a discussion as part of her Literature for Social Change course.

“I think it will be so powerful for my students to see both a visual, textual and verbal presentation on this issue,” Ramirez said.

Fonda Portales, the university’s art curator and collections manager, welcomed Ramirez’s suggestion to hold her class in the gallery.

“Her using the space as a pedagogical tool pleases me to no end and I think speaks to how our fine art spaces on campus have many benefits,” Portales said.