Sandra Fluke kicks off spring lecture series

Attorney and women’s rights activist Sandra Fluke, who last February testified before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee on the need to provide access to contraception, will kick off the spring lecture series sponsored by the Danforth Center on Religion & Politics.Her presentation, “Making Our Voices Heard: Women’s Rights Today,” will be followed by a response from WUSTL’s Adrienne D. Davis, JD, vice provost and the William M. Van Cleve Professor of Law. The lecture will take place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, in Simon Hall’s May Auditorium

Last February, Fluke, a recent graduate of the Georgetown University Law School, found herself in the middle of a contentious debate between those in favor of mandatory coverage of contraceptives and those against the mandate for religious reasons. The latter group included radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh who called her a “slut” and claimed she wanted “taxpayers to pay her to have sex.”

Since her undergraduate days at Cornell University, Fluke has been a champion of women’s and children’s rights, and co-founded the New York Statewide Coalition for Fair Access to Family Court, which also aided LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered) youth. She has served on the Manhattan Borough President’s Taskforce on Domestic Violence, as well as many other New York city and state coalitions to make policy recommendations for domestic abuse victims. She passed the California Bar in 2012.

Other lectures in the series are:

4:30 p.m. Monday, March 4, in Umrath Hall Lounge
Tanya Erzen, PhD, 
Catherine Gould Chism Scholar in the Department of Religion at the University of Puget Sound, on “Why Are U.S. Prisons so Religious? The Ascendance of Faith-based Programs in an Age of Punitive Incarceration.”

4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, in Umrath Hall Lounge

Christopher Eisgruber, JD,
 Princeton University provost and the Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Public Affairs in the
 Woodrow Wilson School and the University Center for Human Values, on “Religious Equality: American Commitment or Global Ideal?”

Noon Friday, April 19, in the Women’s Building Formal Lounge

Arsalan Iftikhar, JD, WUSTL alum, international human rights lawyer and founder of, on “Islam & Muslims as American Political Footballs.”

4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, in Umrath Hall Lounge
Sam Haselby, PhD, 
assistant professor of history at The American University of Cairo, on “Losing America, Trying for the World: The Origins of the American Missionary Movement.”

For more information on individual events and speakers, visit the center’s events page at:

For questions, or to RSVP, call (314) 935-9345 or email: