March 6, 2009
For More Information:
Kathy Rose-Mockry
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KU establishes Jana Mackey Distinguished Lecture Series
President of NOW to give first lecture

LAWRENCE—The University of Kansas announces the creation of the annual Jana Mackey Distinguished Lecture Series, in memory of late women’s rights activist and KU student Jana Lynne Mackey. Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women, will give the inaugural lecture for the series on Wednesday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Dole Institute of Politics on the University of Kansas campus.

"Jana dedicated her life to pursuing social justice and equality for women," said Kathy Rose-Mockry, Program Director of the Emily Taylor Women’s Resource Center at KU.  "There is no better way to honor Jana’s life’s work than by continuing to raise awareness and encourage others to ‘carry the torch’ related to those issues Jana was most passionate about. We are delighted to have Kim Gandy serve as our inaugural speaker since she shares a commitment to the success of women and their belief in the power of action to bring about social justice."

Gandy is currently serving her second term as President of the National Organization for Women (NOW), first elected in 2001 and re-elected in 2005. She has served as a national member of NOW since 1987 and in state and local positions since 1973. As president, Gandy serves as spokeswoman for the causes of NOW including advancing reproductive freedom, promoting diversity, ending violence against women, ensuring economic justice, and achieving equality for women.

Mackey, 25, was found dead in her ex-boyfriend’s home on July 3, 2008. At KU, Mackey was a second year law student and an active member of the Commission on the Status of Women. Dedicated to promoting a pro-women’s agenda, Mackey volunteered for GaDuGi SafeCenter, as a lobbyist in Kansas for NOW, and on several political campaigns. She received a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies from KU in the spring of 2004.

The Jana Mackey Distinguished Lecture Series is sponsored by the following KU entities: the Emily Taylor Women’s Resource Center; School of Law; Department of Political Science; Dole Institute of Politics; Student Bar Association; Student Involvement and Leadership Center; Commission on the Status of Women; Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies; and the Sabatini Multicultural Resource Center. The Lecture Series also receives the generous support of the following community entities: the Jana Mackey family; GaDuGi SafeCenter; Women’s Transitional Care Services; and the Kansas chapter of the National Organization for Women.

The program is free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The Dole Institute is located on KU’s west campus, next to the Lied Center.