Rita Mookerjee, an assistant teaching professor of sociology at Iowa State, will be giving a virtual presentation Saturday for the Ames Pridefest Storytelling Project.
Her presentation will be on the queer experience in academia, current political impacts on the LGBTQIAAP+ community, being a minority and more. The webinar will begin promptly at 6 p.m. on Zoom and is scheduled to last until 7 p.m.
“The current administration seeks to strip queers of our rights and livelihood,” Mookerjee said. “Queers of color are murdered with no repercussions. I have a lot of privilege as a cis, middle-class, able-bodied woman, but the same cannot be said for my trans Black sisters who aren’t even addressed in the media. I fight for them. My presence disrupts the status quo and I will use my privilege to make way for those who are marginalized and actively attacked during this tumultuous time.”
Mookerjee is in her second year at Iowa State and hopes she can inspire a change in the community to help others learn, be open-minded, empowered and even uncomfortable in her self-proclaimed role as an agitator first and an educator second.
“Ames Public Library has worked with Pridefest folks since its inception,” said Susan Gent, Parks Library community engagement specialist. “Rita speaks truth to power, stands up for underrepresented people with flair, intelligence and humor.”
At a time when the campus climate seems dire to some as a result of recent affairs, Mookerjee holds hope in Iowa State students who are seeking a change and a new perception in today's society. Though she has never firsthand experienced true acceptance by the populace, she aspires to witness the change Gen Z is bringing about, one that will include acceptance and the ability to see individuals like themselves.
Mookerjee is also scheduled to talk virtually at Feminist Friday on Nov. 13 on “Not ‘Cancel Culture,’ Just Consequences.” For more information about Mookerjee’s talk or upcoming events hosted by Ames Pride and Ames Public Library, check out Pridefest 2020 Storytelling Project on Facebook.