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The Forum: We Bring the World to You

79 seasons strong

President W.R. Davies was the prime mover in establishing The Forum within the first year of his administration, to bring to life his vision of the college as a cultural center. He transformed Eau Claire's after-dinner speakers club into a college-community partnership that selected an average of five speakers a year. The Forum is committed to the concept of non-discrimination as related to race, creed, sexual orientation, age and physical disability.

2021/2022 Season

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Forum Special: Chanel Miller | Sept. 15
Chanel Miller

RACING TOWARD JUSTICE Presents: Chanel Miller

Wednesday, September 15 | 6pm | Streamed on 
Live viewing in Woodland Theater, 3rd Floor Davies 

Chanel Miller is a writer and artist who received her BA in Literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her critically acclaimed memoir, KNOW MY NAME, was a New York Times bestseller, a New York Book Review Notable Book and a National Book Critics Circle Award winner, as well as a best book of 2019 in Time, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, NPC, and People, among others. She is a 2019 Time Next honoree and a 2016 Glamour Woman of the Year honoree under her pseudonym, "Emily Doe."

Sponsored by: BMO Harris, The Forum, The Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, The Office of Multicultural Affairs, Recreation and Sport Facilities and UWEC Athletics

Antonia Okafor | Gun Rights are Women's Rights | Sept. 22
Antonia Okafor

Antonia Okafor
Gun Rights are Women's Rights
Wednesday, September 22
7:30pm | Virtual
Registration and Ticket Info

Free to UWEC Students, Faculty and Staff
$5 Community 

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Antonia Okafor is the Director of Outreach and National Spokesperson for Gun Owners of America.  Her written work has been published by the New York Times, NBC Universal, Fox News, Austin-American Statesman, and The Hill. Antonia appears regularly on CNN, Fox News, BBC, Al Jazeera America, One America Network, TRT World, Sinclair Broadcast Group/WJLA, Newsmax, and the Black News Channel as a 2nd Amendment commentator.

Among Antonia Okafor Cover's many accomplishments, the most important titles in her life are a wife and mother of two and a believer in Jesus Christ. As a sexual assault survivor, she believes her calling in life is to empower women and minorities through gun ownership.  In 2017, Antonia became the founder of Empowered 2A, a national organization that educates and equips women to seek empowerment through the Second Amendment. She is the host of Bulletproof-the only 2nd Amendment-focused podcast on the Ricochet Podcast Network. 

Okafor will be discussing how she sees second amendment rights are connected to women's rights. Presentation will be from 7:30-8:30pm, question and answer from 8:30-9:00pm. The event will take place virtually, and a link will be sent with the event confirmation.

“I am not effecting change if I am not reaching out to those who have never heard the message before.” ~Antonia Okafor

Raj Patel | How Do We Feed 10 Billion People Sustainably? | March 9
Raj Patel

Raj Patel
How Do We Feed 10 Billion People Sustainably?
Wednesday, March 9, 2022 
Schofield Auditorium | 7:30pm
Ticket Info

Controversial author, journalist, professor and food policy expert Raj Patel continuously challenges our presumptions about the global economy with his work both as a policy analyst and activist. Having worked for some of the most prestigious international organizations—and protested against them—Patel constantly finds ways to improve the world’s food system. Regularly featured in major international news publications and media, Patel’s cutting edge thoughts on food distribution and globalization have become some of the most important and trusted in the world.

Patel is a man of principles. After working for the World Bank, interning at the World Trade Organization, and consulting for the United Nations, Patel has become a harsh critic of the methods these organizations use and has been tear-gassed on four continents for his protests. Continuing to spread his message and ideas worldwide, Patel’s acclaimed books address the numerous issues he is working to combat. His first book, Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the Whole Food System not only exposed the causes of hunger, starvation and famine, but provided solutions to these issues of inequity. His most recent book, The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy, is a deeply thought-provoking guide to the way global economies work. In it, Patel explores the recent economic collapse and painting a clear picture of how to achieve a fairer, more sustainable economy and society. Patel was awarded a James Beard Foundation Leadership award in 2016.

In his keynotes, Patel not only diagnoses the causes behind our worldwide food crisis, but offers sustainable and feasible solutions to deal with it. A clever storyteller and engaging speaker, Patel infuses humor into his intelligent and energetic presentations. He rouses his audience through his highly pertinent discussions of globalization and the world’s food system, delivering a message that is ultimately filled with hope. His current project, with acclaimed director Steve James (Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters) finds new ways to tell stories from around the world, of people breaking rules to feed their communities in ways no-one has ever seen. A firm believer that everyone can make a difference, Patel inspires his audiences to find their own way to make the world a better place.

The Bias Inside Us: Dr. Calvin Lai | Tuesday, March 15
Dr. Calvin Lai

The Bias Inside Us Presents:
Dr. Calvin Lai
Tuesday, March 15 | 7:30pm
Pablo Center for the Arts | Jamf Theater
Purchase Tickets

Dr. Calvin Lai is the Director of Research, Project Implicit and psychology professor, Washington University in St. Louis

You can see more about Calvin Lai on his lab’s website here:

The Forum is a proud sponsor of this event. 

Nora McInerny | Redefining Resilience | April 19
Nora McInerny
Nora McInerny

Nora McInerny
Redefining Resilience
Tuesday, April 19, 2022
Schofield Auditorium 
Ticket Info

A writer, whose pieces have appeared in the New York Times, TIME Magazine and the Washington Post, Nora McInerny specializes in difficult conversations: death, loss, illness, mental health, trauma, change, and how to move forward with grief with resilience, joy, love and humor.

From having the 4th most popular TED Talk of 2019 to her work as the creator and host of the podcast Terrible Thanks for Asking, she regularly dives into the topics most people avoid with refreshing candor, heart and humor. In doing so, she draws upon her own story of profound loss: During six hellish weeks in 2014, Nora miscarried her second baby, lost her Dad to cancer and became a widow at age 31 when her husband died from brain cancer. In the ensuing years, Nora became a "reluctant grief specialist," bestselling memoirist, and founder dedicated to shining the light on the dark things in life with wit, humor and heart. Speaking to audiences ranging from business schools and corporations to community and healthcare organizations, Nora uses her personal story about living through loss, grief, change and new beginnings to engage with audiences on a deeply personal and universally human level.

Nora connects with millions through her authentic and honest portrayal of shared human experiences in her work. She is author of the critically acclaimed memoirs It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too), The Hot Young Widows Club: Lessons on Survival from the Front Lines of Grief and No Happy Endings: A Memoir. Her award-winning podcast Terrible, Thanks for Asking has been praised for its ability to "continuously, unapologetically, ferociously plows into subjects most people are too uncomfortable to touch" (The Atlantic). Nora’s essays have been published in Elle, Cosmopolitan, Time, Slate and Vox. She also founded the non-profit organization Still Kickin, which provides grants to help others in need of medical financial support and the Hot Young Widows Club, which comforts and supports those who have lost significant others.

Though Nora addresses challenging and uncomfortable topics, she does so with a light touch. Her disarming humor and wit break down the barriers that often isolate people who are going through adversity and change. Her unforgettable talks inspire audiences to face and conquer any obstacle — with the strength that comes from knowing that we are not alone. As one client said, "Months later, we are still talking about Nora’s keynote and how it left all of us
with such a profound sense of how important it is to value each and every moment."

$8 | General Public
$6 | UWEC Faculty/Staff
$4 | UWEC Students Day of Event
$2 | UWEC Students Until Day of Event 

Visit the Service Center in Davies Center’s east lobby.
Call 715-836-INFO [4636] or 800-949-UWEC [8932].

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