Thursday, August 7, 2008

Art Advocate to Speak at Union Institute & University's Los Angeles Commencement

Elizabeth A. Sackler will speak to graduates about new responsibilities and opportunities. Most who are graduating are working adults fulfilling a lifelong dream.

LOS ANGELES - Union Institute & University (UI&U) is honored to announce that Dr. Elizabeth Sackler, who spearheaded the Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, an exhibition and education facility dedicated to feminist art, will deliver this year’s keynote speech at UI&U’s California commencement, Sunday, August 10, at 11 am, at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, 4401 West 8th Street, in Los Angeles.

Sackler, who earned her Ph.D. with a concentration in public history from UI&U in 1997, will speak to the graduates about new opportunities, options, and choices; and how these new opportunities yield more responsibility. “I know the Union graduates are prepared for this challenge, because of the rigors of the great education and also because Union learners have an innate desire and often burning motivation to improve their lives, to give to their communities, and to make things right in their world,” she said.

This burning motivation is something UI&U learner and so-to-be graduate Brenda Joyce Ervin-Morgan understands. The Compton resident never dreamed of going to college. Today, as she prepares to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in childhood development from UI&U on August 10, she is already setting her sites on her master’s and doctorate degrees. “My family told me I would never succeed if I went to school,” said Ervin-Morgan, the oldest of six children and herself the mother of eight children, including five who she adopted. “Union was very good to me. Their mission was to make sure that I took my education to the next level, and that, to me, is what a teacher is all about,” she said. “When they saw that I was struggling, they reached down, got me, carried me a bit, and helped me to stand up on my own two feet.”

Sackler is the president and CEO of the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation and founding president of the American Indian Ritual Object Repatriation Foundation. The Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum opened to international acclaim in 2007. Its mission is to raise awareness of feminism’s cultural contributions; to educate new generations about the meaning of feminist art; to maintain a dynamic and welcoming learning facility; and to present feminism in an approachable and relevant way.

The commencement will be at 11 am, at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, 4401 West 8th Street, in Los Angeles. A reception will follow at The Ebell of Los Angeles, 743 South Lucerne Blvd., Los Angeles. Space is limited. Registration is required. To register contact: Zayda Rodriguez: 800-486-8328, ext. 1700, or

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