UNLV and its Division of Educational Outreach celebrate Women’s History Month with a special presentation, “Doing Science from the Back of the Bus: Science and Civil Rights in the Life of Roger Arliner Young.” Sara P. Díaz, assistant professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Gonzaga University, will discuss the life of Roger Arliner Young, the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in zoology (1940). Fifty years after her death, Young’s professional experiences continue to resonate with many women of color in science and the academy.
The challenges Young faced included job instability and discrimination, poverty, and a violently racist and sexist culture. In particular, she struggled to reconcile her commitment to her non-scientific, working-class community outside the university with the elite racial uplift agenda within the university. Dr. Díaz will discuss the various factors that led to Young’s ultimate exclusion from the scientific community, despite her internationally recognized scientific contributions.
The presentation will take place 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 10 in the Goldfield Room of Lied Library on the UNLV Main Campus. It is co-sponsored by the African-American Studies Program, Council of African-American Professionals, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, Interdisciplinary Degree Programs, Office of Civic Engagement & Diversity, Office of Diversity Initiatives, Women’s Council, and Women’s Research Institute of Nevada.