The Justice for Women Lecture Series reveals, honors, and celebrates global voices of those who have experienced grave injustices and have found the strength within themselves to make a difference and inspire others to act. We work to raise awareness in Maine about the injustices women and girlsface globally.

TRANSFORMING

the lives of women and girls in maine.

The Justice For Women Lecture Series reveals, honors, and celebrates global voices of those who have experienced grave injustices and have found the strength within themselves to make a difference and inspire others to act. We work to raise awareness in Maine about the injustices women and girls face globally. 

We bring exceptional women from around the world to talk about a truth that binds us together:  the truth of injustice. Our speakers are global activists and leaders, committing their lives to positive, enduring change.

The series honors the tenacity of these women. It brings their successes to the fore. It shares ideas to effect lasting change. Listening to the extraordinary stories of women who have risen using powerful, yet peaceful voices is inspirational. Engaging the community in conversations about justice for women and girls is transformational.

REVEALING

the truths of injustices. 

This is the impact of Justice For Women.

INSPIRING

People of all ages to take action.

Each March, the University of Maine School of Law presents Justice For Women, a program supported by the JFW lecture endowment and the generosity of other donors.

This collaboration brings:

ONE GLOBAL VOICE. A speaker from a developing country who is an activist and leader who speaks to an issue of global injustice and how to challenge it.

INSPIRATIONAL FORUMS. We offer middle and high school, college, and post-graduate students the opportunity to engage in intimate conversations with our lecturer and community leaders.

INTENSIVE CONVERSATIONS. We meet with people in leadership positions, both public and private, to discuss and leverage real change in Maine.

EMPOWERING

Maine's communities.

We invite New Mainers to participate in JFW events that help bridge the gap between their cultures and their new home in Maine. We build connections with Maine's immigrant communities by featuring their cultures and listening to their voices. We seek to engage all Mainers in a dialogue about justice for women and girls in Maine and beyond.

CONNECTING COMMUNITIES

by building bridges and promoting dialog.

While in Maine, lecturers engage Maine students and community members in conversations about the issue of achieving justice for women and girls in developing countries and the United States.

Some past examples include:

  • Holding informal discussions with students, faculty, and staff at the University of Maine School of Law

  • Partnering with Deering High School , Lewiston High School, Edward Little High School and Westbrook Middle and High Schools

  • Collaborating with the University of Southern Maine, Bates College, MECA, and the University of New England to bring transformational speakers to their campuses

  • Conducting high-level policy discussions with members of Congress, state legislators and key community leaders

  • Sharing ideas with the "Muses" of Hardy Girls Healthy Women at Colby College, the George Mitchell Scholarship Institute and Tree Street Youth.

  • Collaborating with the Maine Jewish Film Festival and Empower the Immigrant Women

  • Engaging with Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) staff and students from high schools and colleges in Maine who are participating in study abroad programs, including several in Botswana

  • Meetings with the World Affairs Council of Maine and the International Law Society at the Maine School of Law

  • Informal discussions with Legislative Leaders, the Women’s Law Association and Maine School of Law students

  • Meetings with the Maine Wabanaki State Child Welfare Truth And Reconciliation Commission

 

GALVANIZING

We are now in our seventh year of presenting the Justice For Women program, highlighted by the annual lecture that has established itself as one of Southern Maine’s most exceptional events. It is the only event of its kind. JFW has raised awareness about issues of justice for women and girls in Maine including:

  • the importance of welcoming New Mainers into our communities, our schools, and our homes

  • the impact of federal policies on our lives in Maine

  • the blight that is food insecurity among Maine's children

  • the need for respect for Mainers of all religions and cultures

  • the rights of women and girls within the Muslim religion

The program has reached tens of thousands of Mainers of all ages through conversations about justice, activism, and making a difference in our own communities. More than half of these are high school students from Maine’s most culturally diverse public schools. Engaging with our speakers has inspired students in their own social justice projects:

  • Muslim women students held panel discussions in their communities about their experiences living in Maine as Muslims and participated in a photo exhibit at USM’s LA College and MECA highlighting their writings

  • Deering students created and presented a play to fellow students to raise awareness about sex trafficking

  • Lewiston High School students presented a film about identity and racism at a public forum

  • Has inspired the focus of law students' clinical projects including anti-trafficking work

With Leadership from Catherine Lee of Lee International, the University of Maine School of Law founded the Justice for Women Lecture Series in 2011.  A native of Lewiston, Maine, Cathy was personally transformed as a result of an opportunity to study in Brazil during high school.  "That experience opened up the world to me. I came to realize that people around the world share the same hopes and dreams."

Recognizing that Maine’s cultural landscape has seen significant change in recent years, Cathy and Maine School of Law continue to collaborate to bring this truly unique offering by both public and private sectors to all Mainers.