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K-State Today

April 11, 2012

The New Jersey Seven to be focus of film, discussion today

Submitted by Laura Logan

Preview "The Fire This Time," a film about the New Jersey Seven, at 3 p.m. today in Town Hall of the Leadership Studies Building. It's part of "Street Harassment and The New Jersey Seven Case: Injustice at the Intersections of Race, Gender, Class and Sexuality."

Filmmaker Blair Doroshwalther will be in attendance and will discuss the case along with local scholars and activists, including Simone Dorsey, undergraduate student in family studies and human services; Brandon Haddock, doctoral student in geography and coordinator of the LGBT Resource Center; and Shireen Roshanravan, assistant professor of women's studies. They'll also discuss what it says about safety, violence and justice. 

On a hot summer evening in the gay-friendly West Village neighborhood of New York City, seven young women from New Jersey were verbally threatened and physically attacked by a 29-year-old man. In a not uncommon travesty of justice, the New Jersey Seven, as they came to be called, were sent to prison for defending themselves. "The Fire This Time" tells the story of the seven women's trial and prison sentences and the years-long fight by relatives and activists to get the women released. Along the way, the film reveals in devastating detail how the media, homophobia and racism all work together in American culture to stigmatize and victimize gay people of color. 

The event is sponsored by: K-State Libraries Dow Multicultural Resource Center; the Sociology Graduate Student Association; the department of sociology, anthropology and social work; the LGBT Resource Center; the American ethnic studies program; the department of women's studies; the Association of Multiracial and Biracial Students; FIRE; Gamma Rho Lambda; Delta Lambda Phi; the Flint Hills Human Rights Project; and the K-State Women's Center.