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Gender, Race, Sovereignty, and Self-Defense: The Yvonne Wanrow Case and its Legacy

Thursday, May 3, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Yvonne Wanrow Event Poster
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Please join us for a conversation with Yvonne Swan (formerly Wanrow), moderated by Emily Thuma, faculty member in Gender & Sexuality Studies at UCI.

Yvonne Swan (Sinixt Arrow Lakes/Colville) was charged with murder by the State of Washington in 1972 for shooting a white man who broke into her friend’s home. The man had previously attacked her son and sexually assaulted her friend’s seven-year-old daughter. Her case became a rallying point for indigenous and feminist activists in the 1970s to highlight intersections of colonialism and gender violence as well as racism and sexism in the U.S. criminal justice system. Although Swan’s assailant was not an intimate partner, her case resulted in a landmark decision related to arguments of self-defense for survivors of domestic violence. For more than four decades, Swan has continuously worked for the self-determination of indigenous peoples, and for the freedom of political prisoners. She is currently vice president of the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee board.

Supported by: the Initiative to End Family Violence; Department of Gender & Sexuality Studies; Illuminations: the Chancellor’s Arts & Culture Initiative; Center in Law, Society, & Culture; Department of Criminology, Law & Society.