Geena Davis to Deliver Grace A. Tanner Lecture in Human Values

Published: September 26, 2022 | Read Time: 2 minutes

Geena DavisThe Grace A. Tanner Center for Human Values is thrilled to announce that Academy Award-winning actress Geena Davis is visiting Southern Utah University (SUU) this October to deliver the Grace A. Tanner Lecture in Human Values. The Lecture will take place on Thursday, October 6, 2022 at 11:30 a.m. in SUU’s Gilbert Great Hall. Davis will speak on “The Ripple Effect of Intersectional Representation in the Arts.” This event is free and open to all campus and community members.

“We are excited to bring Geena Davis to SUU campus as a way to close this momentous year,” said Dr. Danielle Dubrasky, Tanner Center director. We invite all members of SUU and the Cedar City community to attend this event.”

The Grace A. Tanner Center will also be celebrating its namesake with the premiere of a commissioned documentary entitled Grace. This screening will take place in SUU’s Sharwan Smith Student Center Theatre at 7:00 p.m. the prior evening, October 5. This film about Grace’s life was created by SUU professor Jon Smith and celebrates the 40th anniversary of SUU’s Grace A. Tanner Center for Human Values.

In addition to being an Oscar and Golden Globe-winning actor, Davis is also a world-class athlete (at one time the nation’s 13th-ranked archer), a member of the genius society Mensa, and recognized for her tireless advocacy for women and girls. She is the founder and chair of the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which engages film and television creators to dramatically increase the percentages of female characters—and reduce gender stereotyping —in media made for children 11 and under. Davis was appointed Special Envoy for Women and Girls in ICT for the UN’s International Telecommunication Union, and is an official partner of UN Women. She is also co-founder and chair of the Bentonville Film Festival, whose mission is to champion women and diverse voices in all forms of media.

The Grace A. Tanner Lecture will be followed by a moderated discussion between Davis and SUU alum Melinda Pfundstein, acclaimed regional theater actor and director that will be very familiar to guests of the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Pfundstein is also the co-founder of StateraArts, an advocacy organization to bring women full and equal participation in the arts.

This lecture is the concluding event of the Year of Grace which celebrates the legacy of Grace A. Tanner and recognizes 40 years of the Grace A. Tanner Center for Human Values at SUU. The Tanner Center seeks to promote access to scholarly and scientific learning in all areas of human values which embrace moral, artistic, intellectual, and spiritual concepts. For more information please refer to the website

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