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Academy Award-winner Geena Davis to deliver CSB Renaissance Lecture

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February 5, 2014

Geena DavisAcademy Award-winning actor Geena Davis will deliver the 2014 Renaissance Series lecture at the College of Saint Benedict.

She will discuss "Gender Equality in the Media" at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25 at the College of Saint Benedict in room 204, Gorecki Dining and Conference Center, CSB. The event is free and open to the public.

Few have achieved such remarkable success in as many different fields as Davis has: she is not only an Oscar and Golden Globe winning actor, but a world-class athlete (at one time the nation's 13th-ranked archer), a member of the genius society Mensa, and is now recognized for her tireless advocacy of women and girls nearly as much as for her acting accomplishments.   

She has starred in numerous movies, received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in "The Accidental Tourist" and was nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe for her role as Thelma in "Thelma and Louise."

Davis also received Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress for her performances as a political speechwriter in "Speechless" and as a baseball catcher in "A League of Their Own." In 2005-2006, Davis starred as the first female President of the United States in the television show "Commander-in-Chief."

In 2004 she founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.  The institute is the only research based organization working in the entertainment industry to dramatically improve the representation of female characters in media and entertainment targeting children 11 and under. Davis founded the institute because she was astounded by the lack of female characters while watching children's entertainment with her young daughter. Fueled to take action, she commissioned the largest research project on gender in film and television ever undertaken. The research confirmed the disparity she observed: in family films, there is only one female character for every three male characters. In group scenes, only 17 percent of the characters are female.

For her work with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, Davis received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Bates College in May 2009.

Serving CSB and SJU, the Renaissance Series was established by CSB President MaryAnn Baenninger in 2006 to bring speakers to CSB who "demonstrate the diversity of opportunities available for women and men and . . . to encourage them to broaden their horizons in every respect, particularly in areas that are less traditional for the respective genders."

Past speakers include Colette Peters, CSB alumna and first female director of the Oregon Department of Corrections; Anne-Marie Slaughter, foreign policy expert and professor; Vandana Shiva, environmental activist; Anousheh Ansari, the first female private space explorer; Annie Griffiths Belt, National Geographic photographer; and Sylvia Nasar, author and economist.