My guest today is Amalia Mora, Ph.D. She is the Manager of Innovation and Engagement for the University of Arizona Consortium on Gender-Based Violence and faculty for the newly launched GBV masters certificate in conjunction with the Human Rights Practice Program. The University of Arizona Consortium on Gender-Based Violence is a research and resource center that seeks to model and inspire a radical shift in the way we think about and address gender-based violence. Amalia Mora spoke about the inception of the program, its areas of focus and research, and campus and community partnerships.
Amalia C. Mora is an ethnomusicologist whose research focuses on how gender-based violence is implicated in various kinds of popular narratives and how these narratives are negotiated “on the ground.” Her specific areas of research and expertise include gender violence in relation to performance, tourism and cultural production, race, and nationalism; the music and dance of India and Latin America; musicodance traditions and healing; sex work and the political economy of intimacy; and mixed race body politics. She moved to Tucson in 2016 after receiving her doctorate from UCLA, which explored the relationship between sexual violence, racialized narratives on dancers and their bodies, and women who perform for tourists in Goa, India.
Prior to joining the Consortium team, she contributed to the Tucson Museum of Art folklife collection as a researcher and writer and had the honor of serving as Folklorist in Residence for the Southwest Folklife Alliance as well as a Visiting Folklorist for the Tucson Meet Yourself annual festival. Amalia’s role with the Consortium consists of managing the center’s Innovation Fund and academic and student engagement portfolio, including its annual Speakers Series as well as student-focused academic and creative initiatives. She is also an affiliated faculty member in the Human Rights Practice Program who has taught a course on the Me Too movement in India and the US and is a dedicated mentor who loves to help create career pathways for students.
Amalia is also a performing artist who has received training in music, dance, theater, and creative writing from institutions and professionals including the Colburn Music Academy, UCLA, Kyra Humphrey (Los Angeles Master Chorale), Khori Dastoor (Los Angeles Opera, Opera San Jose), and Liz Lira (25-time world champion dancer). Her writing on the intersection of performance, race, and gender violence has appeared in a wide variety of publications. Amalia loves living in Tucson, where her abuela’s family migrated en route to California from Sonora many years ago.
Our mission is to bring together interdisciplinary, cutting-edge interventions on gender-based violence in order to foster synergy between research, pedagogy, outreach, service, and student engagement both on and off-campus. We serve as a research and resource center for UA faculty, students, and staff through:
- Seed funding for innovative research and programming
- Assessment and evaluation services to ensure best practice in campus policies & programs
- Partnerships on and off-campus to develop, implement, and evaluate science-based interventions to address gender-based violence
- Academic opportunities and resources for students, faculty, and staff
We strive to generate and circulate innovative conversations and analysis through supporting cutting-edge research on gender-based violence by UA faculty, staff, and students. We also envision collaborating with campus partners to develop a research-to-practice model for violence prevention and response, as well as working with community partners to strengthen gender-based violence prevention efforts in greater Tucson.
- Arizona Safer Bars Alliance (ASBA): Though a 3 million dollar grant awarded by the Arizona Department of Health Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Consortium operates a research project to study a sexual assault prevention program in bars.
- Sexual Assault Resistance Program: Through a 2 million dollar grant funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the Consortium is currently implementing and conducting research and evaluation on an acquaintance rape prevention program for college freshmen.
- Evaluation with SIROW: The Consortium contracts the Southwest Institute for Research on Women (SIROW) to provide evaluation services for prevention and response programming on campus, as well as for our Innovation Fund projects.
We work with faculty to integrate discussions of gender-based violence into the classroom through providing content expertise, curriculum development, and a new matching grant initiative through the Student-Faculty Interaction program. We also help to create career pathways for students through internships and opportunities to engage and collaborate with experts in the field.
- Speakers Series: The Consortium hosts two fall events and one spring event as part of its new Speakers Series, which allows U of Arizona students, staff, and faculty to engage with renowned scholars, activists, and artists whose work focuses on understanding and eradicating gender-based violence. Our Fall 2019 Speakers Series events were A Fireside Chat with ‘me too.’ Movement founder Tarana Burke and A Reading by Writer and Activist Lacy M. Johnson. We will be announcing our Spring 2020 event soon.
- 2020 Special Issue and Contest: The Consortium is partnering with the Sonora Review, the oldest graduate student-run literary journal in the country, on a special online issue and nonfiction contest. The theme of the issue and contest is “Extinction,” and will explore the intersection of gender-based violence and various other forms of irreversible harm (against the planet, other species, and ourselves).
- We are collaborating to develop an online graduate certificate in gender-based violence studies, which will be run and housed within the University of Arizona’s Human Rights Practice Program. The certificate will provide students with an advanced framework for understanding the root causes of gender-based violence, as well as training in applying this knowledge to advance the well-being, equality, and human rights of those most impacted. This will be the only certificate program in the United States that integrates and centralizes the study of femicide/feminicide, or the killing of women and girls because they are female. More information on this certificate program will be coming soon.
The Consortium provides seed funding for evidence-based campus programming as well as through our Innovation Fund. One of our most exciting accomplishments to date was the spearheading of the University of Arizona’s first Survivor Advocacy program. Learn more about our funding opportunities funding opportunities.
Text is courtesy from the Consortium on Gender-Based Violence.
Recorded and produced by Amanda Shauger. We spoke with Amalia Mora and others in 2017 ahead of its inaugural conference.