Topeka, Kan. – Intersectional neurodiversity expert Chris D. Hooten, M.A. (they/them) is visiting Washburn this week as part of WUmester 2024. Hooten is an award-winning speaker, writer and coach. Hooten’s visit will include opportunities for students, faculty, staff and the public to learn about how everyone can build equitable and inclusive communities where all members can thrive.

The public address is 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21 in the Rita Blitt Gallery, adjacent to White Concert Hall, on the Washburn University campus. Hooten will speak about “Beyond the Binary: Embracing Gender Freedom Amidst a Changing Landscape” during this talk. This event is free.

“This event will help attendees understand and appreciate gender diversity while increasing awareness of gendered norms and concepts,” said Dr. Kara Kendall-Morwick, director for the Center for Teaching Excellence and Learning and professor of English, Washburn. “Audience members will benefit from real-life examples to help them locate their relationship to how gender identity affects individuals and society and will leave feeling empowered to accept people of all gender identities, including themselves.”

Hooten’s visit is sponsored by Washburn University Academic Affairs, the Washburn University College of Arts & Sciences, the Washburn University Leadership Institute & LinC, the Washburn University Office of Student Involvement & Development, the Washburn University Center for Teaching Excellence & Learning and Topeka Pride.


WUmester is intended to foster a university-wide conversation on a topic related to social justice that will change each spring semester. The goal of the program is to engage the entire Washburn community in a cross-disciplinary learning experience on timely subjects and help students see the connections between the subjects they study in the classroom and real-world debates and problems.

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the landmark 1954 United States Supreme Court decision "Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka," WUmester 2024 will examine community and belonging from the perspectives of academic disciplines across campus and through a variety of co-curricular programming. It will consider how community and belonging contribute to our safety, wellbeing and, ultimately, happiness and empowerment.

You can find out about more WUmester 2024 events by visiting

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For further information, contact:
Joy Bailes
Director of Internal Communications and Brand Management
Telephone: (785) 670-2153
Cell: (785) 230-1648
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