University honors the legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Nicole Yeager, Assistant News Editor

Former Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away on Sept. 18 at the age of 87 due to complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer. Serving on the Supreme Court since 1993, Ginsburg earned the title of the highest senior member of the court’s liberal wing. Ginsburg was well-known for delivering progressive votes on many prominent issues, including abortion rights, same-sex marriage, voting rights, immigration, equal health care and affirmative action. In the wake of her death, the nation is left focusing on these issues once more and further recognizing the importance of this year’s election season. On Oct. 1, the University held a vigil and memorial honoring Ginsburg’s life. The event, organized and hosted through a collaborative effort from the University Hillel, Office of Religious & Spiritual Life, Women’s Resource Center, Women’s and Gender Studies and Speak UP, was held on the Academic Science Quad in front of the Hildreth-Mirza Humanities Center.

Rabbi Jessica Goldberg, who is new to the University this year, shared what motivated her to plan the event. “When the news first came in about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, I was with a bunch of Hillel students and the looks on their faces was a mix of sadness, fear and bewilderment. It was clear that she was a woman who meant a lot to many people. Being new to the University, I thought this was a great opportunity to create an event that would be both honoring and healing,” Goldberg said.

“RBG is a singular figure in our nation. Her death brought about feelings of grief, fear and anxiety, and it is best to come together in times like this,” Director of  Spiritual and Religious Life Kurt Nelson said.

“Rabbi Jessica Goldberg was the energy behind the event; her and Chaplain Kurt Nelson put the event together quickly and successfully pivoted after a very rainy Tuesday forced us to reschedule,” Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender studies Erica Delsandro said.

The event began with a memorial service, featuring three speakers: Lilly Shaner ’21, Avery Landon ’22 and Delsandro. Following their words was a candle lighting ceremony. The event concluded with a film screening of “On The Basis of Sex” (2018). This film tells the inspiring true story of Ginsburg’s life and early cases; it stars Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux and Cailee Spaeny.

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