Women’s Center 25 Then vs. Now #7: Documenting Our History at Critical Social Justice

WC 25 Logo - PurpleThe Women’s Center at UMBC turns 25 this year! We’re excited to share our important milestone with UMBC’s 50th Anniversary and will be celebrating throughout the year with the rest of campus! We were inspired by Special Collections archival project Archives Gold: 50 Objects for UMBC’s 50th and decided to do our own digging into the Women’s Center archives. Over the course of the year, we’ll be sharing 25 “Then vs Now” archives to celebrate the origin and evolution of the Women’s Center at UMBC.

It’s been a while since our last post because we were prepping for Critical Social Justice. Consequently, this week we’re featuring the awesome posters + a Prezi presentation student staff put together highlighting the Women’s Center history which was showcased at this week’s Critical Social Justice event addressing diversity and inclusion within higher education.

The posters are hanging up in the Women’s Center right now so stop by to check them out. In the meantime, here’s some photos of the posters Shira and Michael made and the link to Daniel’s Prezi Presentation. Prachi also made a really cool zine about our history that we’ll be adding to the 50th Anniversary time capsule that we’re working to get online. In the meantime, you can pick up a hard copy the next time you visit the Women’s Center.

Shira's poster explored the dynamics of 1991 - the year the Women's Center opened

Shira’s poster explored the dynamics of 1991 – the year the Women’s Center opened

Michael focused his poster on important Women's Center programs and their evolution of the past 25 years.

Michael focused his poster on important Women’s Center programs and their evolution of the past 25 years.

Prachi created a multi-page zine documenting the history of the Women's Center. Here's just one of the pages.

Prachi created a multi-page zine documenting the history of the Women’s Center. Here’s just one of the pages.

You can check out Dan’s cool Prezi presentation, Historical Foundations of the Women’s Center at UMBC, that explores the evolution of women’s centers and women’s movements from a holistic perspective which he was then able to connect to the programming and services our specific Women’s Center has offered over the years.

dan.PNG

A screen shot of one of Dan’s slides from  Historical Foundations of the Women’s Center at UMBC.

What are the memories you have of the Women’s Center over the years that are meaningful to you? What does the Women’s Center mean to you today? Share your memories and pictures with us in the comment section below!
Stay up-to-date with our 25th anniversary on social media using #UMBCWC25. Share your Women’s Center experiences and memories with the UMBC community using #UMBCWC25 AND #UMBC50!

Advertisements

Slaying on the Weekly: Halloween, CSJ, Voting and More

A weekly round-up curated by Women’s Center staff member, Michael Jalloh Jamboria

In the spirit of my friend, who gave us the glorious name ‘Slaying on the Weekly’, every week I will be bringing you some interesting, funny or thought-provoking content from the internet! Be sure to join us next week for more and continue to slay!

Things you should know:

Believe it or not, voting happens in a few very short weeks. Early voting begins November 3rd. The presidential election is important, but so are the 469 Congressional seats up for re-election! That’s a lot! Stay informed and get there to vote!

Article of the Week:

We’re only 3 days from Halloween!!! For those that are going out, be safe! Be sure to check out Everyday Feminism’s article “Is Your Halloween Costume Racist?” This is a really cool guide for making sure our costumes are not making fun of or being disrespectful to people of other cultures, religions, races, etc.

UMBC Happenings:

This week was Critical Social Justice! There were a ton of amazing events all pertaining to our theme, ‘Home’. It was an amazing time, especially with our keynote speaker Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. If you missed the events, some of them are available to watch on the Critical Social Justice Facebook Page. Even though Critical Social Justice is over, we want to encourage all of you to continue to be critical and cognizant of how UMBC is or isn’t a home to the students, faculty and staff it houses!

Also, the theme of Home is really resonating with many of us in the Women’s Center as we watch and pay attention to what is happening at Standing Rock. We’re working on a round-up of resources we’ll post on the Critical Social Justice blog so you can learn more about the Native American and indigenous people in America, the water protectors, the social justice issues related to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Song of the Week:

I’ve been listening to really great music recently, and I want to share that with all of you! This week’s song is Laputa by Hiatus Kaiyote ft Anderson.Paak.

leah-lps-and-staff

 

Until next week! Happy Halloween! 🎃

Queer (De)Coded, a Roundtable Roundup

The Women’s Center’s Roundtable series is underway! On October 20th, we hosted the second of our three-part roundtable “Our Bodies, Ourselves” series. Queer (De)Coded focused on women and queer coding, deconstructing how women and femme individuals utilize and present their bodies in order to appear more or less queer. Queer coding is when individuals hint with their bodies and mannerisms their identity without explicitly stating their sexuality or gender identity.

queer-decoded-flyer

For this discussion, we invited staff member Elle Trusz, UMBC alum Juliette Seymour, and community member Melissa Smith to begin the roundtable dialogue with their own thoughts and perspectives related to queer coding. Elle opened up the conversation, discussing what it is like to be in relationships that are read as straight but are actually queer. She explained that walking down the street with her “husbutch”- or female spouse- could sometimes be seen by others as a straight couple based upon how both individuals present themselves.

Juliette also had interesting input into what it is like being a queer person who appears straight and cisgendered within their own life. Juliette discussed how their appearance sometimes made it more possible to be in spaces that may or may not be LGBTQIA+ friendly, yet it also felt like taking a step back into the closet. Melissa brought up the different ways her queer embodiment shows up in her workplace and the critical ways she is being present in all of her identities in order to make more space for others like her. Continue reading

Slaying on the Weekly: Voting and Other Important Things

A weekly round-up curated by Women’s Center staff member, Michael Jalloh Jamboria

In the spirit of my friend, who gave us the glorious name ‘Slaying on the Weekly’, every week I will be bringing you some interesting, funny or thought-provoking content from the internet! Be sure to join us next week for more and continue to slay!

 

October 20th was the last of the Presidential Debate series. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, and soon it’ll be time to vote. While it’s too late to register online, you can register in person (if you live in Maryland) on November 3rd.nvt3

Critical Social Justice is NEXT WEEK! Be sure to join us, and our campus partners, during the CSJ events happening from October 24th- 28th. Also, check out our series on the Women’s Center Blog on things you need to know about our Keynote Speaker, Disability Justice and Residential Segregation.

 

Equally important, I want to make sure we are all taking care of ourselves. Engage in whatever self-care practices make you feel the best. Express and allow yourself to feel the emotions you have! The Women’s Center, The Mosaic Center, the Queer Student Lounge and the Counseling Center are campus resources that are here to help with that process.

Until next week!

Revisiting Male Privilege

daniel-headshot

A Women’s Center Blog post and reflection by student staff member Daniel

On September 22, 2014, I published my first Women’s Center blog post, titled “Male Privilege in Women’s Spaces.”  In it I shared my anxieties about joining the Women’s Center staff and reflected on my male privilege. I thought about what my role or place might be and how I could manage my privilege in a healthy and productive way.

I want to begin my last year at the Women’s Center the same way I began my first year here. I want to think about and complicate my male privilege and how I show up in the Women’s Center and other women-centric spaces.

wc-staff-fall-2014

Fall 2014 Women’s Center Staff

A lot of things have changed in the two years since I published that first post. After serving my terms in student org leadership, I’m now much less involved; I’ve watched freshmen and sophomores step forward and take positions I once held and do a better job than I or my predecessors did. My trans identity has evolved and my understanding of my relationship to the world has changed. My perspective on privilege is different now and I’ve learned that reflecting on my privilege makes me a better leader. I’m a third-year staff member and I often find myself in leadership and mentor roles, meaning this self-reflection is even more important than it was when I first started.
Continue reading

Beauty Embodied Resources Round-up

 

The Women’s Center has officially kicked off our roundtable series for the fall semester! We call this series Our Bodies, Ourselves, specifically focusing on personal embodiment and the intersections of identity that come along with existing as a body. This event, specifically called Beauty Embodied, introduced the semester-long discussion of diverse embodied experiences.

beauty-roundtable-flyer

our beautiful roundtable flyer

Beginning this ongoing series, The Women’s Center invited three panelists to open up the conversation of embodied beauty. Alumnus Crystal Ogar, Dr. Medulene Shomali of the Gender and Women’s Studies department, and our very own assistant director Megan Tagle Adams served as our panelists!

We spent the next hour complicating the notions of beauty, femininity and privileges associated with who gets to embrace ideals of beauty. All panelists spoke about the privilege and racialization of specific beauty standards and stereotypes. We discussed at great length who has access to conventional beauty. Women of color specifically have a lot of challenges associating with conventional beauty, as the hegemonic view of westernized beauty is white, thin and able-bodied. All panelists identified as women of color, and were able to draw upon their various identities to share their experiences with racially exclusionary beauty. Continue reading

Women’s Center 25 Then vs. Now #6: 25 Years of Events and Programs

WC 25 Logo - PurpleThe Women’s Center at UMBC turns 25 this year! We’re excited to share our important milestone with UMBC’s 50th Anniversary and will be celebrating throughout the year with the rest of campus! We were inspired by Special Collections archival project Archives Gold: 50 Objects for UMBC’s 50th and decided to do our own digging into the Women’s Center archives. Over the course of the year, we’ll be sharing 25 “Then vs Now” archives to celebrate the origin and evolution of the Women’s Center at UMBC.

This week we’re featuring a sampling of the various events and programs hosted in the Women’s Center over the past 25 years. 

 

nvt5

The very first Returning Women Students group took place in 1996. This group still is an critical part of the Women’s Center programming and has also morphed into a scholarship program.

nvt4

The Clothesline Project is an artivism display the Women’s Center exhibits during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Even in 2006, the Women’s Center was just as dedicated to telling the stories of survivors as they are today.

nvt1

Before the era of Netflix and Youtube, the Women’s Center (in co-sponsorship with other departments) held film series which spotlighted women’s voices and experiences.

 

 

nvt3

While our editing skills have definitely grown since 1991, we have remained dedicated to critical social justice and centering the voices of women. Be sure to join us for our Critical Social Justice Keynote speaker, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha.

 

What are the memories you have of the Women’s Center over the years that are meaningful to you? What does the Women’s Center mean to you today? Share your memories and pictures with us in the comment section below!

Stay up-to-date with our 25th anniversary on social media using #UMBCWC25. Share your Women’s Center experiences and memories with the UMBC community using #UMBCWC25 AND #UMBC50!