Slaying on the Weekly: Black History Month + Women’s History Month

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!

Sadly, today is the last day of Black History Month. Thank you for join us on our Slaying on the Weekly’s this past month. But our time together doesn’t stop now! We will be sure to continue to provide you resources, news and feel good take away tokens. There is still so much to learn!

March Awesomeness + UMBC Happenings

March is Women’s History Month!!! We are so excited to roll out some excited news, resources and UMBC events going on this month!

Be sure to check out the Women’s Center’s Women’s History Calendar. There are great events and opportunities this month! Hope to see you some of the events!

Loretta Ross is coming!! Join us on March 8th at 6pm for educator and activist  Loretta Ross’ keynote about “Women’s Rights as Human Rights”.  This is also the same day as the Women’s Strike. Are you participating? Stop by the Keynote to learn while you strike!

What is Elect Her? Elect Her is the only program in the country that encourages and trains college women to run for student government and future political office. Join us for the Elect Her workshop on March 11th! I’ll be there, be sure to register online!

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The 2016 Women’s History Month Zine cover photo. Artist: Shira Devorah

Resistance and Activism

Amelia Meman, the Women’s Center Special Projects Coordinator, wanted to pass along a resistance calendar. The calendar is a compilation of events and protests from the US and Canada. Check out the events, spread the word!

What are we striking for? Why should I care? What does striking look like for me, someone who cannot afford to miss work? Unladylike has a few resources to share with you!

 

 

Enjoy this Black History Salute Spotify Playlist! Happy Black History Month and Happy Women’s History Month!! See you next week!

 

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Who Gets to be a Superhero? Representation and Comic Books

Blog Post 1 picture.pngWomen’s Center student staff member Prachi reflects on her lifelong hobby of reading comic books and how inclusive comic books as well as how inclusive their industry has been for women, particularly women of color. 

I have been a superhero comic book fan, on and off, for about 13 years – beginning with checking out Spider-Man and Fantastic Four comics from the public library in elementary. At that young age, it didn’t occur to me in explicit terms that comic books, their industry, and their fans often excluded or mistreated women, people of color, and LGBT people. Instead, I felt a sense of shame and guilt whenever someone commented on my comic book reading, feeling like something was not “right” with me for being a young girl that loved comic book superheroes.

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Women in Politics Roundtable Round-Up

16665235_1240042186074587_3406555264375312519_oThe Women’s Center’s Spring Roundtable series has begun! On February 14th, we hosted the first of our three-part roundtable “Underrepresentation of Women in…” series. This roundtable was on “Women in Politics” and focused on the lack of women in the political sphere and the establishment.

For this discussion, our panelists were Political Science professor Lisa Vetter, Language Literacy and Culture student Colonel Ingrid Parker, and student staff member Kayla Smith.

The discussion opened with a question about gendered communication and how to express femininity in a workspace that’s male dominated. Kayla and Colonel Parker both agreed that being a “chameleon,” or being fluid in how they present themselves based on their audience, has worked for them in the past. 

The conversation then turned to Hillary Clinton’s presidential loss. The suggestion was made that the glass ceiling was now higher than it had previously been as a result of someone as qualified as Clinton losing to someone as seemingly unqualified as President Trump. People in politics may be more scared to back women running for office because women don’t seem to get the votes to take office. Therefore the goal of making a woman president is even more elusive. Furthermore, after learning that some women need to be asked more than five times to run for office, there was some concern that Clinton’s loss would discourage more women from entering the political sphere for fear of disappointment; however, Colonel Parker reminded everyone that the next step should be to stay hopeful and push forward no matter what happens. 

When Jess Myers asked about the silencing of Elizabeth Warren on the Senate floor during the confirmation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Kayla pointed out that the silencing of Elizabeth Warren was really the silencing of Coretta Scott King. Kayla went on to explain that, because her feminism is intrinsically connected to her race, it’s impossible for her to ignore the ramifications she faces in the establishment due to being a black woman. 

When the discussion was opened up to the audience, a student asked a question about coping with the effects of mental health when looking at barriers to women in politics. Colonel Parker spoke about the benefits of finding coping mechanisms like eating well, spending time with family, and working out. Kayla suggested finding supportive groups of women to help and uplift you in the face of adversity. Women’s Center Assistant Director Megan Tagle Adams added that it isn’t always enough for their to be more women in a space but that they should also be supportive of women excelling instead of engaging in “mean girl” tactics.

Another audience member asked Kayla what her opinion was on changing the establishment to include women and people of color to which she responded, “It’s important for people to be educated. They need to learn that our government and political system is built on white supremacy, racism, and sexism. Nothing will change until people understand where we started and that those things still play a major role in our system.”

Overall, the subject of women’s underrepresentation in politics is vast and complicated and while we barely scratched the surface in this hour long discussion, we did our best to open the dialogue and get people talking and thinking.

Want more information? Below are some links further discussing women, the establishment, and politics.

So has this discussion fired you up? Are you interested in running for office (public, school, or otherwise)? Have you heard about Elect Her? Elect Her is a leadership program that encourages and trains college women to run for student government and future political office

There is an an Elect Her workshop on March 11th from 10:30-3:30 in Fine Arts 011. You will learn how to figure out what your message and platform is, how to craft a communication strategy that works, and you’ll hear from campus and community leaders about what it takes to win. It is going to be a great day!

If you have questions or want to RSVP, contact Dr. Kate. (drabinsk@umbc.edu.)

 

Slaying on the Weekly: Resist and Rise

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:

February is Black History Month! Join us in celebrating the lives, activism and labor of African-American and Black activists, scholars and thinkers this month.

Immigrants in the US have become subjected to violent mass raids and deportation. DREM, Desis Rising Up and Moving, created a Guide for Sharing Reports on Social Media.

Article of the Week:

Do you ever find yourself asking “What is the Black Lives Matter Movement? What does it consist of and why should it matter to me?” That’s ok! Everyday Feminism has a great video on What You Need to Know About Black Lives Matter.

 

UMBC Happenings:

The Women’s Center is continually dedicated to support throughout this semester and beyond. February is full of events and programs, all of which are geared towards expanding our knowledge and understanding of feminism and social justice. Join us for our Money 201: Basic Investing Program.

Next month is Women’s History Month. The Women’s Center is excited to be joined by Loretta Ross, a reproductive rights activist, for our Women’s Rights as Human Rights in the Age of Trump Keynote.

Woman of the Week: 

During Black History Month, Slaying on the Weekly will be featuring inspiring, innovative or groundbreaking black women. This weeks WOTW is Katherine Dunham. Katherine was an anthropologist who studied African, Caribbean and Black dance movements in the 1920s and elevated Black dance and movement in the US. Thanks Katherine!

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Katherine Dunham, the Godmother of Black dance 

Continue to slay! Stay warm! Until next week!

Balancing School, Anxiety and Activism in Tumultuous Times

 

shira-spring-headshot a short reflection by Shira Devorah, Women’s Center student staff member

This semester has only just begun, and I’m already feeling pretty anxious. Granted, I’m usually pretty anxious – but this feels different.

If you’ve been following the news recently, you may understand. For many marginalized groups, it’s hard to feel stable right now. While I’m privileged in many ways, integral parts of my identity are under attack right now.  I’m proud of being a queer Jewish woman, but these parts of who I am feel very vulnerable and exposed at the moment. My uncertainty is manifesting as physical sensations. There’s a constant tightness in the pit of my stomach, and it’s hard to focus on things outside of the instability surrounding me. This is a difficult moment in time, and I want to be doing something about it, but my mental illness flare-ups make me question my ability to do so. I want to help, but  I also have to take care of my anxiety.

Amidst the current chaos, it is also my last semester at UMBC. If I know myself at all, this means I may be more susceptible to anxiety attacks during this life change. School work is a balancing act for me, and while I’ve had a few shaky semesters, I care a lot about my education. Most of my anxiety is tied up in how well I do, and this is my last chance to (literally) make the grade. UMBC students are held to a high standard of excellence, and I want my last semester to reflect this. To meet my personal achievement goals, I have to put a lot of energy into my studies. This can be draining and difficult to juggle with clinical anxiety.

I’m sure I’m not alone – Many people, especially women, deal with anxiety.  I’ve talked to a bunch of friends who live with similar anxiety conditions. We’re all struggling to figure out how to contribute, how to be present for people and speak up. It can be really, really difficult- but I know it isn’t impossible. Continue reading

Slaying on the Weekly: Let Beyonce Bless Your Day

View story at Medium.com

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! Due to scheduling not working, we’re posting last weeks SOTW today, which is great! Why you ask? Because now we get to talk about Beyonce!

Things you should know:

February is Black History Month! Join us in celebrating the lives, activism, and labor of African-American and Black activists, scholars and thinkers this month.Who better to celebrate than the celestial being that is Beyonce. Did you catch her performance on the Grammy’s last night? Check it out here! 

UMBC Happenings:

The Women’s Center is continually dedicated to support throughout this semester and beyond. February is full of events and programs, all of which are geared towards expanding our knowledge and understanding of feminism and social justice. Join us for our first Roundtable discussion, What Now? UMBC Police Meet & Greet and Money 201: Basic Investing Program.

The Mosaic Center released a list of Black History Month Events available on the myUMBC Mosiac Center page. Be sure to download the list.

Woman of the Week:  

During Black History Month, Slaying on the Weekly will be featuring inspiring, innovative or groundbreaking black women. This week’s Woman of the Week is Sister Rosetta Tharpe. She was one of the most influential guitarists of the 20th century, so much so that she is regarded as the Godmother of Rock and Roll. Check her out! 

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A Time to Resist + A Time to Take Care

amelia-meman-headshotA reflection written by Women’s Center Special Projects Coordinator, Amelia Meman

So here we are. Another day in this brave new world.

Are you exhausted yet? Emotionally, physically, psychologically?

If you’re not–congratulations! That’s really good and you are a sweet glowing angel.

If you are, though, you’re not alone and you are also a sweet glowing angel.

deadI’m tired, too. For all of us feminists, social justice warriors, and snowflakes, this is a tough time. The stream of executive actions and questionable cabinet appointments have rocked our communities and have malignantly affected some of the most vulnerable groups in the U.S. The fights we’ve been engaging in throughout every administration have been exacerbated and fear is alive more than ever. 

Seeing the reaction from social justice activists has been heartening for me in many ways. The women’s march was awesome and huge (though not without its fair share of criticism from Black women, the trans community, and many others). Other demonstrations against the refugee ban and the massive uptick in people contacting their elected representatives to demand accountability has shown us that massive swathes of the public have been activated to resist in a great variety of ways.

This work is both vital and neverending. Making an impact is difficult, exhausting work. It involves massive amounts of human energy. What I’m ultimately getting to is this: are you taking care of yourself right now? 
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