Come Check Out the Clothesline Project Display on 10/3!

The Clothesline Project display on  Wednesday, October 3, 2018 from 10 AM- 4 pm in Commons Main Street.  

The Clothesline Project is a program that started back in 1990 and has been established “to address the issue of violence against women. It is a vehicle for women affected byIMG_2185 violence to express their emotions by decorating a shirt.” Here at UMBC we do this project twice a year – in October for Relationship Violence Awareness Month and in April for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Survivors of sexual violence are welcome to decorate a shirt with their feelings and message. Then the shirts are anonymously hanged on a clothesline display, shoulder to shoulder in Commons Main Street “to be viewed by others as testimony to the problem of violence against [anyone].”

For the past three years that I have been part of UMBC community I have seen this project and its strong impact on the community. This is a great chance for anyone who has experienced violence to share their stories in a safe setting, and also practice self-care. Making these shirts is an act of therapy in its own way. Last semester for the first time, I made my own shirt. I shared my story with many people without putting my name out there. I was able to take a story out of my chest and feel so much lighter immediately.

As a student staff member at the Women’s Center and a Resident Assistant, I had the privilege of being involved with this project more closely. Last semester with the help of the Women’s Center and some of my Resident Assistant co-workers, we were able to hold another t-shirt-making event in the residential area. This event has happened before in the residential halls, but seeing the work in person was such a powerful experience. Seeing people coming in, making shirts, and sharing their stories shows how they trust us, which challenges us to provide the best support we can as Resident Assistants and Women’s Center community members.

I personally believe having this project on campus is a great opportunity for our UMBC community members to express their feelings about their experiences with sexual and gender-based violence.

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Shirts and supplies will be available throughout the month of October for any survivors who wish to create a shirt that tells their own story. Shirt-making for the Clothesline Project is also available year-round in the Women’s Center.
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Our Discussion Groups This Fall!

Identity-Based Discussion Groups

All groups meet beginning the week of September 11th. Groups are closed for the privacy and confidentiality of the attendees and take place inside the Women’s Center lounge. Check out a detailed description of all of our discussion groups down below!

Between Women: Biweekly, Mondays at 4 pm

Women of Color Coalition: Biweekly, Tuesdays at 4 pm

We Believe You: Weekly, Thursdays at 5:30 pm

Women in STEM: Monthly, Third Fridays at noon

 

Returning Women Students Scholars + Affiliates Program

This program is designed to support undergraduate women over the age of 25 returning to college later in life. Students receiving a returning women student scholarship are required to participate in this program designed to support their personal, academic, and career goals of adult learners at UMBC. ALL returning women students at UMBC are invited to attend the monthly meetings and workshops designed specifically to meet the needs of adult students. You can also request an invite to join the Returning Women Students Forum on Facebook for news, resources, and community building. The scholarship deadline for 2018–19 was Friday, March 30, 2018 – next year’s application will be available beginning January 2019.

 

Between Women

Between Women is a discussion-based program that centers the experiences of women students who identify on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. This structured, topic-based program discusses sexuality and sexual orientation with a focus on intersectionality and provides a safe space for women and feminine-identified students to share their feelings and experiences with other women. This program follows the Women’s Center Brave Space model in order to create a community environment that fosters learning and critical discussion. For safety and confidentiality reasons, this is a closed meeting for those in the LGBTQAI+ community and it is not appropriate for students to use the space for class research or interviews. Fall 2018: Between Women meets biweekly on Mondays at 4pm in the Women’s Center.

 

We Believe You

Hosted in collaboration with the Women’s Center and the student organization We Believe You, this discussion group creates space to center the experiences of survivors of sexual violence. This discussion-based program follows the Women’s Center Brave Space model to provide a welcoming environment and thoughtful community to engage in conversations focused on support and healing for survivors of sexual violence. For safety and confidentiality reasons, this is a closed meeting for those who identify as survivors and their allies. It is not appropriate for students to use the space for class research or interviews. Fall 2018: We Believe You discussion group meets weekly on Thursdays at 5:30pm in the Women’s Center. For more details, join the We Believe You myUMBC page (where you can also learn more about their general body meetings and activism efforts) or connect with a Women’s Center staff member.

 

Women of Color Coalition

WoCC LogoAll self-identified women of color students, staff, and faculty are welcome to share their stories and learn about others’ experiences at Women of Color Coalition. This discussion-based program follows the Women’s Center Brave Space model to provide a welcoming environment and thoughtful community to engage in conversations focused on the intersections of gender and race. For safety and confidentiality reasons, this is a closed meeting for those who identify as women of color and it is not appropriate for students to use the space for class research or interviews. Fall 2018: Women of Color Coalition meets biweekly on Tuesdays at 4pm in the Women’s Center. Subscribe to the WoC Coalition email list to learn more!

 

Women in STEM

A discussion group for UMBC’s women in STEM. Each discussion will take place monthly and will be hosted by a different woman faculty member from the STEM disciplines focusing on a different topic related to Women in STEM. This discussion-based program follows the Women’s Center Brave Space model to provide a welcoming environment and thoughtful community to engage in conversations focused on the experiences of women students studying in the STEM fields. Fall 2018: Women in STEM discussion group will take place on Friday, September 21st at noon and Friday, October 19th at noon. The November date is TBD.

 

Spectrum: Trans Programming and Resources Hub

Spectrum SpotlightSpectrum is a programming and resource hub for UMBC community members who identify as trans, genderqueer, gender fluid, outside of the gender binary, and/or those who are questioning their gender identity. Supported by the Women’s Center and the Mosaic Center, Spectrum has evolved from a discussion-based program to an umbrella of resources, discussions, and events. Currently, the Spectrum discussion group is not being offered so we can ensure support of groups like Trans Tuesdays hosted by the LGBTQ Student Union and the Trans Support group run through the Counseling Center. The Women’s Center and Mosaic Center offers trans-related events each month. For details, connect with a staff member or check out our events page. Additional resources can be shared through our offices and we encourage community members to connect with us.

 

For more information about each of these groups and their intentions, please visit womenscenter.umbc.edu/groups

Our 2018-19 Women’s Center Student Staff

Another school year, and another group of fantastic, creative, passionate UMBC students lending their talents, strengths, and energy to the Women’s Center! Please take a minute or two to read through some short bios below, and hopefully, you’ll be able to meet and make friends with each one of these lovely folks working with us over the school year.

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Alexia Petasis (she/her), Interdisciplinary Studies intern

Hey! My name is Alexia Petasis and I am a senior at UMBC. I’m pursuing a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Dance.

In my free time I like to go on hikes, watch French movies, or choreograph. I’m looking forward to an exciting year at The Women’s Center!

Briscoe Turner (she/her)

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Hello Everyone! My name is Briscoe Turner, and I am a sophomore here at UMBC. I am majoring in Psychology and minoring in Writing. I am passionate about promoting social justice and hope to use Community Psychology to address the needs of underrepresented populations in the future. I am also a Sondheim Scholar and a member of the Black Lives Matter club, so service and impacting social change through policy and other means of political action are also very important to me.

This is my first semester working at the Women’s Center, and I’m excited to build community and have good discussions. I love that the Women’s center allows me to explore my identity through an intersectional lens, and I looking forward to exploring it further this year!

Dua Raja (she/her)

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Hi! My name is Dua Raja. I was born in Pakistan, and moved to the US at a young age. Now a transfer student from CCBC at UMBC, I am on track to achieve my Bachelor’s in Business Technology Administration (BTA), all while working at the Women’s Center surrounded by wonderful people. I plan to use my degree to become an entrepreneur looking to start her own business and work on a technical management program.

I love to hike, dance and travel. Most importantly, I love dogs. Especially German Shepherds.

This is my first year as a Women’s Center staff member. I look forward to meeting new people.

My personal mantra: Inhale confidence, exhale doubt.

My favorite quote: The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.

Hannah Wilcove (she/her), Honors College & Gender + Women’s Studies intern

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Hi! My name is Hannah Wilcove and I’m a senior with a major in Gender & Women’s Studies and a double minor in Sociology and Statistics. I’m super excited to be returning to the Women’s Center this year. While I love studying any and all issues pertaining to feminism and social justice, I’m most passionate about reproductive justice, representation, and increasing political participation.

When I’m not at the Women’s Center, you can probably find me doing work for various student theater groups on campus, be it in rehearsal or as an executive board member of AF Theatre Company. If that’s not the case, then I’m probably in my bed watching Parks and Recreation and wondering how I can become Leslie Knope.

Harini Narayan (she/her)

My name is Harini Narayan and I’m a sophomore here at UMBC.It’s my second semester working at the Women’s Center and I couldn’t be happier to return! This year, I’ll be co-facilitating our discussion group for LGBTQ+ women, Between Women. When I’m not at the Women’s Center, you can find me running around campus because I love staying busy! I’m an MLLI major and am very passionate about learning new languages, which I hope to continue doing professionally.

I’m looking forward to seeing both new and familiar faces around the Women’s Center this year!

Marie Pessagno (she/her), Returning Women Students leader

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Hi everyone!  My name is Marie and I am a recent graduate from UMBC!  I am super fortunate to be returning to work (super part-time) at the Women’s Center with the Returning Women’s Students of which I am also an extremely proud alumni! While at UMBC, I was a Social Work and Gender + Women’s Studies double major, and am now beginning my first, and last year, as an advanced standing student at the UMB School of Social Work.

I am a proud single mother of two girls, Lily and Lyla, who are my main inspiration on my journey towards furthering my education.  I am continuing to pursue and expand my knowledge of social work, particular in the field of child welfare, while completing my internship with child protective services at the Department of Human Services this upcoming year.

Morgan Mullings (she/her), Media and Communication Studies intern

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Hi! My name is Morgan and I’m a senior here at UMBC pursuing a BA in Media and Communications major with minors in English and Cinematic Arts. I am a poet, photographer, and aspiring filmmaker and most of my work stems from my own identity and experiences as a woman of color. If I’m not working at the Women’s Center you can find me watching Ghost Shark (2013) with my friends. I am also a huge stationary nerd and I work at commonvision so ask me any question about a piece of paper.

If I could be any mythical creature it would be a unicorn that only speaks in quotes about intersectional feminism.

Samiksha Manjani (she/her)

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Hi! My name is Samiksha Manjani and I am a senior here at UMBC. I’m excited to return for another year as a part of the Women’s Center team! I’m a double-major in Political Science  and Sociology, and am currently on the pre-law track. I hope to one day use my law degree to legally combat violence against women and children. During my time at the Women’s Center, I hope to create a diverse, empowering and safe environment for everyone.

On a side note, I love learning about people’s backgrounds, cultures, histories, and politics. I love fitness, soccer, and yoga. I’m all about self-care (i.e. art, journaling, meditation) and being positive! I love baking and cooking. I’m a crime show nut (i.e. Law & Order, Criminal Minds), and I try to keep up with the news. Feel free to stop by for a chat or to say “Hi!” to me if you see me around campus!

Shrijana Khanal (she/her)

Hi friends! My name is Shrijana and I am a sophomore at UMBC. I am an Economics major and minoring in Computer Science and International Relations. When I am not at work, I am reading a thrilling book or watching the sunset.

Ask me about zodiac signs or the latest updates in soccer!