Dear Survivor

This guest post was written by a UMBC community member who has asked to remain anonymous to allow for privacy while sharing this important experience. 

***Content Note: This post contains detailed descriptions of physical threats and sexual violence, and mentions of suicidal ideation. Please practice self-care while reading.*** 

Dear Survivor,

I would like to tell you my story of survival. I think that maybe, just maybe, it could provide you with something that will be helpful. I hope that it will. As a survivor myself, I know that lots of people have reacted to me in ways that minimized my experience, or, in contrast, made my experience into the thing that defined me. Both felt like shit. Both made me feel trapped.

I don’t want to do that to you. Instead, I want to show you a path to a future in which your survival matters, but the specific things you have survived are just a distant footnote in your memory.

2017-04-11 11.57.09

Dear Survivor letters created at UMBC’s Take Back the Night offer messages of solidarity.

I want to tell you some details about my story. It happened 25 years ago.

Continue reading

Meet the 2016-17 Women’s Center Student Staff!

Get to know this year’s team of student staff and interns!

2016-17 Staff Photo True Grit

2016-17 Women’s Center Staff

Mariana De Matos Medeiros (she/her), Student Intern Mariana De Matos Medeiros

Hi! My name is Mariana de Matos Medeiros and I am studying Psychology and Gender and Women’s Studies, centering my studies on sexual violence prevention. After my time at UMBC, I hope to find a career in advocacy where I can support and empower survivors of sexual violence. Lavender is my favorite everything: food flavor, scent, essential oil, and (most of all) color. In my free time I enjoy learning more about vegetarianism, practicing yoga, and binge watching the Great British Baking Show. I would love to learn and share with you so please feel free to reach out!

Daniel Willey (he/him), Student Staff 

Daniel HeadshotHi everyone, I’m Daniel! I’m a fourth year Gender and Women’s Studies major and a third year Women’s Center staff member. I do a lot of work here with trans students and advocacy, as well as work with men and healthy masculinities. Ask me about disability, fatness, gender identity, being a mentally ill student, unpacking white privilege, and the Brave Space Guidelines! (Plus I have lots of things to tell you about sexual and menstrual health, fiber crafts, and Steven Universe.) I love to chat with community members and I’m usually a friendly face around campus.

Ciera HeadshotCiera Earl (she/her), Student Staff

My name is Ciera, I am a Visual Arts major in my last year at UMBC. I am very excited to be part of the Women’s Center community and look forward to learning more about the people who inhabit the space. Black and White film lover with a penchant for anything John Hughes.

 

Shira Devorah (she/her or they/them), Student Staff 

Shira Headshot

Hello! My name is Shira Devorah and I can’t wait to get to know you! You may have seen me around last semester working at the Women’s Center or maybe in one of your GWST classes. I’m about four years younger than the Women’s Center, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary (if you haven’t heard)! I’m a bisexual, genderqueer femme who loves doodling, journaling, and spending too much money on chocolate. I hope to go to grad school one day to get a PhD and become a psychologist specializing in LGBTQ+ care and sexual health. I’d also love to end up teaching at a university one day.

Even when I’m not working, I spend a good chunk of time at the Women’s Center. It’s my favorite place to do homework, relax, and spend quality time with friends. I love that the Center is a hub of community and vibrant discussion, that so many different issues are brought up within our programing. This year I’ll be getting even more involved in the conversation! I will be co-facilitating Between Women with our director Jess Myers and planning the roundtable series with fellow staff member and fantastic friend Michael!

I feel incredibly lucky to get to finish out my last year of college while working at the Women’s Center. This place has become a part of who I am, and I will carry all that I learn here with me into a future that is rich in intersectional feminist activism. I can’t wait to see you around our space, at our programs, or in some of our discussion groups!

Prachi Kochar (she/her), Student Intern 

Prachi HeadshotHey, everyone! My name is Prachi and I’m a senior double majoring in Psychology and Gender and Women’s Studies, and I’m looking to go into Clinical Psychology with a focus on deaf children and other groups with disabilities. This is my first (and last, sadly) year at the Women’s Center, but I am so excited for the learning opportunities and personal connections that it will bring me!

Especially as a deaf woman of color, I am very passionate about social issues and bringing diverse voices to the forefront in every arena of life. However, my interests don’t stop there! I love ice hockey (Go Caps!), creating and viewing art of all kinds, our great state of Maryland, fitness, astronomy, coffee/tea/caffeine in almost any form, and whatever the hot new show on Netflix is. I also love all things UMBC and am a sister of Zeta Sigma Chi Multicultural Sorority, Inc. as well as president of the Multicultural Greek Council. If you couldn’t tell, I am always ready to talk about all of these things, so please feel free to say “Hi!” to me around campus or strike up a conversation with me in the Commons.

Michael Jalloh-Jamboria (he/him), Student Staff 

michael-headshotHey! I’m Michael Jalloh-Jamboria. I am currently a Gender/Women Studies and Biology double major. This is my third year at UMBC and my second year as a student staff member here at the Women’s Center! I am also a diversity presenter with the Mosaic Center and senior staff member of Montgomery County Recreation!

I’m always up for of being critical of fatness and queerness and their intersections with other identities. Feel free to come by and chat with me! I love visitors and I’m always up for listening.

Long story short, here’s who I am: Fat.Feminist.Trans.Queer.Muslim.

Jewel Oliver (they/them or she/her), Volunteer 

Jewel Headshot I’m a new volunteer at the Women’s Center and I’ll be co-facilitating Women of Color Coalition with Prachi.

 

Meet the Spring 2016 Women’s Center Staff!

Get to know the Women’s Center’s Spring 2016 staff — including our newest student staff member, Shira!

Staff Training - Spring16

Women’s Center Staff – Spring 2016

Shira Devorah (she/her)
Hi, my name is Shira Devorah. I’m a Gender and Women’s Studies and Psychology double major in my junior year here at UMBC. I’m planning on spending a lot more time in school in order to become a Clinical Psychologist specializing in counseling LGBTQ youth, homeless youth, and transitioning youth. Eventually I would love to come back to a university and teach. ShiraI am a bisexual woman, and LGBTQIA+ issues are my passion. I believe that an intersectional approach to feminist thought and action is vital. I am also a Peer Health educator with University Health Services, and I am interested in conducting research regarding the discrepancies in health education for LGBTQIA+ youth. In my spare time, I love to journal, binge on Netflix, and sing along to musicals. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to work here at the Women’s Center! I want to challenge myself to become more involved in feminist activism, here on campus and within the Baltimore community. I would love to continue to learn, grow, and create with every person who takes the time to visit the Women’s Center and participate in the brave conversations happening here.

Meagé Clements (she/her)
Hi! My name is Meagé, and I am a new staff member in the Women’s Center. I am currently a senior studying Psychology and Social Work, as well as a member of UMBC’s Honors College. I am a social work intern at Delrey School, where I will be working with children and adolescents with cerebral palsy, among other physical and intellectual disabilities. After college, I hope to earn my MSW and find a career where I can help marginalized and oppressed people thrive in our society. In addition to being a staff member in UMBC’s Women’s Center, I am a member of Zeta Sigma Chi Multicultural Sorority Inc. In my spare time, I enjoy yoga, reading, listening to music and creative writing.Meagé Profile Pic This semester, I am excited to learn and become more involved in the efforts of the Women’s Center. If you happen to see me in the Women’s Center or around campus, feel free to say hello! I am looking forward to meeting new people and engaging in some thoughtful dialogues!

Carrie Cleveland (she/her)
My name is Carrie. I am BEYOND excited to be starting my last year at UMBC. I will graduate in May with a degree in social work after being in college for ten years. Yep. That is NOT a typo. Ten FREAKING years. See, I have three daughters and they keep me incredibly busy and because of that I decided that part time was the way to be. I think we will all be doing a happy dance when I graduate.

Beyond that, I am involved with the BreakingGround initiative on campus as a member of the Community Program Grant Committee. I also am a member of the Leadership Advisory Committee. I am also super proud to be a Return Women’s Scholar. It was my membership in that group that firstCarrie Profile Pic brought me to the Women’s Center and that has been such a source of support for me as I took the long and windy road to graduation. Other that that, I am a wife, a friend, a chick from New Jersey, a lover off all things pop culture and a huge fan of They Might Be Giants.

MJ Jalloh-JamboriaMJ Profile Pic (they/them)
Hey! I’m MJ Jalloh-Jamboria.  I am currently a Gender/Women Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies (Pathology) double major. My minor is Critical Sexuality. This is my second year at UMBC and my first year as a student stuff member here at the Women’s Center. In addition to that, I am the Director of Events of the Council of Majors/Minors. Finally, I am the Music Director of UMBC’s newest a Capella group, the Culture Chords. I know it may sound like a lot but I enjoy staying busy and contributing to the UMBC community!

My favorite thing to do, besides singing and eating, is to look at how my identities come into play as I interact with the world around me. As a fat, non-binary, first generation West African Immigrant, Muslim person, I have a lot to think about!

Daniel Willey (he/him) 
Hey everyone! My name is Dan and I am a junior GWST major. I joined the Women’s Center staff last year and I am so excited to be back again as the senior staff member. You’ll see me around a lot because I never actually leave the Center. I am the peer facilitator for Spectrum and Rebuilding Manhood, and I’m very involved with the LGBTQIA+ community here. I love answering questions! Daniel Profile PicIf you want to have a discussion about or have questions about gender, sexuality, sexual health, polyamory, fiber crafts, cats, or Steven Universe, I’m your guy! I live by the idea that everyone has the capacity for good and every interaction can be a learning moment. Being at the Women’s Center feels like not only a home away from home, but the place where I have learned how to be the best version of me. I really hope the Center can be these things for everyone, and I do my best to facilitate that here. If you need anything, please ask! I’m very excited to meet you all.

Megan Tagle Adams, Assistant Director (she/her)
I’m an unapologetic feminist and woman of color. I’m not your model minority. Megan Profile PicI’m an introvert. I’m not always angry. I’m Team Nicki. I’m a cat lady. I’m a queer femme. I’m not ashamed of my love of boy bands. I’m an advocate for critical social justice. I’m a picky eater. I’m not a fan of Maryland’s humidity. I’m looking forward to another great year at the Women’s Center! 

Jess Myers, Director (she/her)
Wow-wee, where do I begin?! Today I logged into my LinkedIn account because I got an alert that someone was looking at my profile… who was checking me out?! I had to know. Long story short, I found myself skimming through my profile and was alerted to the fact that I have been Director of the Women’s Center at UMBC for 4 years and 6 months. How lucky am I?! I have learned and grown as a professional, as a feminist, and as a person so much since I first arrived here at UMBC. I have gotten to work with some of UMBC’s brightest and most courageous students. I’ve learned how to insert gifs into emails and how to tweet on the Twitter. I’ve been challenged and held accountable to expand my notions of feminism beyond “white feminism” and to boldly live out my social justice values in Jess Profile Pic 1a critical way. Moreover, I get to work in a place where I am authentically me.

I love being silly. I relish in the opportunity to use Leslie Knope gifs as a mode of communication. I identify as a queer lesbian and deserve medals for my fierceness in spin class. I approach my work from my collegiate background in social work and identify as a student affairs professional. I’ve lived in Washington, D.C., Kingston, Jamaica, and Fort Collins, Colorado but Baltimore is my hometown. It is a city that forever is rooted in my heart and very being. I also really love my introduction from last year and want to share it again (I’m a big fan of also not recreating the wheel!). You’ll find me on here most often blogging through my UMBC Women Who Rocks series and other Women’s Center confessions I like to make public. Basically and most importantly, I love my job… I’m looking forward to a year full of challenges, successes, and learning opportunities!

 

 

 

Meet the 2015-16 Women’s Center Staff!

Get to know the Women’s Center’s new team of staff and interns!

Women's Center Staff 2015-16

Women’s Center Staff 2015-16

Meagé Clements (she/her)
Hi! My name is Meagé, and I am a new staff member in the Women’s Center. I am currently a senior studying Psychology and Social Work, as well as a member of UMBC’s Honors College. I am a social work intern at Delrey School, where I will be working with children and adolescents with cerebral palsy, among other physical and intellectual disabilities. After college, I hope to earn my MSW and find a career where I can help marginalized and oppressed people thrive in our society. In addition to being a staff member in UMBC’s Women’s Center, I am a member of Zeta Sigma Chi Multicultural Sorority Inc. In my spare time, I enjoy yoga, reading, listening to music and creative writing.Meagé Profile Pic This semester, I am excited to learn and become more involved in the efforts of the Women’s Center. If you happen to see me in the Women’s Center or around campus, feel free to say hello! I am looking forward to meeting new people and engaging in some thoughtful dialogues!

Carrie Cleveland (she/her)
My name is Carrie. I am BEYOND excited to be starting my last year at UMBC. I will graduate in May with a degree in social work after being in college for ten years. Yep. That is NOT a typo. Ten FREAKING years. See, I have three daughters and they keep me incredibly busy and because of that I decided that part time was the way to be. I think we will all be doing a happy dance when I graduate.

Beyond that, I am involved with the BreakingGround initiative on campus as a member of the Community Program Grant Committee. I also am a member of the Leadership Advisory Committee. I am also super proud to be a Return Women’s Scholar. It was my membership in that group that firstCarrie Profile Pic brought me to the Women’s Center and that has been such a source of support for me as I took the long and windy road to graduation. Other that that, I am a wife, a friend, a chick from New Jersey, a lover off all things pop culture and a huge fan of They Might Be Giants.

Julia Gottlieb (she/her)
Hey there! I’m Julia, and I’m a new student staff member at the Women’s Center. I’m interning with the Women’s Center through the GWST Department, and I couldn’t be more excited to dive in. I realized that I wanted to pursue Gender & Women’s Studies as a major three years ago after overhearing a conversation in which two people victim-blamed and shamed women for choosing to get abortions. Looking back, I felt so angry and defensive of women, which made me realize that this was an issue I cared deeply about and needed to investigate further. The Women’s Center is the perfect way to translate my passion for feminism and social justice into a tangible job that challenges me to think critically and to push myself–all while in pursuit of greater social and political change through activism.

Julia Profile PicI’m a senior majoring in Gender & Women’s Studies and minoring in Critical Sexuality Studies. I’m also a co-leader for Women Involved in Learning and Leadership (WILL) and I’m pumped for the new semester! Singing and listening to music are by far my favorite things to do; I took piano lessons for ten years and have been singing all my life. My favorite artists currently are Lianne la Havas and Alabama Shakes. If you see me feel free to say hello (and tell me what music you’re into)!

MJ Jalloh-JamboriaMJ Profile Pic (they/them)
Hey! I’m MJ Jalloh-Jamboria.  I am currently a Gender/Women Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies (Pathology) double major. My minor is Critical Sexuality. This is my second year at UMBC and my first year as a student stuff member here at the Women’s Center. In addition to that, I am the Director of Events of the Council of Majors/Minors. Finally, I am the Music Director of UMBC’s newest a Capella group, the Culture Chords. I know it may sound like a lot but I enjoy staying busy and contributing to the UMBC community!

My favorite thing to do, besides singing and eating, is to look at how my identities come into play as I interact with the world around me. As a fat, non-binary, first generation West African Immigrant, Muslim person, I have a lot to think about!

Kayla Smith (she/her)

Hi! My name is Kayla Smith. I’m a pre-law junior majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies focusing in health education. I’m a third semester peer health educator with a special interest in sexual health and I’m Vice President of the Mock-Trial team wherein I act as both an attorney and a witness.Kayla Profile Pic I’m really bad at introductory type things (even in the age of online dating, Facebook, and sure lets say Myspace). The words “About me” or “tell us about yourself!” have always been really intimidating, so I’m going to take a page out of past Women’s Center staff member, Amelia Meman’s book, and adopt the bullet point system.

  • I identify as Queer (Ask what I mean by that!). I’m West Indian.
  • My top five favorite things are: Glitter, wind chimes, fairy lights, bubbles, and miniature things (especially miniature food.)
  • My favorite music genre is instrumental progressive metal.
  • I speak french fluently (and I need someone to speak french with!)
  • My favorite show is Criminal Minds (Spencer Reid is my boyfriend.)
  • I have a rabbit names Lazarus (No he has never died)

Daniel Willey (he/him) 
Hey everyone! My name is Dan and I am a junior GWST major. I joined the Women’s Center staff last year and I am so excited to be back again as the senior staff member. You’ll see me around a lot because I never actually leave the Center. I am the peer facilitator for Spectrum and Rebuilding Manhood, and I’m very involved with the LGBTQIA+ community here. I love answering questions! If you want to have a discussion about or have questions about gender, sexuality, sexual health, polyamory, fiber crafts, cats, or Steven Universe, I’m your guy! I live by the idea that everyone has the capacity for good and every interaction can be a learning moment.Daniel Profile Pic Being at the Women’s Center feels like not only a home away from home, but the place where I have learned how to be the best version of me. I really hope the Center can be these things for everyone, and I do my best to facilitate that here. If you need anything, please ask! I’m very excited to meet you all.

Megan Tagle Adams, Assistant Director (she/her)
I’m an unapologetic feminist and woman of color. I’m not your model minority. Megan Profile PicI’m an introvert. I’m not always angry. I’m Team Nicki. I’m a cat lady. I’m a queer femme. I’m not ashamed of my love of boy bands. I’m an advocate for critical social justice. I’m a picky eater. I’m not a fan of Maryland’s humidity. I’m looking forward to another great year at the Women’s Center! 

Jess Myers, Director (she/her)
Wow-wee, where do I begin?! Today I logged into my LinkedIn account because I got an alert that someone was looking at my profile… who was checking me out?! I had to know. Long story short, I found myself skimming through my profile and was alerted to the fact that I have been Director of the Women’s Center at UMBC for 4 years and 6 months. How lucky am I?! I have learned and grown as a professional, as a feminist, and as a person so much since I first arrived here at UMBC. I have gotten to work with some of UMBC’s brightest and most courageous students. I’ve learned how to insert gifs into emails and how to tweet on the Twitter. I’ve been challenged and held accountable to expand my notions of feminism beyond “white feminism” and to boldly live out my social justice values in Jess Profile Pic 1a critical way. Moreover, I get to work in a place where I am authentically me.

I love being silly. I relish in the opportunity to use Leslie Knope gifs as a mode of communication. I identify as a queer lesbian and deserve medals for my fierceness in spin class. I approach my work from my collegiate background in social work and identify as a student affairs professional. I’ve lived in Washington, D.C., Kingston, Jamaica, and Fort Collins, Colorado but Baltimore is my hometown. It is a city that forever is rooted in my heart and very being. I also really love my introduction from last year and want to share it again (I’m a big fan of also not recreating the wheel!). You’ll find me on here most often blogging through my UMBC Women Who Rocks series and other Women’s Center confessions I like to make public. Basically and most importantly, I love my job… I’m looking forward to a year full of challenges, successes, and learning opportunities!

 

 

 

I Am

A reflection written by Women’s Center student staff member Bria Hamlet

I’ve got a gap in my front teeth,
I make a mess when I eat,
I’m always late,
I’m hard to date,
I think Eminem is my soulmate

I rock an afro with piercings,
I exaggerate my feelings,
I watch YouTube instead of TV,
I choose to stray from normativity

You’ve just read my spin on Mary Lambert’s song “Secrets.” The melody has been stuck in my head for hours now. She sings about herself, throwing out the good, the obvious, the hidden, and the complicated. She tells us that she doesn’t care how the world perceives her and what they have to say about who she allegedly is.

Girl, I feel that.

I am really, really getting comfortable with no longer explaining myself to everyone. If I didn’t personally harm or wrong you, you get no explanation. I am giving myself permission to wear red lipstick to work, listen to Nickelback and then the Roots on the way, all while sporting a tailored skirt and Converse. Let me live.

BriaAs a Black American woman, I am subjected to harmful and negative stereotypes constantly. If someone isn’t policing my blackness, they’ve surely fixated on my hair. The next target is my complexion, followed by my clothing, and their personal favorite, my diction. I can’t just be Bria, I must be whoever you all think Bria is supposed to be. I am really tired of making everyone else comfortable. I don’t have to make “figuring me out” easy. I’m not easy.

And you, stop being lazy.

The Telling Our Stories project has given the members of the UMBC Women of Color Coalition (myself included) the opportunity to reclaim narratives that were written without them. It has challenged us to think critically about labels and microaggressions. We’ve discussed where these stereotypes come from and then participated in workshops to unearth the true natures of who we are. We are sisters, artists, intellectuals, comedians, introverts, extroverts, and progressives. We are ourselves.

I will now and forever continue to be unapologetically myself.

Women of Color – Telling Our Stories: I’m Not/I Am

WOC Telling Our StoriesWe’re proud to announce that the Women’s Center at UMBC and Women of Color Coalition were recently awarded a $5,000 grant from the American Association of University Women (AAUW). The 2014–15 AAUW Campus Action Project (CAP) grants, sponsored by Pantene’s Shine Strong campaign, fund student led projects that fight stereotypes and biases.In addition to the AAUW CAP grant, we were also awarded a $500 community project grant from BreakingGround to help support this ambitious campaign. 

Our project, called “Telling Our Stories: I’m Not/I Am,” aims to 1) raise awareness and reject stereotypes about women of color, and 2) create space for women of color voices and counternarratives. Following a series of consciousness-raising discussions over the past year, many of our students saw the need to promote visibility and community-building among WoC in order to stand in solidarity against racist and sexist microaggressions. First-year student Jahia Knobloch vividly describes the harmful impact that stereotyping can have on women of color: 

Women of color are blessed with so many gifts: our beauty, compassion, ingenuity and grace are unparalleled. But too often our gifts are ignored, with ruthless stereotypes and myths being built around our existence which casting us into either unthreatening or highly exoticized and eroticized roles.

1601492_335695699910799_4361420869028764493_nMy first realizations about what it means to be a woman of color came, as so many realizations do, because of discrimination. Around the age of fourteen, I began receiving attention from boys and men. Many of these attentions were flattering; some were offensive and others downright menacing. But some of the most memorable comments I received were from non-POC boys and men. These comments were memorable only in their flabbergasting ignorance about what being attracted to a women of color apparently means in the minds of non-POC boys and men. Some examples: “I’ve never been with a Black girl before,” “You’re so pretty because you’re mixed—you’re lucky you only got the good features of being Black,” “I love your hair, it’s so dark,” and the jaw-dropping “I love the way your dark skin looks against my white skin.” Really dude?

I came to realize that as a woman of color, you are forced by proxy to represent the exotic “other”—a taste of a world in which non-POC men dare not venture into past a certain point. Even with our own races, we can be subjugated to lesser roles because of our status as women. Yet what those who wish to make us less-than do not see is that we can be the strongest of champions: not only for ourselves, but for our people and all those who are oppressed. We are a force to be reckoned with.

For me, dismantling stereotypes is so important because it gives us as WOC a chance to show that there is no “other.” We will not be your African, Asian, Latin, Native American or interracial vacation to the dark continent. We will not be a stop on your experimental college road trip for you to regale your friends about. We will not be a tourist attraction, an item on your bucket list or a milestone. We will only be us: beautiful, intelligent and independent. We will only be as strong as we have been made to be from centuries of oppression. We will continue to carry our status as WOC not as a burden, but as a gift. We will tell our stories. We will be heard.

By launching the project with the “I’m Not” poster campaign, we hope to disrupt the misguided assumption that racialized gender stereotyping is not a problem for our campus community. Click here to see the latest posters from the campaign! 

WOC Telling Our StoriesThe second phase of the project consists of creative skill-building workshops which will culminate in a “Telling Our Stories: I Am” showcase. We intend to go beyond challenging the misrepresentation of women of color and actually create a platform dedicated to their authentic self-representation. Women of Color Coalition member-at-large Bree Best explains the importance of storytelling

Not only does telling your story tell people who you are but It give a different perspective of how to view things. These stories are needed and you, woman of color, have the pen in your hand ready to write it.

At the end of the showcase, I don’t want the conversation of women of color telling their stories to stay stagnant. I want this to continue because there are many “untold stories” in the woman of color sphere that need to be heard. These need to be heard so that they can help heal the multigenerational hurt that women of color have accrued. I believe if we tell our stories people will understand better how to heal or not hurt us through racial interactions.

The Telling Our Stories showcase will celebrate the creative self-expression of women of color and empower them to reclaim their own narratives. The showcase will be held on Wednesday, April 29th from 6:30-8:30pm in the Commons Sports Zone. 

Be sure to like Women of Color Coalition on Facebook and follow us on Tumblr for more news and updates on the Telling Our Stories project!

WOC Telling Our StoriesWOC Telling Our StoriesWOC Telling Our Stories

Meet the 2014-15 Women’s Center Staff!

Amelia Meman and Daniel Willey already introduced themselves, so now it’s time to meet the rest of the 2014-15 Women’s Center staff!

Amelia M

Amelia Meman

Bria

Bria Hamlet

Bria Hamlet
Bria! 21. African-American. Ciswoman. Feminist. Blogger. Advocate. College Student. Spirit Animal: Elephant. WoCC Prez. YWOCLC Member. Peer Health Educator. Sexpert. 100% Pro-Choice. Makeup Fanatic. Coffee Drinker. Cat Lover. Just a Lover in General.

Madison Miller:
Hello! My name is Madison, and I am currently a senior studying Psychology and Elementary Education. I first began working at the Women’s Center in the fall of 2012, and since then I have come to deeply appreciate everything the Center offers to students at UMBC. My involvement with the Women’s Center has provided me with many enriching opportunities that have enabled me to use my privileges to help others and to further develop my unique leadership style. In addition to working at the center, I am also employed within Residential Life as a Resident Assistant (RA) in the apartments and a Summer Conference Manager. This semester I will also be student teaching at Halethorpe Elementary in Baltimore County. After graduating from UMBC, I hope to begin teaching in a high needs elementary school or enroll in a graduate program to study school psychology. I am excited to return to the Women’s Center as a student staff member this semester, and I can’t wait to start working with several of the programs that we will be hosting this semester. If you find yourself in the Center on Tuesday or Wednesday mornings, feel free to say hi to me!

Madison

Madison Miller

1400180_10151825951266225_1083243769_o

Kelly Martin Broderick

Kelly Martin Broderick:
Hey! I am Kelly and I am a senior studying Gender & Women’s Studies. This is my third year working at the Women’s Center and my last semester at UMBC. I also work part-time as a Sex Educator at Sugar in Hampden. This year, I’m excited to continue our discussions on sex positive topics, so keep an eye out for those! The first one will be in October and we will be talking about relationship alternatives to monogamy. Hope to see you there!

Ty Philip:
I’m Ty, and I am a new student staff member at the Women’s Center. I am interning at the Center through the GWST department, and am already in love with the job. I have a passion for critical thought and social action, and I know that the Center will give me a space to engage in both outside of my academics. Currently, I am a super senior GWST major with a writing minor, President of Freedom Alliance, and am also employed by the Graduate School office on campus. It may sound like a lot, and I know that it is, but I’m excited to push myself this semester and see just what I can do. I spend almost all of my free time reading books, watching tv and movies, and hanging out with my friends. I also love food. A lot. To the point that I spend a majority of my extra money on it. I eat a lot of unhealthy things because they’re cheap, easy, and I have no self-control, but I actually really love fresh, healthy, organic food and try to incorporate as much of it into my diet as I can. My favorite things to cook are breakfast food, dessert, and lasagna, but I will eat almost anything that looks or sounds good to me. I really don’t like chocolate but I like chocolate bars (with things in them), I hate loose corn but enjoy corn on the cob, and I think that ketchup is the most boring condiment ever but I use it all the time. Apparently, I also spend a lot of time thinking and writing about food, too. If you see me, come say hi and let’s talk about food (but probably actually social justice).

Yoo-Jin

Yoo-Jin Kang

Yoo-Jin Kang:
Hi! My name is Yoo-Jin Kang and I am a senior studying Language and Cultural Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies, focusing on the psychosocial and cultural perspectives on violence. After graduating I hope to find a career where I am able as a voice for underrepresented and minority groups in hopes of assisting to have their voices heard in our national dialogue and in our daily lives. On campus you might see me through various groups like the Relationship violence prevention advocates group, the Peer Health Educators, and Phi Mu Fraternity for Women. In my spare time I love to read, vegan bake, practice yoga, and write. I’m super excited for this year and am looking forward to all of the amazing events and initiatives that the center will be holding! Feel free to reach out, I love a good conversation and an opportunity to learn.

That’s me… post squishy face.

That’s me… post squishy face.

Jess Myers, M.S., Women’s Center Director: 
In her college admissions essay, my best friend started her opening paragraph with, “I came into this world tap dancing and laughing.” That line has always stuck with me. The image of a newborn tap dancing and laughing as her first action in this world amuses me and I also believe it’s an image that uniquely captures the spirit and energy of my best friend. In fact, I guess you might say I’m a bit jealous. In looking at pictures of my first day here on earth, I usually just think, “I came into this world unsure and with a squishy face.” Fortunately, I didn’t let my first interaction with the world set the tone for the rest of my life…

My best friend and me at college graduation.

My best friend and me at college graduation.

I’m lucky to have been born to a fiercely independent woman who has spent her years as my mother reminding me that being a woman should never be a deficit – even if the rest of the world tells you so. I attended an all-girls high school that shaped by concept of leadership and provided me with a voice I was allowed to use. In college, I always questioned why I wasn’t afforded the opportunity to take women’s studies courses, and in fact, took the only 1-credit course that was ever offered in my department on women’s issues where I had the chance to finally get my hands on bell hooksFeminism is for Everybody. And, in the meantime, I supplemented my learning with hours of listening to Ani Difranco, Melissa Ferrick, Dar Williams, Indigo Girls, and more. As an RA during move-in day, I questioned why the two wimpiest guys were asked to move a heavy table when I, someone who worked out every day and could kick some butt, was rendered invisible. I was labeled as a feminist from that point on and that was certainly fine by me. I attended my first city-sponsored Take Back the Night in college where it rained the whole time, matching how my heart felt in that moment. I spent a year living in Jamaica and have been unpacking my white privilege ever since. I’ve been a hall director at an all-female college and finally had a chance to be a part of my first women’s studies 101 in grad school as a TA. Leslie Knope has made me consider running for elected-office one day and I cried on the night Heather Mizuer lost her bid to become Maryland’s first female and openly gay governor. My bed-side table always has at least a few books from the Women’s Center’s lending library on it – there’s never enough time to keep reading all the books I never knew about even while growing up feminist especially while I also nourish my not-so-secret-obsession for young adult novels featuring strong female leads.

Best of all, I have my dream job as the director of the Women’s Center at UMBC and I love coming to work every day…

Truly… the best job ever.

Truly… the best job ever.

Megan Tagle Adams, M.A., Women’s Center Coordinator

Megan on the phone

Jess included a throwback photo, so why not?

I can hardly believe that it was a year ago that I was first introducing myself to the Women’s Center community as the new coordinator for the Center. This past year has been both challenging and rewarding and I’m incredibly proud to have been involved in developing and expanding our intersectional feminist programming. Forming the Women of Color Coalition and launching the Critical Social Justice initiative are two projects that I think are particularly salient as reflections of my own feminist politics and as indications of the Women’s Center’s commitment to advocacy, education, and support.

Bringing feminist rants to UMBC since July 2013.

Despite having a bitchy resting face (or so I’ve been told…repeatedly), I really enjoy getting to know our Women’s Center community members and having engaging conversations about various feminist issues. I’m excited to see what this year will bring as I grow alongside the Center in learning new ways to facilitate social justice work within the UMBC community.

Oh, Leslie.

Oh, Leslie.

My feelings on our all-star Women’s Center staff.