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.

 

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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!

 

 

 

Daniel Willey Staff Intro

My name’s Daniel and this is my second year at UMBC. I’m a Gender and Women’s Studies major and I am the new Rebuilding Manhood peer facilitator here at The Women’s Center. When I’m not watching Netflix documentaries about oceans, I am the Outreach Coordinator for Freedom Alliance, Student Representative for the LGBT Campus Climate Workgroup, member of the Queer Leadership Council, and knitter extraordinaire. You will often find me with a fiber craft in my backpack. Feel free to ask me about it because I’m probably very excited. I strongly dislike wearing pants. I love cats.

As the only male-identified staff member this semester, I often think about my place here at The Women’s Center and the dynamics of privilege that go into being a white, queer man in a women-focused space. I came from a small, rural town in Western Maryland, so coming to UMBC was quite the culture shock. I went from being the only out student at my high school to being surrounded by queer students, faculty, and staff who actively take roles in bettering the queer community. Immersing myself in an environment filled people who are involved in critical thought and feminist activism has caused me to think more critically about who I am and the world in which I live. I’ve already changed dramatically from who I was a year ago as a freshman and I look forward to this experience and the ways I can continue learn and grow from this diverse community.

Fall 2013 Women’s Center Staff Introductions

Fall 2013 Staff

Fall 2013 Staff

The Women’s Center is excited to have an excellent team of student staff members this year.

Narges Ershad

I am Narges Fekri Ershad, currently a junior and I am majoring in Gender and Women’s studies and Sociology.  I am a first year Resident Assistant this year, a co-leader in Women Involved in Learning and Leadership (WILL), and also the president of Persian Student Association (PSA). I am an active volunteer for a foundation in Iran called “Omid-e-Mehr” Foundation, and they work to empower disadvantage young women in Iran. I have visited the center in Iran two times and worked closely with the girls in and outside of the center. Working with them and working toward the goal of the foundation is one of my passions.  I am interested in equality of gender, human rights, and so many other topics.  This is my first year working at Women’s Center, and I am hoping to meet new people, bring new ideas to center, and learn about various topics.

Michael Fell

My name is Michael Fell, and I am a senior Psychology major.  I am interested in issues relating to the development of healthy masculinities and I’ll be working with Rebuilding Manhood, our 11-week men’s discussion group, in an effort to create a safe space for male-identified students to discuss what this means.  I am very excited to be a part of this great opportunity, and am looking forward to helping out with other areas of programming in the Women’s Center as well.  I feel lucky that I am able to work in a space that is welcoming and comfortable for so many UMBC students, and where such a variety of interesting, thought-provoking conversations take place.

Emily Krause

Hi! My name is Emily Krause and I am a senior at River Hill High School in Howard County. This year I am interning at the Women’s Center, focusing on both day/child care and sexual assault. As a senior I am trying to figure out what I am doing with the rest of my life, and I welcome any and all advice. At the moment, my main career goal is to work in public health, but I’m known to change my mind every week. I am a ballet dancer, beginner cook, yogi, tea-drinker, and avid poker player. Look for me Tuesday and Thursday afternoons!

Alina Lightchaser

My name is Alina Lightchaser. I am proud and honored to be a part of the Women’s Center student staff. I am a non-traditional student, in my junior year, majoring in psychology and minoring in management of aging services. I am also a mother of three beautiful daughters. I have been a children’s music entertainer and teacher for the past 9 years and have played hundreds of shows and taught at two preschools all around Baltimore City, where I reside. My love and pursuit for psychology developed from the observation that human behavior is a macrocosm of mystery, enchantment and variety; always exciting and stimulating, awaiting discovery!

Kelly Martin Broderick

Hey! I am Kelly and I am a senior studying Gender & Women’s Studies.  This is my second year working at the Women’s Center, last year I was an Honors College Intern and had such a great time working in the Center I came back as a student staff member!  I’m a co-leader of WILL (Women Involved in Learning & Leadership) and also a Transfer & Established Student Leader for the Honors College.  This year, I am working on the brand new Peer-to-Peer Mentorship Program we have developed for the Women’s Centers Returning Woman Community. I am excited to see the group grow as a community!

Amelia Meman

As of now, introductions are at the forefront of my mind. With the  the advent of a new semester and the influx of new people in my life, I am constantly spewing out the same old spiel about how I am a transfer student from art school, how I don’t actually know whether to consider myself a sophomore or a junior, and the same self-deprecating joke about how I decided to pursue women’s studies for the money. While knowing the facts about my life is all well and good, I figured a quick and much more interesting breakdown of who I am would be a little easier to digest. Here we go:

  • My name is Amelia Meman.
  • I am the Women’s Center’s Grants and Marketing Intern! I can be seen at the Women’s Center researching programs and grants, talking with my super stellar colleagues and bosses, and typing furiously on a very noisy keyboard.
  • I am the only child of really rad and supportive parents who always listen to my political anger with open ears.
  • I enjoy quiet nights with a couple of friends watching Bob’s Burgers or playing the newest board game or just reading comics and eating cookie dough.
  • I really do not like (read: loathe) mascots, Santa Clause impersonators, Easter Bunnys or anybody in a full body costume; it’s nothing against the people inside, really.
  • My birthday is a palindrome.
  • Right now, I am really into narrative-heavy video games like The Walking Dead and L.A. Noire.
  • I love staying up to date on pop culture.
  • At the same time, no, I have not ever actually listened to “Blurred Lines”.
  • Current favorite musical artists: Marina & The Diamonds, Azealia Banks, M.I.A., Tegan and Sara, Flight of the Conchords, Glen Hansard, and Cole Porter.
  • I love having deep conversations about women’s studies, and queer studies, but I’m generally open to talking about anything.
  • I have a cat named Yohsimi, and if you understand that reference, major kudos!
  • I am partial to using ellipses, because they signify, to me at least, that I’m thinking…
  • Rainbow sprinkle donuts are the way to my heart.

So if you see me in the center, please come say hello, and maybe talk with me about cats and feminism, or something!

Madison Miller

Hello! My name is Madison, and I am currently a senior studying Psychology and Elementary Education here at UMBC. I started working at the Women’s Center during the fall semester of my junior year, and since then I have come to love everything that the Center offers at UMBC. The Women’s Center has given me so many enriching opportunities to interact with and learn from diverse walks of life, and it has taught me to use my own privileges to stand up for those who may not have a voice. Additionally, the Center has allowed me to further explore and develop both my own passions and my voice as a leader on campus. In addition to working at the Women’s Center, I am also employed as a Resident Assistant in Erickson Hall, a Summer Conference Manager, and an Undergraduate Research Assistant. After graduating from UMBC, I either hope to begin teaching in a high need school or enroll in a graduate program to study School Psychology. I am excited to return to the Center as a student staff member this semester, and I am looking forward to all of the programs that the Center will be hosting this semester!

Cliffs Notes to Megan

Feminist Love TBTNI’m Megan and I’m the new coordinator for the Women’s Center. While an opening blog post will of course be insufficient in exploring how my feminist politics have been informed by my history and identity, I do hope this introduction will offer a little insight into how and why I approach my work at the Center the way I do.

Growing up I was very much an “I’m not a feminist, but [insert feminist politics here]” type of person. Like so many others, I came to feminism through Women’s Studies, where the readings and class discussions led to many small “click” moments and helped me find the language to describe the sexist, racist, and heterosexist microaggressions I’d experienced.

My time spent in the university’s Women’s Center introduced me to the campus feminist activist organization and my involvement with the group was critical in transforming my political outlook. By planning events and participating in a safe space for consciousness-raising among an incredibly diverse and passionate group of women, this initiation to social justice activism got me thinking more about translating theory into praxis. I’d been regarding feminism as something static to theorize in the abstract, as a political ideology to believe in and an identity to claim. Finally I started focusing on the meaning of advocating and doing feminism.

This more dynamic approach of doing feminism has remained central to my politics. I became more self-reflexive and contemplative in examining how dedication to feminist activism manifests differently for people. While I reject the apolitical simplicity of “choice feminism,” I’ve also come to value the complexity of feminisms rather than a singular Feminism.

I’m glad that the Women’s Center is moving toward a timely and interactive blog format. Although my academic education in women’s and gender studies has been fantastic, I can say without a doubt that my politics have evolved much more as a result of my own compulsive blog reading. While online feminism is often dismissed as “slacktivism,” I’m indebted to the many feminist blogs that have helped me to engage with topics and perspectives that I’d have never encountered in the classroom. With the Center now offering virtual space in addition to our physical space for ongoing conversations about women and feminism to unfold, I hope that this blog will provide another opportunity for our community to become and stay involved. I know I have much more to say and I’m looking forward to hearing from other Women’s Center community members as well.