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Women on Wednesday



Women on Wednesday

Spring 2011

Wednesdays, Noon to 1:00 p.m. Atwood Theatre, Atwood Memorial Center

Change Makers: Young women speak out!

Ongoing discussion and debate about the question of young people's initiative to act and speak out to make the world a better place led to the theme for Spring Semester 2011. The Women on Wednesday series has always included the voices of young women speaking from their perspectives and areas of expertise. However, this has traditionally been combined with more `seasoned' perspectives and life experiences. In other words, over the past 21 years, the campus has benefitted from many women over the age of 30 speaking at the Women on Wednesday series, but this semester we include only young women. This series on young women as change makers is designed to feature the diverse experiences, perspectives and life decisions of women, 30 and younger, who are making a positive difference in their communities in all sorts of ways. They can, and do, serve as role models for all of us, regardless of age. Their voices also offer a glimpse of the new leadership and doers of the future. Join us to gain inspiration, add to your knowledge base and increase your network!

January 26

Young Women Creating Sex Positive Lives

What are young women thinking about today in terms of decisions about sex, relationships, sexually-transmitted infections, birth control, sex education, abortion, and choice? Bring your questions and your thoughts to this important discussion that explores "sex positive thinking and action including the radical notion that sex education should actually talk about sex." Presenter: Alissa Light is the Executive Director of Family Tree Clinic*, a nonprofit sexual health clinic in St. Paul, and has worked in the field of nonprofit sexual health since 2004. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Women's and Gender Studies from Macalester College, and is pursuing a Master's in Public Health and Nursing at the University of Minnesota. Light's particular interests include working to reduce health disparities through targeted sexual health service provision and education, and promoting sex positive thinking and action including the radical notion that sex education should actually talk about sex. *Located in the heart of St. Paul, Family Tree Clinic has provided low-cost, patient driven health care and education services to men, women and teens since 1971. In addition to the medical clinic, they provide comprehensive community education services and education services for the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing community. In commemoration of the January 22, 1973 anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the U.S.

February 2

What Does It Mean To Be A Feminist?

Difference of opinions, confusion and debate are common during discussions of the questions, "What does it mean to be a feminist?" "How is feminism incorporated in our personal and professional lives?" "Are we still in the third wave of feminism in 2011 or is the women's movement embarking on a new wave?" "Do we still need women's movements to address ongoing inequities, sexism and other forms of oppression experienced by women in today's world?" These questions are sure to bring engaging discussion, debate and opinions during this panel presentation. Panelists: Dr. Kelly Branam is an assistant professor at St. Cloud State University in the Anthropology Department. She is a cultural anthropologist with major interests in political and legal anthropology, ethnohistory, and identity studies. Dr. Branam's current research focuses on concepts of law, politics, government, and "constitution making" within the Apsáalooke or Crow Indian nation located in south-central Montana, U.S. She is interested in the ways in which American Indian nations have struggled to retain their identity, sovereignty and land in the face of overarching U.S. federal policy. Dr. Branam is also currently collaborating with archaeologists, students, and Crow people in cultural resource management concerning the Bighorn Canyon Recreation area, southeast of the Crow Indian reservation. She was recommended for this panel by a student of hers because she lives her feminism. Anjali Dreyer is majoring in Women's Studies with a minor in Asian Pacific American studies and she will graduate in spring 2011. Her history of activism includes leadership with the Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF) since she was 17 years old. Dreyer has served on a national board focusing on Asian Pacific American women's issues such as reproductive rights and immigration. She is an adoptee from India and has been an adoption activist as well. Dreyer's goals are to become an attorney in International law and still work with women's rights. She says the passions she has been blessed with have shaped her into a fierce Asian American woman activist. Marie Fisher is a Mental Health Practitioner at Catholic Charities Day Treatment Program working with at-risk youth. Fisher is a SCSU alumna, graduating with her Masters in Community Counseling and an undergraduate minor in Women Studies. She lived her feminism on campus through numerous venues including a two-year graduate assistantship at the Women's Center, leadership in Women's Action--a feminist, activist student organization--and involvement in the Community Counseling Graduate Student Association.

February 9

The Power of Racial Justice Work

The impact of race on the lives of young women of color is powerful and ever-present, thus requiring discussion in all its complexity and interrelationships. Our speaker will talk about the intersections of race, sex, religion, class and other areas of women's identities, share personal perspectives on race and its intersections, and discuss ways to work for racial justice in today's society. Presenter: Mariam Hannon is a Palestinian Muslim who immigrated to the United States with her family during the Persian Gulf War. She is the Racial Justice Program Coordinator at the YWCA of Minneapolis. Hannon studied Sociology and Social Justice at the University of Minnesota and is trained in Circle facilitation and Mindful facilitation with an emphasis on issues of race and racism. She believes that inclusion starts with conversations and community-building, and loves to witness transformations and personal connections that come out of dialogue.

February 16

Young Mothers on Mothering in Their 20s

Over the past three decades, women have chosen to partner up and/or become mothers later and later due to career aspirations, life plans including the desire for freedom, financial goals and so much more. But not all women are following the trend of later and older. Join us as mothers 30 and under talk about their reasons for becoming mothers and mothering in their 20s, their experiences as young mothers, and their thoughts about the roles of mothering today. Panelists: Heidi Aldes is the Director of the LGBT Resource Center at St. Cloud State University, serving since 2007. Heidi and her partner, Nicole, reside in Central Minnesota with their son Kaleb, 22 months. She holds a master's of science in Diversity Leadership in Student Affairs from St. Cloud State University.

Alison Underland is in her senior year as an anthroplogy major at SCSU. She conducted her field research on flint knapping cultures in America and her future research will include folk art in America. Underland lives in St. Cloud with her husband Kevin and is a stay at home mom with her five-year-old daughter, Fiona. She is also a local artist who shares her artistic passion with her daughter.

February 23

Multiple Identities

Though society is more comfortable labeling women with one brush stroke, this practice negates the diversity inherent in women's lives. In fact, it is the intersection of multiple identities, experiences and background that influences women's lives. Our panelists will discuss their experiences with balancing those identities, including their involvement and activism on an array of issues affecting young women, including race, class, sexual orientation and gender identity . Panelists: Njeri Clement is an undergraduate student majoring in Women's Studies. She is originally from Kenya and has been involved in women's issues, especially the impact of HIV/AIDS-which is increasingly becoming the face of an African woman. As a NGATHA International board member (a non-profit organization in MN), Clement has been involved in advocacy work to sensitize people about the impact of HIV/AIDS in Africa. She is also involved in various fundraising initiatives to help restore hope and dignity to women and children in Africa. Sara Kost is a senior at SCSU majoring in Secondary Social Studies Education. She has been involved with the LGBT Resource Center for five years, including two years as co-chair of the student organization, GLBT Alliance, as well as performing as a drag king in the biannual SCSU Drag Shows. In collaboration with the LGBT Resource Center and the SCSU Social Studies Club, Kost has presented about LGBT issues in schools both on campus and at the 2010 Minnesota Council for Social Studies conference. Kost's future plans include a career in teaching and advocacy for LGBTQ youth. Azania Tripp is a University of Minnesota student majoring in Youth Studies. As a former student at St. Cloud State University, she served as the vice president of A.S.I.A, and was active in Players Performance Group, a public forum for contemporary social and cultural issues. Tripp is also the membership coordinator of the St. Cloud Chapter for NAPAWF, the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum.

March is National Women's History Month!

March 2

College Feminists Connect and Vision 2020: Building feminist partnerships statewide and nationally

College Feminists Connect is an intern and student led program of the Minnesota Women's Consortium that seeks to connect women's resource centers, campus feminist, womencentered, and LGBTQIA groups with individual college students advocating for feminist issues across the state of Minnesota. It includes web-based space for discussion centered on women's and feminist issues and provides participants with an opportunity to talk with one another about their organizations, successes and challenges, and shared experiences. Vision 2020 is a national project focused on advancing gender equality by energizing the dialogue about women and leadership. Its aim is to launch an action agenda to move the U.S. toward equality by 2020, the centennial celebration of the 19th Amendment. Our presenter is one of two women selected to represent Minnesota for this national initiative. Don't miss this discussion on current efforts to build feminist partnerships at both the state and national levels. Presenter: Erin Parrish is the Associate Director at the Minnesota Women's Consortium, a network of 170 organizations committed to achieving and maintaining women's equality. She has a B.A. in Women's Studies from Hamline University with a minor in sociological studies and is currently pursuing a Masters in Leadership at Augsburg College. Parrish authored the Minnesota Women's Action Plan, Generations, encyclopedia entries on prominent feminists, articles in the Minnesota Women's Press, and co-authored The Political Equality Club of Minneapolis: She Will Marvel that it Should be Possible, an article in Minnesota History Quarterly about the first woman's suffrage organization in Minnesota. Parrish hopes to create gender equality by inspiring women and men to lead the path to equality in their local communities.

March 16

International Women's Issues

Women's Movements throughout the globe continue to inspire women of all ages to connect the feminist struggles of their home nations with those of women throughout the world, while acknowledging unique cultural differences based on politics, location, culture and more. Join us to learn more about the lives of women in other parts of the world, as well as the engagement of our students and staff in struggles for women in other countries. Panelists: Kim Steinmetz holds an M.S. degree in College Student Personnel Administration from the University of Central Missouri (May 2010) and a B.A. degree in Spanish with a minor in Women's Studies from Truman State University. Steinmetz's interest in international education began as a Rotary Youth Scholar in Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche, Mexico. After completing her exchange she pursued an education with an emphasis in global and cultural issues. Steinmetz joined the International Student and Scholar Services team in July 2010 at St. Cloud State University as the SEVIS Coordinator. Ayantu Tibeso is a fourth year student at St Cloud State University with a major in International Relations and Communication Studies. In the fall she plans on attending Ohio University to pursue a master's degree in Communication and Development. Ultimately, she aspires to work as a practitioner and scholar in the field of development. Tibeso is currently a Community Advisor with Residential Life and an intern with the Career Services Center.

Kouni Nintiema is a graduate student in the Social Responsibility Program at St. Cloud State University with a BA in Economics and Marketing from Burkina Faso. She is from Burkina Faso, a former French colony in West Africa, raised in Leo, a small village, and in Ouagadougou the capital. Nintiema conducted a pilot study during fall 2010 to assess the unique needs of African international female students at St. Cloud State University. This facilitated the development of a weekly discussion group beginning in January 2011 at the Women's Center.

March 23

Voices Merging--in heart, art and action

Voices Merging (VM) is a multicultural student-based artist coalition dedicated to providing venues, workshops and comfortable atmosphere for all types of artists. Starting in 2002 at the University of Minnesota, VM has grown to be a driving force not only for young performance artists but has also continued a tradition of spoken word in Minnesota. Voices Merging unites students regardless of ethnicity, age, or differences and encourages the love of spoken word and the performing arts. Three young women from this group will perform original pieces that cover the broad array of issues affecting their lives, including gender, class, culture, location, history, education, activism and more. Included with the performance will be time for discussion, and question and response. Presenters: Sarah Beraki, a native of Minneapolis, is studying anthropology and art at the University of Minnesota and loves traveling, painting and poetry.

Marta Merzi is a University of Minnesota alumni and student of life, who loves art and creativity in all forms, but especially in its constructive and positive forms.

Anna Pirsch is a 23-year-old Nursing student at the University of Minnesota who loves hearing poets speak their truths, enjoys traveling to new places, and trying to change the world with her peers.

March 30

Activism N.O.W.: Young women in the forefront

Young women have been at the core of various social justice movements in the U.S. for decades creating change and pushing the envelope of the status quo. Conversely, young women have also been critiqued for not living up to the ideals of older activists who want younger women to take up the causes of anti-violence work, reproductive justice, pay equity, and media equity the way older women have. Join us to hear one expert's perspective on the roles and actions younger women are engaging in today. Presenter: Erin Matson is an outspoken young feminist activist, elected action vice president of the National Organization for Women in June 2009. Matson took office while under the age of 30, making her one of the youngest national officers ever. She oversees the grassroots organizing efforts and national action campaigns for the organization, while also spearheading the use of new technologies within the feminist activist arena. Professionally, Matson has served as a senior interactive copywriter within multiple advertising agencies, specializing in online and viral strategy and outreach. She has also worked as a freelance writer, speechwriter and corporate marketing communications manager for a variety of clients and companies, including multiple organizations devoted to economic justice and shattering the glass ceiling. Matson holds a bachelor's degree in Women's Studies from Georgetown University. Originally from Minnesota, she now resides in Washington, D.C.

April 6

High Heels, Lipstick and Sex

How do feminists address the contradictions about social messages of who they are supposed to be, what they are supposed to wear (high heels, lipstick), how much sex they are allowed to have (and who they are allowed to have it with)? Are there authentic choices or are the rules manufactured by pop culture and the media? How can young women exercise self determination and personal agency in spite of these complexities? These questions and more will be answered by a group of young women with a range of perspectives, all employed at the Women's Center at St. Cloud State University.

Panelists: Amy Vang is an Asian American Mathematics Education major that transferred from California. Camaya Wallace is a final year student in the Social Responsibility Graduate Program with background in Sociology and Women's Studies, and is currently doing a professional development-independent study with the Women's Center. Jenna Stammen is a Women's Studies major, President of Women's Action, and future cochair of Liberation or Bust. Kacy Bjornson is a senior majoring in Psychology who has led the annual Liberation or Bust program, and is Vice President of Women's Action. Erin Schaefer is working on a master's in Information Technology, is a graduate assistant for the Women's Center, co-advisor for Women's Action and works with her family business, The Mindful Heart.

April 13

Feminist Role Models

According to some experts, college-aged women (and men) lack interest and action in making significant contributions to society, nor do they feel any obligation to give back to their communities. To combat the stereotype of apathetic, self absorbed twently-somethings, the Women's Center is featuring women who have made personal, civic and professional decisions that are breaking these assumptions. These young women are doing something socially conscious. They are making a difference by taking personal responsibility to create local and global change. Our panelists serve as role models not only for feminists, but for their generation. Presenters: Latarsha Bronaugh Thomas received her Master's Degree in Community Counseling with a certificate in Gerontology in 2008, and a B.A. in Community Psychology and a minor in Women Studies in 2006 from St. Cloud State University. As an undergraduate and graduate student, Bronaugh Thomas worked in many departments on the SCSU campus, became involved in many organizations and served as an elected officer on a variety of social justice and academic program committees. Currently, Bronough Thomas is a Mental Health Therapist at a Day Treatment Program that provides group therapy and individual counseling to youth. Kara Hadley-Shakya earned her undergraduate degree in Communication Studies and Women's Studies, with a minor in Intercultural Communication in May 2008. During her studies at SCSU, she was involved in Women's Action, NGATHA International, Student Government Association, The Vagina Monologues, and she co-founded HELPING Nepal International, a non-profit organization assisting underrepresented communities in Nepal. Currently, Hadley-Shakya is an admissions counselor at SCSU and will complete her master's degree in Higher Education Administration in December 2011. Amanda Weissner is currently providing direct support to adults with disabilities and plans to teach English next year. She worked for Residential Life for two years as a Community Advisor and as the Social Justice and Diversity Advocate. These positions, coupled with her involvement in Women's Action, GLBT Alliance, Outloud! and the Social Justice and Diversity Committee, have fostered her passion for social justice work. Weissner's efforts include the Movies with Meaning Series, Homelessness Awareness Camp-out and Fundraiser, Guess the Straight Person, The Closet Project and the Drag Show. She has held leadership roles with various organizations and volunteered with many others, including Habitat for Humanity, the Community Garden and the LGBT Resource Center. Weissner has received numerous leadership awards, been recognized for academic achievement, and participated in sports throughout college including soccer and rugby.

April 20

Sexuality as a Human Right: A conversation about reproductive justice

We opened our series addressing the issue of young women's reproductive health and are closing it by addressing the topic of reproductive justice. Overlap? Yes. Redundant? No. Let's take the issue of contraception for example. On one hand, Reproductive Health focuses on individual women's ability to have information about contraception and associated healthcare services. On the other hand, Reproductive Justice focuses on the power inequalities inherent in society that make certain groups of people (i.e., women, youth, people living in poverty) have less access to contraception and healthcare services. Clear as mud, right? No worries. During this session Pro-Choice Resources will help participants clearly differentiate Reproductive Justice from Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health and highlight the importance of all three models; provide examples as to how we and other Reproductive Justice organizations utilize the Reproductive Justice model; and provide participants tools and the opportunity to use these tools to apply this framework to their unique community's needs. Come ready to talk about sex, race, class, gender, sexual orientation, poverty and why sexuality is a human rights issue. Presenters: Nikki Madsen is the Associate Director of ProChoice Resources and has worked in the field of sexuality for over a decade. She has developed numerous nationally recognized programs including Emerge-an after-abortion support and discussion group-and the Birds & Bees Project's Sexuality Residency, the nation's first teacher training program in sexuality. Most recently, Madsen completed research with the University of Minnesota's Prevention Research Center specific to teachers' perspectives and obstacles in delivering sexuality education.

Wendy Brovold is the Communications & Fundraising Director at Pro-Choice Resources and has been working on issues of reproductive justice and queer rights for nearly 15 years. She has worked with numerous nonprofits across the country on issues of movement building, including Our Bodies Ourselves and the National Network of Abortion Funds. Brovold strongly believes change starts with a conversation.


WOMEN'S CENTER 720 Fourth Avenue South, St. Cloud, MN 56301 320.308.4958 (phone) | 320.308.6408 (fax) [email protected]


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