A reflection written by Jess Myers, Women’s Center Director
The last time I passed by this wall was in February 2015. Before the murder of Freddie Gray. Before the Baltimore Uprisings. Before… I don’t remember what was on this wall, if anything. But walking down Greenmount Avenue yesterday afternoon on my way to visit the Monument Quilt‘s studio, I came to a full stop as the mural came to view.
It’s beautiful. And sad. And deeply powerful. It is activism. Baltimore Is Rising.
As we’ve been planning Critical Social Justice and immersing ourselves in its theme of Baltimore 365, I often come into the Women’s Center or to Critical Social Justice planning team meetings with more questions than I have answers. Will we do this right? Will we honor Baltimore in the way it needs to be? Will we respect its people in the way that they — we deserve? Knowing we can never cover all the issues, whose voice, whose experience, whose story will go untold?
I love Baltimore. Baltimore is my home. It is my heart. This city is my roots and the roots of my family.
But since the uprisings, I wonder if Baltimore is mine to claim? Who is Baltimore? Am I Baltimore? Continue reading
Critical Social Justice 2015 is quickly approaching and we’re looking for art submissions to add to the CSJ 2015 Art Gallery! This year’s CSJ theme is Creating Brave Spaces and we’re asking for art submissions that explore and/or address what it means to create brave spaces.
Last year’s CSJ art gallery located on the Mezzanine of The Commons.
CSJ invites different types of activists — students, teachers, artists, musicians, doctors, and more — to talk critically about social justice and how they are creating change in their own unique ways. In addition to our discussions, keynotes, and reflections, the CSJ Art Gallery is intended to give another kind of voice and experience to the conversations we’re having on campus about social justice.
All UMBC community members are invited to submit their work by
Wednesday, February 4th at 4pm Sunday, February 8th. Artists are asked to complete this form and email a jpg image of their artwork to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline extended until Sunday, February 8th!!!
Kelly Martin Broderick with her Self(ie) Portrait
Kelly Martin Broderick, ’14, Gender and Women’s Studies (GWST), is Student Staff at Women’s Center at UMBC and Co-Leader of Women Involved in Learning and Leadership (WILL).
A year ago, I was working at the Howard County Arts Center when Diana Marta, one of the resident artists, bought an antique dress form. While looking at the mannequin in her studio, she “wondered what an ordinary women’s wardrobe would look like through time.” I remember talking to her after she purchased the form and discussing this topic with her. Diana decided that she wanted to curate a show exploring the topic of “ordinary women” and the clothing they would wear. Each artist was asked to create a garment that could be worn by the dress form and to also create a self portrait to be displayed along with the dress. It was 2012 when she asked me and 13 other women to participate in the show and that’s when I started to think about what the phrase “Ordinary Woman” meant to me.
I knew I wanted to do something that challenged our expectations of womanhood and how we’ve constructed being a woman in our society. First, I needed to find a garment. I don’t sew, so I would have to find a dress. I wanted something that was the epitome of femininity, to give me a starting point to disrupt that expectation. I found the perfect dress in a thrift shop in Baltimore; it was pink, satin, long, and once upon a time had been a bridesmaids dress. It said everything I wanted it to say. Continue reading