Inspired by the multitude of activism taking place at UMBC over the fall semester, the Women’s Center is excited to offer a new skills-based workshop to the community. “Get It Together!”: Fundamentals of Activism will focus specifically on social justice activism. During the course of an hour, we’ll explore some of the many possibilities for engaging in activism, discuss practical options for taking action on campus, and gain new insights for creating change.
We’re offering this workshop twice over the next two weeks on:
Critical Social Justice week is fast approaching (February 16th to the 20th) and the theme this year is “Creating Brave Spaces”. To unpack and explore this idea, we had the Critical Social Justice Student Alliance tell us what the theme meant to them and how we can use it in our social justice work. Emily Eaglin, incoming president of this new student organization, created this helpful video that documents our conversation and expands upon what brave spaces can be. Even our keynote speaker, Franchesca Ramsey, shared the video on her YouTube page! Check out the video below:
We were inspired by Brian Arao and Kristi Clemens’ article, “From Safe Spaces to Brave Spaces,” and for some highly recommended further reading, you can access it here.
If you’re interested in creating a program for the Critical Social Justice campaign, visit our About page for details!
This guest post on privilege and critical self-reflection comes from Women’s Center staff member Daniel Willey.
When I was asked if I would be interested in joining the Women’s Center staff, my first reaction was, “HELL YES.” The Women’s Center had very quickly become my favorite place on campus, and I was excited to jump on the opportunity to be a part of something that had been such a positive addition to my life. Last spring was a great time for me. I got more involved. I joined the Queer Leadership Council and the LGBT Campus Climate Workgroup. I was elected Outreach Coordinator for Freedom Alliance and Director of Public Affairs for GWST COMM. Recommendations, internship opportunities, and leadership roles were flying at me and it was great to feel like my skills were desirable.
How might male privilege show up in women-focused spaces?
But the more I thought about it, the more suspicious I became. How much of this have I actually earned? Aren’t there other people who are much more qualified than me for these jobs? How must my classmates feel about a freshman showing up and taking over? Am I taking over? How does privilege play into this? Do I even belong in these spaces? I have been thinking about these questions for months and I want to take this opportunity to reflect on what it means to be a male-identified staff member at a women’s center and the complicated combination of male identity and queer identity. Continue reading