Friday, May 7, 2010
Many people may not have ever heard of the University of Montevallo in Alabama, and if they did, they would easily assume that this university in a small southern town is far from showing its hospitality to its friendly progressive feminists. But in the depths of southern conservatism lies the mighty force of feminist power. And in University of Montevallo's case, the student-led, Montevallo's Feminist Majority is alive and well, ready to stomp out patriarchy in every corner of the campus community.
The group began in 2005 becoming very active and organized around issues of violence against women, reproductive rights, and dispelling the misconceptions about what it means to be a feminist. Unfortunately, not too long after their launch, they struggled with retaining and recruiting members, fundraising, and developing action ideas that went beyond awareness-rising. These difficulties led the group to become inactive for some time.
Now, under the leadership of Emily Salinas and Chris West, the organization has surged in its membership and captured the attention of its campus media. Over the past year, they've consistently urged the administration to develop a comprehensive sexual assault policy and is currently proposing a sexual assault victims advocate & peer education program. Additionally, FM members volunteer several Saturdays out of the month escorting women entering the New Women All Women clinic in downtown Birmingham.
Last March, FM members drove over 12 hours to Washington D.C. to be represented as part of a southern contingent for the Feminist Majority Foundation's annual National Young Feminist Leadership Conference. Not only did they learn a lot, but they took back with them some very valuable connections.
I'm truly looking forward to see what else is in store for this phenomenal group. Congratulations to the Montevallo's Feminist Majority! You get the FEMMY for being survivors and reviving the legacy of your powerful organization.
Keep that feminist fire burning!
This article was featured in our May 2010 monthly Choices eZine. Sign up for our alerts to stay up-to-date with the latest feminist news and to receive the monthly eZine.