Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Since June of 2010, American University students and administrators have been working on a grant application that, if accepted by the Department of Justice, would provide $300,000 to go towards resources for preventing sexual assault and supporting survivors. Seventeen campus offices, three community organizers, and the entire undergraduate senate approved this grant and all of its provisions.
Part of the proposal provided for mandatory sexual assault prevention trainings for all new students. Students would have multiple opportunities throughout their first semester to complete the training. If they failed to complete the training by the end of this period, a stop would be placed on their registration until they fulfilled the requirement.
Although this enforcement is required by the DOJ for grant approval, Vice President of the Office of Campus Life, Dr. Gail Hanson took issue with mandating educational programming (because that’s not what college is all about, or anything), and refused to sign the grant. According to committee members and students Quinn Pregliasco and Leigh Ellis, Hanson had expressed concerns over the stops in October, but had given her approval and urged the committee to move forward. Her refusal to let the proposal go forward came just days before the application deadline (March 31st).
As an American University student and a survivor of sexual assault, this is a crushing blow. It seems as though Dr. Hanson is valuing the comfort of some students, those who do not wish to complete the training, over the safety of others.
I am encouraged by the support our community has demonstrated in the wake of this news. Last night, around 50 students met to discuss the situation. Hanson attended the event and continued to discourage students, stating that there was no way she would change her mind on the grant.
Our community refuses to let the administration sidestep the issue and avoid acknowledging what we all know: sexual assault is real, it happens frequently, and students need advocates. We have decided to continue pushing for resources and programming on sexual violence, regardless of whether this grant application goes through.
Tomorrow, at 11am, students will assemble for a rally on the main quad to demonstrate their frustration and solidarity. Students and D.C. residents are encouraged to attend wearing black and holding signs. You can find information about the event on our Facebook page.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
The conference will be led by activists, educators, journalists, and media-makers, giving attendees some insight on why gender justice in the media is so crucial. With technology quickly changing and evolving, media in all its forms has become an important tool for activism, education, and entertainment. The conference will touch on important issues dealing with intersectional identities, body image, beauty, online media, and much much more. The conference will give a second look at the pervading messages media gives us and stress the importance of having a diverse, inclusive, and real representation of gender. Check out this video!
WAM! It Yourself is happening in Los Angeles this weekend at Santa Monica College and the West Coast Campus Team will be tabling at the event on Friday. On Saturday, our colleagues at Ms. magazine are hosting a workshop about feminist online media and giving their reflections on the first year of the Ms. magazine Blog.The conference will have video presentations, lectures, workshops, a poetry slam, discussions, presentations, and lots of information that will keep your feminist heart beating.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
When the Act’s full provisions take effect in 2014, it will make incredible headway in promoting gender equality in healthcare by ensuring that women can not be charged higher premiums, nor will they be denied coverage due to pregnancy or other gender-based discriminations often considered to be pre-existing conditions.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
- Read through our Action Kit to get started.
- Go to your campus health center, and see what health/women's clinics your school refers people to. Does your school promote CPCs?
- If there are fake clinics on your school's referral list, pressure them to pull misleading ads or post disclaimers about what services a clinic provides (and does not provide).
- Post educational flyers in your area to tell people what CPCs are (see our example here).
- Organize a SPEAK OUT and have students share their stories and opinions about CPCs. Your voice is powerful!
- Organize a photo campaign to and post your pictures on social media sites.
- Get in contact with your local school newspaper to advertise your action plans and cover what your club is doing.
- Circulate this petition to stop deceptive advertising and federal funding of fake women's health clinics.
- Host a screening of Let's Talk About Sex about sex education in the U.S.
- Host a screening of 12th & Delaware and use our videos as a starting point for discussion.
This is a guest post from Holly Kearl, women's rights activist and author. You can contact Holly at hollykearl-AT-yahoo.com.
As a college student at Santa Clara University in northern California, I faced street harassment almost every time I left campus on foot, including when I went for my daily run, walked to volunteer at a local domestic violence shelter, or took a bus to go to the mall with friends. The whistles, honks, pssts, and comments quickly became annoying, then infuriating. The harassment was such a constant part of my life that I couldn’t ignore it. My experiences led me to write a master’s thesis and then, when I discovered a lack of literature on the topic, a book on street harassment.
Across the last few months since my book came out, I’ve given talks about street harassment on college campuses in states as far flung as Alaska, Iowa, California, Maryland, and Georgia. No matter the size of the campus or its location, most of the women in the audience have stories of street harassment. From peers yelling at them from dorm rooms or fraternity houses as they walk across campus to adult men yelling at them from cars as the women wait for buses or walk to stores off campus, the harassment stories are similar and so are the outcomes. Students feel disempowered, upset, and they often try to avoid the harassment by changing what they wear, where they go, and when. This is not fair and it’s not right.
Street harassment is a global problem and it requires a global response. This Sunday, March 20, thousands of women and men across the United States and throughout the world will participate in the first International Anti-Street Harassment Day.
Women and men on many college campuses are participating, including in Delhi (India), Cape Town (South Africa), Toronto (Canada), Irvine (CA), Iowa City (IA), Harrisonburg (VA), and College Park (MD). Their actions include setting up tables to hand out anti-street harassment materials, posting fliers around campus with messages about ending street harassment, and blogging and tweeting about street harassment from wherever they are over their Spring Break.
There’s still time for you to decide to do something, too. Agree to talk to a friend or classmate about street harassment. Share your story online. Tweet about street harassment with the hashtag #antistreetharassmentday. If you have time hand out or post fliers or hold an informal meeting on campus where people can brainstorm how to address and end this problem in your community. Here are 10 ideas for action, the Facebook RSVP page, and sample fliers.
Reclaim your campus, reclaim your community and do something to end street harassment. Let March 20 simply be your starting point.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Friday, March 4, 2011
There’s one week left until the Feminist Majority Foundation’s National Young Feminist Leadership Conference hosted by George Washington University in Washington, D.C.! Registration at the door will be available, but pre-registration closes at 6pm EST on Wednesday, March 9.
This is something you don’t want to miss!
Hear from amazing feminists, activists, and representatives:
- Eleanor Smeal, President, Feminist Majority Foundation
- Tina Tchen, Chief of Staff, First Lady Michelle Obama & Executive Director, White House Council on Women and Girls
- Secretary Hilda Solis, Secretary of United States Department of Labor
- Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Congressional Delegate, District of Columbia
- Rep. Donna Edwards, Maryland's 4th Congressional District
- Rep. Gwen Moore, Wisconsin's 4th Congressional District
- Steph Herold, Activist and Founder, "I Am Dr. Tiller"
Registration is only $30 for a 3-day weekend packed with feminist connections, activist education & training, empowering discussions, and visiting with Congress to make feminist voices heard, especially during this time where women’s health is being attacked in the House. Meet young feminists from all over the country to talk about ways to organize on campus and in your communities!
In addition to being part of the conversation of feminist activism today, participants will receive a free copy of “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide" by Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn.
Discounts are still available for groups of 5 or more, and the Campus Team is here to help you plan your trip. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 866-444-FMLA for more information. See you next Saturday! You won’t want to miss it!!
If you’ve already registered and are joining us on Monday for the Congressional Education Day, don’t forget to call your Senators and Representatives to set up congressional visits!
Thursday, March 3, 2011
- Disclose to a client that the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene encourages women to consult with a licensed medical provider.
- Disclose if there is no licensed medical provider on staff.
- Disclose if it does or does not provide referrals for abortion, emergency contraception, or prenatal care.
- Post disclosures at the entrance and waiting room (in both English and Spanish).
- Disclosures are required to be given over the phone.
As people all over the country fight for reproductive rights and access to comprehensive women's health clinics, there is a presence of deceptive "clinics" that offer limited resources to those in need. Access to family planning and basic medical care has become a dire task with the presence of fake clinics. Crisis Pregnancy Center's (CPCs) are clinics that pose to be clinics under names like "Pregnancy Aid", "Open Door", and "Pregnancy Counseling Center". CPCs target young, poor, and minority women who have limited resources to family planning and contraceptives. These clinics use misleading advertisements to delay, persuade, and intimidate women from receiving the health care they need. Many of these clinics are affiliated with anti-choice organizations and do not perform abortions or give referrals to clinics that do. What's even more ridiculous is the fact that many of these "clinics" do not have staff that are medically trained-lacking licensed doctors, nurses, and nurse practitioners.
Some other ideas to take action on exposing CPCs:
- Make CPC exposure a priority in your campus feminist club.
- Talk to student government about promoting truth in advertising on campus.
- Go to the health center at your school to see what kinds of clinics they refer and find out if CPCs are on that list.
- Check out our action kit to find videos, petitions, flyers, and other great resources!
- Sign the petition to Stop funding for Fake Clinics and Abstinence-Only Education! Stop Deceptive Advertising Practices!
photo credit to: www.flickr.com/mysticchildz