FMF Outstanding Campus Awards
Lisa Covington started the FMLA at Clarion University this year, and despite discouragement from the conservative atmosphere of her campus, has had great success in getting the group officially recognized in the student government and spreading awareness about feminist issues on her campus, as well as personally inspiring members of the group to engage in feminist activism.
One group member was so inspired by Lisa's leadership that she wrote to the Campus Team to nominate her for this award. She said, among other things, "with Lisa's help I learned about different issues that I never realized were feminist like pay equity. She was willing to teach me one-on-one about different issues and was some what of a 'big sister' for me in FMLA...Her leadership and willingness to teach women about the issues [is] one reason why I am proud to call myself a feminist and hope to [have] a career focusing on women."
Misty Mills serves as president of the newly chartered Tulsa Community College Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance. She worked diligently all semester to launch the group despite persistent opposition from school administrators. Since the group's inception in February of this year, Misty has seen its membership grow to over twenty students. Despite living in a very conservative area, Misty is committed to informing her fellow students about feminism, providing education on reproductive health options, and making sure feminist students on campus have an outlet to express their views.
Deborah Evind is the director of the Women's Resource Center at Portland Community College. Every year she inspires young women at PCC to get active with the FMLA. Deborah encourages her students to think big and to take on large scale projects. With her guidance and encouragement, the FMLA at PCC is a thriving community with a constant stream of programming. With her help the members of the group have also become expert fundraisers and so were able sent large delegations to the March for Women's Lives in 2004 and the National Collegiate Global Women's and Human Rights Conference in 2005.
Students Acting for Gender Equality (SAGE), an FMF affiliate at Cornell University since 2001, had an amazing semester full of events. They started the semester with a talk about violence against women by Don McPherson, former Syracuse University and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback. The event was co-sponsored with Cornell fraternities and the Women's Resource Center. The group also did a vigil with Amnesty for International Women's Day.
SAGE participated in a panel on oppression that was held at the Multicultural Program House. The group also had an anti-oppression theater group (Ordinary People) perform at a meeting and had a discussion. In addition to co-sponsoring an event with the Black Biomedical and Technical Association, SAGE joined with the Women's Resource Center and other Ithaca groups to hold Take Back the Night in Ithaca Commons.
Other events from the month of April included an event called “Pro-Choice at the Pulpit” featuring religious leaders from Cornell, and a movie screening and discussion of Boys Don't Cry, co-sponsored with the Gender-based Violence Committee. They finished the semester by co-sponsoring a movie with Hillel about body image called A Good Uplift.
Other Campus Updates...
DePauw University (IN)
In April the DePauw University FMLA sponsored a week of events to educate the campus on violence against women for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This week included a day long movie marathon, the Clothesline Project, a day of silence to honor women who have died at the hands of violence, a pro-women event to claim womanhood and rights of passage co-sponsored with Zeta Phi Beta
and a Take Back the Night rally and march.
Santa Monica College (CA)
The first time a group called “Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust” showed up at the Santa Monica College campus, they stayed harassing students all day long. The second time they came, however, the Women's College Student Association (an FMF Affiliate) was prepared.
The group organized a fundraiser in which women's rights supporters pledged money for every half hour the anti-choice group stayed on campus. They also held a counter rally to block out the anti-choice protesters' signs with their own pro-choice messages. The counter protest was wildly successful with 20 to 30 students always present to counter the handful of anti-choice protesters. Many students who were just passing by stopped to pick up a sign and join the counter protest.
After 3 hours, they notified the anti-choice group that their presence on campus had already raised $180 to give to the group Counter Crisis, which funds abortions for women who cannot afford it. Shortly after, the anti-choice protesters picked up and left. Counter Crisis was able to give the money to help a woman who was in need of $150 to pay for her procedure.
University of California Los Angeles
On May 14th, the UCLA FMLA will be hosting 400 Portraits: The Women of Juárez and Chihuahua City; an awareness-raising event and benefit art auction centered on the brutalization, murders, and disappearances of over 400 women from Juarez and Chihuahua City, Mexico. The event will showcase works of art that represent over 400 women who have been killed or have gone missing since 1993.
All of the proceeds will go to support Casa Amiga, the sole rape crisis center in Juárez, in hopes of constructing a shelter for women and children that have survived. The FMLA sees the auction as not just a fundraiser, but as an opportunity to raise awareness of this devastating situation. “These atrocities and these women have been ignored for too long,” says Laurel Holmes, FMLA Co-Chair, “We want to let their voices be heard and more importantly, to motivate people to take action on their behalf.”
Although the event will convey the gravity of these women's plight, the FMLA feels that the overall theme of the evening will be one of hope. Fellow FMLA Co-Chair, Evan Cholfin, explains “This event is a focused part of a broader struggle to prevent violence against women, as well as to foster compassion and well-being between men and women of all colors, nationalities, ethnicities, religions, ages, abilities, and personal identities.”
400 Portraits will be held in the Ackerman Grand Ballroom on the UCLA campus at 7:00 PM. Tickets are still available and can be obtained for $20 in advance by calling the UCLA Central Ticket Office at (310) 825-2101, or for $25 at the door.
We would like to welcome the Sierra College (CA) FMLA, and the
(NE) FMLA to the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance community!