Lauren Hill

Image sourced through Creative Commons via Google Images

Image sourced through Creative Commons via Google Images

By Torshawna Griffin

Lauren Hill was not just the name of a singer, but the name of a courageous 19 year old that showed the world that just because you are dying doesn’t mean that you must stop living.

In November 2013, Lauren was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor that put an expiration date of two years on her life. However, Lauren didn’t let that kill her dream to play college basketball. She continued to work hard and to not let cancer win the battle. And just a year later on November 2, 2014, Lauren walked on the college court and made not only her first score as a college athlete, but the first basket of the game.

All odds were stacked against her, but she didn’t let that stop her. Before she succumbed to cancer, she donated more than 1 million dollars to the cancer fund, received an honorary doctorate, and showed the world that anything is possible. Lauren should be a great inspiration to all of us for what it means to have a dream a follow through with it. Lauren we will always remember you and your bravery. Rest in Peace, Lauren Hill, and continue to make lay ups in heaven! You were an incredible woman.

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Equal Pay Day

Equal-Pay-Day-Message-BoardBy Kacie Otto

Today, the Women’s Center is recognizing Equal Pay Day. Stop by our table in the Miller Nichols Learning Center Lobby from 11:00-1:00 today to learn about the pay inequities that women still face today. Today’s date symbolizes how far into 2015 women work to earn what their male counterparts earned in 2014.

Pay inequity is one of the biggest reasons I’m a feminist. I believe that men and women should earn the same amount of money for the same job done. That’s why I’m proud and excited to be putting on an event like this one today.

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Meet us on the Street

MUTSEnglishBy Rocky Richards

For a long time, I never really even knew what a “catcall” really was. When individuals yelled mean, rude, sexist things to me on the street, I would look away or speed up my pace. I didn’t realize that I  was being harassed. Just like me, many other women might not realize the catcalls they are experiencing are harassment,  To shed some light and to attempt to end street harassment, the UMKC Women’s Center would like for you all to Meet Us on the Street!

Meet Us On The Street is a program created to stop street harassment. Street harassment may include but is not limited to catcalls, sexiest comments, public masturbation, groping, stalking, and assault. Throughout the week of April 13-17th, activists and individuals all over the country will work together to end street harassment. At UMKC, flyers have already been placed around campus and our social media pages are constantly providing information about how community members can help end sexual assault. Last but not least, look out for images chalked on the walkways across campus next week.If you come in contact with one of our chalked statements,please take a picture and post on your social media accounts with the hashtag #EndSHWeek. This way, individuals on campus will get the message-but so will people all over the world.

We look forward to Meeting YOU On The Street!

Posted in Gender Issues, Street Harassment, UMKC Women's Center, Upcoming Events, Violence Prevention and Response Project | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

IMG_2094By Kacie Otto

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The Women’s Center and the UMKC Violence Prevention and Response project have taken a few opportunities this month to raise awareness and support survivors.

Today, we hosted a Sexual Assault Awareness Month table in the Atterbury Student Success Center. Students could stop by our table and pick up information about what to do if they have been sexually assaulted and need resources on campus. Students could also create a shrink art key chain, which stands as a reminder that they can help end sexual violence.

I hope this event and others like it can help students see that the Women’s Center is a safe space for them if they’ve experienced sexual violence.

Posted in Kacie Otto, Sexual Assault, Sexual Assault Awareness, Violence Prevention and Response Project, Women's Center | Tagged | Leave a comment

Beauty Throughout History

lipstickBy Matiara Huff

I recently watched these videos and thought that they were something worth blogging about. It is really interesting to me how the ideal body shape for women has changed over the years.

I think the most shocking part about the Ideal Body Types Video is that it states, “women regularly get plastic surgery to achieve desired look”. The fact that even the ideal body type of today is naturally unattainable, is equally horrifying and heartbreaking.

In the historical figures video, I thought it was amazing to see how the use of make-up has changed over time. In the past, it seems like make-up was completely for theatrical looks. It was as if the natural form of a women’s face then wasn’t beautiful, so it was necessary to  make her unnaturally beautiful. Now, it seems like make-up is meant to look as real as possible to naturally enhance a women’s beauty.

What do you think of the videos? How do trends help shape society?

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Denim Day

2015-Demin-Day-Drive-Flier-Arzie-editsEviteBy Kemora Williams

Did you know that the month of April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month? Do you know what Denim Day is? Well, in Italy during the 1990s an 18 year old girl was raped by her 45 year old driving instructor. The case against the instructor was overturned and dismissed because the Chief Judge argued, “because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans it was no longer rape but consensual sex.”

The women in the Italian Parliament were so upset with the ruling that within hours they took action and protested by wearing jeans to work. In April 1999, the first Denim Day was held in Los Angeles.

For Sexual Assault Awareness Month and in honor of Denim Day, the Women’s Center is hosting a Denim Day Drive for the entire month of April. Join this sexual violence prevention and education campaign and make a social statement by donating used denim to the Women’s Center. The drop off bins for your used denim are located at the Women’s Center, Oak Place Apartments, Johnson Residence Hall, and Oak Street Residence Hall. We’ll re-purpose your old denim by making them into visual displays that bear witness to sexual violence.

Posted in Denim Day, Kemora Williams, Sexual Assault, Sexual Assault Awareness, UMKC Women's Center, Violence Prevention and Response Project | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Black Girls Rock!

Image sourced through Creative Commons via Google Images

Image sourced through Creative Commons via Google Images

By Kemora Williams

In 2006, the Black Girls Rock movement began to promote the healthy development of young women and girls. BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Inc. is a non-profit youth empowerment and mentoring organization established to promote the arts for young women of color, as well as to encourage dialogue and analysis of the ways women of color are portrayed in the media. It seeks to build the self-esteem of young women and girls by helping them to empower themselves. Young girls, ages 12-17, have been given opportunities to improve their personal development through arts and cooperative learning.

Be sure to tune in on Sunday, April 5, 2015 7P/6C as BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Inc. partners with BET Networks in the worldwide broadcasting of BLACK GIRLS ROCK! At this event, women of color are highlighted for their accomplishments and exceptional work in their careers. All of these women are considered to be wonderful role models for their communities.

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Women’s History Month: Lena Horne

Image sourced through Creative Commons via Google Images

Image sourced through Creative Commons via Google Images

By Rocky Richards

Women’s History Month is celebrated throughout march, so here’s another history moment for you! Earlier this month, the Women’s History Museum took the time to acknowledge Lena Horne’s work. If you have not seen women’s history museum, women in a minute on Lena Horne please take the time now to view their video.

Lena Horne was born in Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn on June 30, 1917. She was known as an Actress, American Singer, Dancer, and Civil Rights Activist. Horne started her career at a very young age. At sixteen, Lena joined the chorus line of the Cotton Club in New York City before moving to Hollywood. She is known for her roles in Cabin in the Sky, Stormy Weather, and many others. For 70 years Lena Horne was in films, on television, and on Broadway. Lena Horne starred in a one woman show in 1980, which ran more than 300 performances on Broadway and earned her numerous awards and accolades.

Aside from Horne being very talented, she was also involved with the Civil Rights Movement. Horne performed at the march on Washington on behalf of NAACP, SNCC, and the National Council of Negro Women. During World War Two, Lena refused to perform for segregated audiences or for groups in which German Prisoners of War were seated in front of African American servicemen.

After all of her great work, Lena Horne passed away on May 9, 2010. Lena Horne has been as inspiration to me because she used her talent to speak out against discrimination against black Americans. Thanks Lena Horne for all that you accomplished for women today!

Posted in Black Women, Rocky | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Meet Ursula Burns!

Ursula BurnsBy Matiara Huff

Ursula Burns was born on September 20, 1958 to a single mother in the ghetto of New York City. Now she is the CEO of Xerox and the only black woman that is a CEO of a fortune 500 company. She is also the only woman to succeed another woman as CEO to a Fortune 500 company.

In her family, education was the most important thing. Even though her mother didn’t make much money, she still made it a priority to get all of her kids through school. In college Ursula major in Mechanical Engineering at New York University. After, she was offered a summer internship at Xerox that paid for her graduate school. Since then, her professional life has only gotten better. In this interview, she goes into more depth about her journey.

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Happy Spring Break Eve to UMKC!

Gonna read books with this cat on spring break!

Gonna read books with this cat on spring break!

By Kacie Otto

Happy Spring Break Eve to all of my fellow UMKC students! For me, spring break means a long trip back to Wisconsin, hanging with my nephew and family, and reading some great feminist books.

This week, I’m looking forward to reading Caitlin Moran’s How to Be a Woman and Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck. Will you be reading any feminist literature over spring break? What other things are you looking forward to this week? Comment in the comments section!

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