At the beginning of the semester, I had no idea my life’s journey would lead me to UMKC Women’s Center. My year started out unexpectedly rough, and I wasn’t sure how the rest of my semester would turn out. Fortunately, I was immediately welcomed into the Center’s working family made up of interns, office assistants, Indra, our graduate assistant, and our fearless leaders, Arzie and Brenda. I always felt welcomed, safe, and cared about. Indra would ask me every day how I was doing and would precisely pick up our conversations from where they left off.
If I’m being honest, though, I wasn’t exactly sure what the Women’s Center did for UMKC, so it was very interesting to learn everybody’s roles coming in. Learning about all the different projects everyone was doing for the Women’s Center and where their passions lied when it came to women’s rights struck a chord with me. I realized that the fight for women’s rights could be found anywhere in society. For example, some focused more on women’s sports, where other’s found greater enthusiasm in supporting women in the arts. It’s inspiring to see how anyone with any passion can channel those feelings into advocating for women’s rights.
I, unexpectedly, found a pocket in my life to create a project for the Women’s Center. Other than working at the Women’s Center, I’m also an RA at UMKC’s Johnson Hall. Indra and I paired up with Residential Life to make UMKC’s first ever Menstrual Products Drive. The drive took place over the course of a month during Wing Wars, an annual competition held at the residence halls. Each residence hall received a box and scored points for donated menstrual products. The goal was to receive as many donations as possible to then be placed in gender neutral bathrooms on campus. We hope to expand on this project in the future. It was incredible to have such an impact on the Women’s Center my very first semester here! I am grateful for the experience and for meeting all the different and amazing women of the Women’s Center.