Board Member Spotlight

The UMKC Women’s Center is blessed with a wonderful group of women and men who serve as members of the Chancellor’s Advisory Board to the Women’s Center (CAWBC). They dedicate their time and energy to making the Center and the world a better place — and make my job not just easier to do, but enjoyable. Our Board truly is the envy of many of my colleagues around the country, as well as an asset to the Center and UMKC.

We recently decided to use this space to highlight the fabulousness of our Board members — we’ll bring you news of their accomplishments and other updates. For the first post, we’re linking to an article in the UNews, featuring Karen Vorst, Dean of UMKC’s College of Arts & Sciences (“A Day in the Life of a Dean“). This is actually a double feature, since the author of the article, Tara Kloeppel, is a former Board member, having served as the student representative to the CABWC in 2007-08.
If you’re a Board member, please send me updates, articles, etc. to include in this space. If you’re someone who’s lucky enough to know one of these amazing women and men, contact me if you would be interesting in writing a guest spotlight post for us.


Nothing like a little depressing news to start off a Monday morning. From the Boston Globe (via Feministing) comes what the Boston Globe is calling a “conversation starter”:

Nearly half of the 200 Boston teenagers interviewed for an informal poll said pop star Rihanna was responsible for the beating she allegedly took at the hands of her boyfriend, fellow music star Chris Brown, in February.

I don’t know about you, but is a conversation I had hoped we were starting to get past. But apparently not, folks, so we go one more time — in an abusive situation, the person responsible for the abuse is the abuser, NOT the victim. Period. What I find so disheartening is that this is coming from young people — I would have thought that the women’s movement had made some progress in changing attitudes. Apparently it hasn’t and I wonder why. Any thoughts on that?

President Obama Announces White House Council on Women and Girls

Because we so often use this space to draw attention to continuing inequities, it’s always nice to be able to report good news for a change. And today we had very good news indeed when it was announced that President Obama created a White House Council on Women and Girls. Below is the video of the announcement — it’s long, but worth watching. Truly, this is something for us to celebrate today.

Women's History Month

March is Women’s History Month! Check out the calendar of events happening at the Women’s Center and UMKC campus:

And be sure to stop by the Center in 105 Haag Hall to view our displays of women who helped shape history. We’ll also be posting their biographies here as the month progresses.
Finally, tell us — what do you do to celebrate Women’s History Month? Do you know of any great events happening in KC that we’ve missed? If yes, leave your links in the comments.

Pink Chaddi Campaign Update

You might remember that a couple of weeks ago we wrote about a campaign to support Indian women on Valentine’s Day (if you don’t, click here to read that post). Well, we’ve some good news / bad news updates. The good news is the pictures below of local UMKC women toasting Indian women on Valentine’s Day:

The bad news is that their Facebook group has been hacked multiple times (see Feministing and Jezebel for the stories). As Feministing says, show them some love by becoming a fan or joining the group. For more news and updates, visit their blog.

V-Day and the V-Wall

This week wraps up our month of V-Day celebrations with our performances of The Vagina Monologues and Any One of Us: Words from Prison (February 25 & 26, respectively. Click here for more details and to purchase tickets). 

People often ask me if I don’t get tired of doing the same thing over and over, year after year, but the truth is, while the monologues may be the same (although we are doing a new piece this year — Any One of Us has not been previously performed in KC), a new cast and crew bring their own new interpretation — every single year I am inspired all over again by the dedication and hard work the women (and men) of V-Day UMKC bring to the cause of ending violence against women. 
This year, our events raise money to support V-Day’s 2009 Spotlight, Power to the Women and Girls of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where women have been suffering unimaginable atrocities for years. Bob Herbert’s column, “The Invisible War,” details what has been happening. V-Day also has a V-Wall dedicated to women and girls the Congo that provides information on what’s happening there, as well as ways for you to take action. Please visit it and support V-Day in their efforts to end violence against women.
And remember that when you support your local V-Day, you also support local anti-violence efforts. This year, our local beneficiary is the UMKC Violence Prevention and Response Project. The VPR Project strengthens the University’s response to sexual violence by providing advocacy services, training, and education/outreach to the campus community. These services help students who’ve been affected by sexual violence stay in school and get the support they need. 
So, please, sign up to support the V-Wall and join us this week at the V-Day UMKC 2009 performances to help us work towards ending violence against women locally and globally.