Sexual Assault Awareness Month Activities

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the UMKC Violence Prevention and Response Project, along with the UMKC Women’s Center, and our campus and community co-sponsors will be hosting several events next week to mark the month. Please plan to join us at the following events:

  • SAAM Informational Tables. Monday, April 6; Time: 4-6 p.m.; Location:Oak Street Residence Hall courtyard.  The UMKC Violence Prevention and Response Project will host informational tables at various locations throughout April. There will also be items for sale to raise awareness for sexual assault. Proceeds will benefit the Violence Prevention and Response Project.
  • SAAM Informational Tables. Tuesday, April 7; Time: 9-11 a.m. Location:Royal Hall First Floor. The UMKC Violence Prevention and Response Project will host informational tables at various locations throughout April. There will also be items for sale to raise awareness for sexual assault. Proceeds will benefit the Violence Prevention and Response Project.
  • Take Back The Night. Tuesday, April 7; Time: Pre-march rally 6:30 p.m.; march begins 7:30 p.m.; speak-out at J.C. Nichols Fountain 8 p.m.; Location: Meet at Women’s Center. Join us for the fifth annual Take Back the Night march and rally, an event designed to unify women, men, and children in an awareness of violence against women, children and families. Take Back the Night began in England as a protest against the danger women encountered in the streets at night. The first Take Back the Night in the United States was held in San Francisco in 1978. For more information on Take Back the Night, please visit Click here to see the route map for the rally. Click here to view pictures from the 2006 Take Back The Night.

"Impossibly Beautiful" @ Shakesville

The “Impossibly Beautiful” series over at Shakesville is, for my money, one of the best series of blog posts out on the internet. In today’s installment, Melissa McEwan looks at a video op-ed from the New York Times, titled “Sex, Lies, and Photoshop.”

I encourage all of you to check out Melissa’s post and watch the NYT video. Personally, I’m intrigued by the idea of requiring full disclosure from magazines. Would that help improve self-esteem? Or would the images still have the same effect as they do currently?

The End of the Women's Movement?

My friend (and UMKC Women’s Center fave) Courtney has great piece over at The American Prospect on the “end” of the women’s movement.

To me, where she gets it dead right is in this paragraph:

In today’s climate of shaky economics, smaller and smaller subcultures, and lightning-speed information, a feminism based on picket lines and in-person consciousness-raising groups is next to impossible. I wish that we could all come to terms with that. Instead of pining over days far gone or talking about how we might resurrect them, we could put our energy into supporting the good work on the ground going on right now . . . We could revise our expectations — not a few giant fireworks but so many little sparks; not worldwide protests but effective public-awareness campaigns and advocacy and service provision; not a unified body but a courageous and creative culture.I think Courtney’s dead-on with this and it’s what I think we do here at the Women’s Center through our own events and by connecting folks with all the other amazing organizations doing fabulous work in Kansas City to improve the lives of women and girls.

So, go read the whole piece and then come back here and tell us what you’re doing as a feminist and whether you think the women’s movement is indeed over (at least in the sense Courtney implies).

Board Member Spotlight 2

As I mentioned in my previous Board Member Spotlight post, the women and men who make up the Chancellor’s Advisory Board to the Women’s Center are an amazing group of people who work hard to make the world a better place. Coming up later this week is an opportunity to see one of our Board members in action — Ron Zoglin (along with partner and fellow Women’s Center supporter Deborah Shouse) will be performing their acclaimed presentation “Love in the Land of Demetia: Finding Hope in the Caregiver’s Journey,” at the Plaza Branch (4801 Main Street; click here for a map) of the Kansas City Public Library on Sunday, April 5, at 2 p.m. Admission is free, but an rsvp is requested; you can rsvp online at I’ve seen Ron and Deborah perform and highly recommend them.

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.