Rising Gardens: Freedom Garden Fridays in February

By Mia Lukic

Rising Gardens is a new program for the Women’s Center, and is a part of the One Billion Rising Movement. Rising Gardens aims to connect the power of a garden to a multitude of social issues. Encouraging people to grow gardens is not only a way to start a conversation about certain issues, but to combat them.

“Gardens remind us of our enduring connection to life, to each other and to Earth, which compels us to do everything in our power to protect and nurture life and all that is sacred without doing harm. The cultivation of plant life is also a means for survival. Growing food in a garden organically – be it your own indoor garden or a community garden – allows you to feed yourself and your community. It provides autonomy and underscores the need for food security in a world where so many are denied these essential resources” (One Billion Rising).

Over the next three months we will highlight three major social issues and how they correlate to gardens, while growing our very own freedom gardens. Freedom gardens is a play on the term “victory gardens”, referring to gardens grown during World War II. The renaming comes from the association between victory gardens and anti-Asian sentiment, as a lot of Japansese-American farmland was seized by white farmers during this time (Freedom Gardens). Our freedom gardens will be grown in our homes, using household items and food scraps.

February is Black History Month and we are focusing on the connection between food and racial equity.

Leah Penniman is an amazing woman who founded Soul Fire Farm, a nonprofit organic farm devoted to training the new generation of farmers of color. She details why “food sovereignty is central in the fight for racial justice” in her book Farming While Black. A striking line from the book is spoken by a young black man stating “Look, you’re either going to die from the gun or you are going to die from bad food” (Penniman). Leah explains that a Black person in America is more likely to die from lack of access to good food than any type of violence, despite violence being the most covered by the media.  “If you look at diabetes, kidney failure and heart disease—those are all inextricably linked to what types of food a person has access to. And the last time I looked, those are the leading causes of death”(Penniman). She says this by no means to diminish the murders of Black and Brown people, but rather to bring attention to both, and the connections between them.

Penniman also rejects the popular term “food desert” and instead prefers the term “food apartheid”, explaining that a desert is natural but nothing about what is happening in these scenarios is natural. Decades of redlining and zoning have made it harder for people of color to have access to certain neighborhoods and by default, quality food.

“The existence and persistence of community gardens in food deserts and low-income neighborhoods is a testament to the resilience of the Black and Brown communities who cultivate them” (One Billion Rising). Many people are trying to combat this inaccessibility with community gardens or personal gardens like freedom gardens.

My garden consists of spring onions, romaine lettuce, celery, and a pineapple. Some nonedible plants include three cacti (Spike, Pickle, and Sunny) and a bamboo aptly named Boo. (I figured it was cruel to name the plants I planned on eating soon). My spring onions are about two months old, and have been living and growing in my window since I purchased them at Walmart. They just keep regrowing their tops and getting cut as I need them. My celery and romaine lettuce are showing slow but steady growth and are only about a week old. Unfortunately, most likely due to the snow and freezing conditions my pineapple seems to be dying, I have moved it to the kitchen and there is little left to do but keep an eye on it. All of my plants are currently in jars I repurposed from anything like olives or even candles, and all of the plants themselves are just the roots of food I had purchased and normally would throw away. So far, this process has shown me how easy it is to repurpose food scraps and how not unlike flowers many vegetables are. We keep flowers in a vase without a second thought, why not celery? I have not bought spring onions in months, simply cutting what I need off the ones on my window sill. While I couldn’t feed myself entirely with my freedom garden, it is an easy way to keep vegetables and herbs in the house at all times. Once my lettuce and celery (hopefully) grow I will be able to make a small salad or snack with them and enjoy both the benefits of healthy food and the satisfaction of having grown something from seemingly nothing. I am very happy to see the greenery everyday if nothing else, they add life and color to every room. Check out our Instagram @umkcwomenc every Friday to watch their growth each week!

Sources:

https://www.onebillionrising.org/about/campaign/

https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2020/06/9838931/gardening-during-coronavirus-freedom-garden-movement

https://www.vogue.com/article/soul-fire-farm-leah-penniman-why-food-sovereignty-is-central-in-the-fight-for-racial-justice

 

The Devil’s Doorbell

By Brianna Green

In my previous blog, Navigating the Forbidden Fruit, I talked about the external genital area. Remember this area includes the (two) libias, urethra, and the opening of the genitals. However, one of the key parts of this area is the clitoris, which is also known as the erogenous tissue. Remember, this organ sits on top of the external genital area, is roughly the size of a pea, and tends to be sensitive (MedicalNewsToday).

But don’t be mistaken, this tiny organ is more than what it seems. And, in fact, it’s not actually the size of a pea. It’s actually much bigger than that and the “pea” portion is referred to as the glands clitoris, the only visible part of the organ (MedicalNewsToday). In the diagram, below, it includes the corpus cavernosum, which are sponge-like pair of erectile tissue which contains most of the blood during erogenous tissue erection (Wikipedia). Similarly, you have “the two crura, which extend, like brackets, down from the glans clitoris and deep into the tissue [on either side] of the vulva” (MedicalNewsToday). Finally, you have the two bulbs that are on either side of the external genital opening. The whole structure can be as long as seven centimeters (MedicalNewsToday).

From the research I’ve done, the only function the erogenous tissue seems to have is pleasure. It’s hypothesized that once upon a time a person with this organ might’ve needed to orgasm to reproduce but that is currently not the case. Sadly, there isn’t really that much knowledge about this pleasure treasure chest. Feminine sexuality and pleasure aren’t usually at the forefront of inquiry since muliebrous people have been seen as reproductive machines in the past. However, I don’t agree with that thinking. Pleasure for all kinds of individuals should be looked into, explored, and talked about. So, in another blog, I’m going to continue to break that taboo and talk about another puzzling phenomenon: the organism (which we might be able to thank our friend, the erogenous tissue, for).

Although I’m talking about the erogenous tissue, keep in mind that not everyone’s anatomy looks this way. If someone is transgender or intersex they might experience or have different anatomical features. For instance, intersex individuals may have ambiguous genitalia which look similar to this but might not include this erogenous tissue; and transgender people who have not had (or don’t want) gender confirmation surgery may refer to their genitals differently. Here (https://www.urologyhealth.org/urology-a-z/a_/ambiguous-(uncertain)-genitalia) is an article from the Urology Care Foundation which further explains intersex. I will also feature this (https://youtu.be/Mb5umSACjcw) video again that shows how transgender and nonbinary individuals can refer to their genitalia if they don’t want to use this terminology.

Resources

“Corpus Cavernosum of Clitoris.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 1 Oct. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpus_cavernosum_of_clitoris.

“Five Things You Should Know about the Clitoris.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322235.

Mangaldas, Leeza, director. What Is the Clitoris? | Leeza Mangaldas. YouTube, 4 Feb. 2020, www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7v7n2H3Nfs&t=183s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Reflection on National Women and Girls in Sports Day

By Emma Gilham

“Millie Deegan, AAGPBL, Rockford Peaches. ‘The Babe Ruth of Women’s Softball'” by BullSharkGal is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

February 3, 2021 was National Women and Girls in Sports Day. At first glance, someone may wonder why there would be a national day of recognition for this. However, it is extremely important to understand women’s history and how we have progressed with gender equity in athletics. According to the article “Women’s Sports History”, “…public athletic performance by women and girls that was condemned as immodest, selfish, and attention-seeking, the trinity of bad-girl behaviors,”

in the 19th and early 20th century United States, women were not allowed to compete in the Olympics until the 1920s, and even then, they were inaccessible to many women that resided in poorer communities. Today, the benefits of physical activity and playing sports are undeniable, especially on young minds and bodies. Why are boys getting 1.13 million more sporting opportunities than girls per year (National Federation of State High School Associations 2018-2019)? The Women’s Sports Foundation’s “Keeping Girls in the Game: Factors that Influence Sport Participation”, lists many factors that may deter participation in young women and girls: parental involvement and support, stereotypes, representation, body image, lack of access and costs.

Even in the professional world, women athletes must fight to be paid the same or even closer to the opposite gendered teams of the same sport. In 2019, Forbes reported, “The top WNBA salary was $117,500 last season, compared with $37.4 million in the NBA. The team salary cap for the National Pro Fastpitch softball league is $175,000; the Boston Red Sox will split $227 million in 2019.” Although negotiations are constantly being made, this gap is incredible. Professional athletes should be paid and given the opportunities they are deserving of. Children should be able to enjoy and grow from sports without the hindrances of old-world thinking or inaccess. These issues are entrenched in this country’s history of sexism, and they cannot be fixed by simply doing one thing. Therefore, I’ll continue to push for recognition of National Women and Girls in Sports Day to celebrate pioneers of women’s athletics, and support efforts to encourage girls to be physically active and share in the love of sports. As students, faculty, and community members, we have the power to support our UMKC women student athletes. If you share these sentiments, look out for Roo Up! With the Women’s Center events on our social media pages and RooGroups this semester. 

https://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/what-we-do/wsf-research/

https://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Keeping-Girls-in-the-Game-Executive-Summary-FINAL-web.pdf

https://www.womenshistory.org/articles/womens-sports-history

https://www.forbes.com/sites/oliviaabrams/2019/06/23/why-female-athletes-earn-less-than-men-across-most-sports/?sh=7185015440fb

Cicely Tyson, One of the Greats

By Katia Milazzo 

Cicely Tyson passed away January 28, 2021. It is only fitting to honor her life and her many accomplishments during Black History Month 2021Tyson was not only a strong black woman but a true icon. She broke down stereotypes in the big screens, small screens as well as the stage. An inspiring fact about Tyson is that she advocated for black actresses and actors to turn down roles that demeaned black people such as criminals and immoral characters. Even though many were without work when turning those roles down, they kept their dignity and pride.

Tyson won three Emmy awards and a Tony award and was one of the oldest people to win a Tony. She also won an OscarPeabody award and many others. In 1963 Tyson became the first African American star of a TV drama in the series East Side/West Side, playing the role of secretary Jane Foster.”  Tyson brought crucial characters to life. She stunned the world with her performance as Miss Jane Pittman in The Autobiography of Miss Jane PittmanI recommend watching it, you will not regret it. Another famous movie she was in is The Help. There’s a lot of controversy with that movie since it is initially about the lives of maids during the civil rights movement yet told by a white woman and directed by a white male. Although this movie did spark up my passion for social justice and human equality my sophomore year of high school. Her iconic line, “Every day you’re not dead in the ground, when you wake up in the morning, you’re gonna have to make some decisions. Got to ask yourself this question: “Am I gonna believe all them bad things them fools say about me today?” You hear me? Those very words instilled more confidence in myself in everything I do to this day.  

There is no doubt that she brought brilliance to the arts, but what she also brought to the table is her activism for civil rights and women’s equality. Tyson also had a passion for community service. She co-founded the Dance Theater of Harlem. Tyson was honored by the Congress of Racial Equality, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the National Council of Negro Women. In 1977 she was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame.” She also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and an honorary Academy award. Cicely Tyson was a rare diamond in this world that we will forever remember and cherish. Take some time to listen to the podcast from NPR attached to this blog.  

https://www.npr.org/2021/01/29/961989946/legendary-stage-and-screen-actress-cicely-tyson-has-died-at-96  

http://www.myblackhistory.net/Cicily_Tyson.htm  

The Queen’s Gambit’s Take on Feminism

By Lara Castillo

The Queen’s Gambit is an excellent show to binge on if you are at home. The show itself addresses the standard of idealism for women’s embodiment in our society. The character challenges this social construct of femininity by disregarding worldly claims through her actions and experimental outfits. I first started watching this show because of the description of a talented female lead in the dominated game of chess. The female lead showed strong characteristics such as being composed, confident, and is firm with her intentions and decisions. She does not waver with her actions, just like her chess piece moves.

The plot progressed on the journey of failures and success from the character’s experience which, challenged the character’s purpose. However, the main protagonist also deals with her demons. The series also does a great job of challenging the construct of women not able what they enjoy because of set biases on gender. In one particular scene, after a big win, she was asked the question, what does it feel like to be a girl among all those men?”. She replied: “I don’t mind it.” At this moment, the independence of the character has shown again.

The Queen’s Gambit is an elegant execution of feminist themes. It is subtle yet apparent in the storyline. The heroine seems indifferent, but in the end, that was her charm. She was playing man’s game in a man’s world at the time. Let me know if you decide to watch it!

Navigating the Forbidden Fruit

By Brianna Green

I think anatomy is similar to fruit; it comes in different shapes, sizes, colors, tastes and smells. Someone can like a certain fruit or a variety of them. Furthermore, different places and people have different names for the same fruit. For example, in English we call a spherical, pale yellow shape with a reddish inside a “grapefruit,” but in Spanish it’s a “pomelo” and in Portuguese it’s called a “toranja.” Each place is correct in the way they refer to this fruit.

Whether you’re female, male, trans, intersex, or nonbinary, you might have the external anatomy that’s traditionally referred to as the “female” anatomy, but I’m going to refer to it as the external genital area. As anyone who has this area might know, it’s a little confusing. What are all the parts? What do they do? And what can they be called?

There is sometimes a misconception that the entire external area is referred to as the “vagina,” but this is incorrect. The vagina, also known as the internal genitals, does connect to the outside world, but it’s an internal structure. The external anatomy, according to MedicalNewsToday (MNT), is made up of the mons pubis and the vulva, which consists of the labia majora, labia minora, clitoral hood and clitoris, and the urethral and internal genital openings. You can also refer to this area as the external genital area. I’m going to use a diagram (below) to explore the external genital area and its’ different names and structures.

Starting with the mons pubis, is the fatty area above the external genital area that usually grows public hair. Next are the labias. The labia majora are the outer, fleshy lips on either side of the internal genital opening which usually grow hair (MNT). The labia minora, on the other hand, are the inner lips surrounding the openings; they do not grow hair and can vary in size and color. Their function is to protect the openings to the urethra and internal genitals.

Moving on to the clitoris, which can also be referred to as the erogenous tissue. This structure has a clitoral hood or prepuce. The hood is the fold of skin that surrounds the head of the erogenous tissue and protects it from friction (MNT). The erogenous tissue is pretty complex but, to keep it short, it sits at the top of the external genital area, is roughly the size of a pea, and tends to be sensitive (MNT). Below the erogenous tissue is the urethra, which is where urine comes out. Going south lies the vaginal opening or the opening of the genitals, which leads to the external structures that I’ll talk about another day. Finally, you have the perineum which is the skin between the external genital area and anus.

Although this was a general summary of the external genital area, not everyone’s anatomy is going to look exactly like this. For instance, intersex individuals may have ambiguous genitalia; and trans people who have not had (or don’t want) gender confirmation surgery may refer to their genitals differently. Here (https://massivesci.com/articles/sex-gender-intersex-transgender-identity-discrimination-title-ix/) is an article that explains sex but also what intersex is and how it is expressed. And here (https://youtu.be/Mb5umSACjcw) is a YouTube video, created by an OBGYN, for trans and nonbinary individuals who don’t want to use any of the terms I used for this type of genitalia. I hope this blog was educational and provided some clarity for everyone who has the external genital area!

Resources

http://www.phsa.ca/transcarebc/Documents/HealthProf/Gender_Inclusive_Language_Clinical.pdf

www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326898.

Diagram created by Brianna Green

Brief Analysis of Chapter VI of A Vindication of the Rights of Women

By Emma Gilham

Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Women, written in 1791, questions societal norms placed on women in that time from a philosophical perspective. Chapter VI “The Effect Which an Early Association of Ideas Has on Character” focuses on the concept that women would never be able to experience true love and intimacy unless they were educated equally as men. She claims, as things were, that women had false ideas of what love would be as they couldn’t connect on an intellectual level with their potential partner, hence chasing charming but undesirable “rakes”. Wollstonecraft asks, “And how can they [men] expect women, who are only taught to observe behavior, and acquire manners rather than morals, to despise what they have been all their lives laboring to attain?” (126). In the 18th century, young, middle-class, white women’s education consisted mostly of learning manners, politeness and creating a demure, inoffensive persona. Therefore, that aspect of a partner was inherently valued more heavily Wollstonecraft argues. In the end, this hindered the ability of these women to experience real love and adequately navigate suitors. She laments, “…women are captivated by easy manners; a gentlemen-like man seldom fails to please them and their thirsty ears eagerly drink the insinuating nothings of politeness…” (127).

In the beginning of Wollstonecraft’s work, the reader may assume most of her points are outdated, as education systems have drastically changed and been standardized. Yet, her observations are still applicable to issues many of us encounter when seeking a relationship today. Consistently, people are charmed by someone only to later realize this person is not who they had thought. Are these simply mistakes that anyone would make or are womxn still conditioned to value surface level traits more in a partner? This chapter brings up many feminist ideological and philosophical questions. I recognize that Wollstonecraft’s work is probably the furthest thing from intersectional. However, it is important to ponder how the societal norms and constructs we grow up in influence our preferences in a partner, views on romanticism, or even our ability to love. For instance, many of the movies I watched as a child revolved around a marriage or a romantic relationship. Did this give me the impression that romantic love is more important or valuable than familial or platonic? We may never know, but asking these questions can help us better understand the things we do and the people we choose.

 

Works Cited

                    Reed, Ross. The Liberating Art of Philosophy: An Introduction. Cognella, Inc., 2020

Looking Deeper at our Phenomenal Feminist: Laverne Cox

 

By Morgan Clark

Laverne Cox caught the public’s eye in her brilliant performance as Sophia Burset in the hit Netflix TV show Orange is the New Black. Cox’s character was a trans woman in prison fighting for the right to receive her hormones medication. For many of us, that character was the first open door into learning about trans women and the obstacles that they face daily. Cox’s role as Sophia was a very important piece of popular culture that allowed people, especially young adults, to become aware of and educated on trans women. But how did Laverne Cox get to Orange is the New Black?

Laverne started as a dancer at Marymount Manhattan College, but soon turned to acting. She started her career doing plays and appearing in small films during her senior year of college. While in college, Laverne started her transition and went from being gender conforming to being more femme, eventually beginning her medical transition and identifying as female. During this time, Cox was performing in drag clubs although she never truly identified as a drag queen.

Orange is the New Black was Cox’s big break, and it was really  big.  Her role earned her 3 Emmy nominations, a first in history for transgender women. Since the beginning of the Netflix show, Cox has gone on to acquire many other firsts. Such as actually winning and Emmy award for a film she executively produced called Laverne Cox presents: The T Word. And finally in 2017 she went on to become the first transgender person to play a transgender series regular on broadcast TV in her new role on CBS’s show Doubt.

But beyond TV and acting, Cox is also known for her advocacy for trans rights; speaking on the issues trans women have faced, particularly trans women of color. Cox works hard to highlight the narrative that Trans Women are systematic pushed into crime, homelessness and sex work. In 2017 Cox spoke against certain actions that the Trump administration had taken to disenfranchise trans women. Cox has also advocated for the HIV/AIDS community, making herself the first spokeswoman for Johnson and Johnson’s Band-Aid Red campaign. In an interview that Cox did with Johnson and Johnson she explains why advocating for the HIV/AIDS community and relief efforts are so important to her: “It’s about all of the friends in my life whom I have lost to HIV/AIDS over the years. It’s about the folks in my life who are currently living with HIV and the stigma they face. It’s about being in that fight, in partnership with them. It’s a tribute to them—and I love actionable things that people can do to make a difference.” Now you can find her actively on social media still speaking out against the injustice trans women face.

The Shadow Pandemic

By Mia Lukic

November 30th was White Ribbon Day, a part of the United Nations ongoing 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence which runs from the 25th of November to the 10th of December. This was a day to show solidarity with those who have experienced gender-based violence through signing a white ribbon and sharing the message on social media. Gender based violence is defined as “harmful acts directed at an individual based on their gender. It is rooted in gender inequality, the abuse of power and harmful norms” (UNHCR) and is considered “a serious violation of human rights and a life-threatening health and protection issue” by the United Nations Refugee Agency.

While the COVID 19 pandemic changed the circumstances of the event, it also has had a detrimental impact on gender-based violence worldwide. Even before the pandemic, 1 in 3 women experienced physical or sexual violence mostly by an intimate partner (UN Women). The numbers are only increasing due to a multitude of COVID caused changes. The factors include: security, health, and money worries, cramped living conditions, isolation with abusers, movement restrictions, and deserted public places (UN Women)

Statistically, less than 40% of women who experience violence seek help, and during the pandemic calls to helplines in certain countries increased by 5 times (UN Women). What does that mean about the number of cases?

The United Nations has deemed this the Shadow Pandemic. The Coronavirus is without question one of the most difficult things the world has experienced in past years, and the increase in violence against women seems to be a symptom left out of the fact sheets.

PPE or Personal Protective Equipment, takes on a whole new meaning. The CDC recommends wearing a mask and social distancing, but a mask cannot protect from violence, and distance from abusers can be impossible during stay at home orders. So how do we combat this Shadow Pandemic?

The UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, said:

 

“I would like to call on your government to make visible at the highest level your commitment to addressing violence against women and girls in the context of COVID-19 by issuing a short statement on social media, in the form of a video message or a short text at the highest possible level, ideally at the level of Head of State/Government, highlighting:

  • Tangible actions undertaken to address violence against women and girls in the context of COVID-19;
  • Future planning policies and actions to implement in this context;
  • Your Government’s commitment to raise awareness on the issue at the national and international levels.” (UN Women)

UN Women stresses the importance of the following during this Shadow Pandemic.

FUND

  • Prioritize funding for a minimum package of essential services and include violence against women prevention in COVID-19 fiscal stimulus packages.
  • Make urgent and flexible funding available for women’s rights organizations working at the nexus of COVID-19 and addressing violence against women

PREVENT

  • Declare national zero tolerance policy for violence against women and girls with a concrete action plan in place
  • Launch a COVID-19 behavior change social mobilization campaign

RESPOND

  • Undertake explicit measures so that services for survivors of violence are maintained as essential
  • Ensure continuum of adequate criminal justice system response.

COLLECT

  • Collect data for improvement of services and programs” (UN Women)

Whether you are calling your representatives to demand they address the Shadow Pandemic, checking in on your loved ones, or fighting your own battle, know you are not alone. For hotline numbers and resources in our area check out the link below:

Domestic and Sexual Violence Resources

Learning Social Action: #Buy Black

By Mia Lukic

This fall semester UMKC offered a class entitled “Social Action” that followed the teachings of Change! A Student Guide to Social Action by Scott Myers-Lipton. The students broke out into groups and spent the semester not only learning about social issues but actively trying to address them in any capacity they could. Group topics ranged from mental health, food insecurity, indigenous rights, and much more. One group in particular focused on buying black.

UMKC Undergraduate students Devyn Eason, Hannah Pham, Lanisha Stevens, and Leah Taylor explained that they wanted to support local black businesses, through both monetary means and awareness.

The concept of buying black is nothing new, it was pushed by leaders like Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to stimulate the economies of African American communities for years. Recently it was revived in many ways and given the name and subsequent hashtag #BuyBlack.

The students decided to dedicate their semester researching the issue and thinking of ways to help. Hannah Pham explains “Black businesses aren’t receiving a lot of support, although they contribute a lot to our economy. We as citizens within our community cannot support businesses that we may not be aware of.”

The impact of buying black is best understood by considering a single dollar. That single dollar can be put into the community when someone buys an ice cream from a black owned shop. That owner could use it to buy a blouse at another black owned shop, that then gives change to someone using the dollar and they go on to buy something else somewhere else. However, according to The Undefeated, “In the black community, a dollar only circulates for six hours. Compare that to some Asian communities, where the same dollar can circulate for up to a month. When you look at it that way, it’s no wonder why we’re not getting ahead like we should.”

A shocking point they focus on is that most black owned businesses do not even have employees. Most are owner owned and operated and some have volunteers staffing the business.

BLNDED Media reports that “According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners (SBO), which is conducted every five years, over 90 percent of Latino and black firms do not have even one employee other than the owners. One new trend is the proportion of owner-only firms reaching a high of close to 98 percent for the sub-group of African American female-led businesses.” Furthermore, black female owned firms are losing revenue as the years pass. A Forbes article published that “American Express found that the gap is widening between the average revenue for businesses owned by women of color and those owned by non-minority women. For women of color, average revenue dropped from $84,000 in 2007 to $66,400 in 2018, while for non-minority businesses, revenue rose from $181,000 to $212,300.” This trend can spell disaster for women of color who own a business and who may be struggling already with the pandemic.

So what did the students choose to do? Apart from almost weekly presentations to the class, they created a list of local black businesses people can support, are visiting them personally, and vlogging their visits!

A fun, modern way of promoting the retention of the dollar in the community!

Two local Black and female owned businesses they wanted to shoutout include:

Matches Boutique on the Plaza (https://matchesboutique.com/)

UnLESHed+ (https://www.shopunleshed.com/)

To get into contact and keep up with the group email : ls2df@mail.umkc.edu