How Plants Helped My Mental Health

By Morgan Clark

Recently, I became a full-blown plant mom, something that I am very proud of. My plants helped me stay sane during those long days of quarantine. I live by myself, unless you include my rambunctious puppy, Xena. For the most part, I enjoy having a place to myself. Not worrying if my music is too loud or asking myself how I can be considerate of the other person. To balance my time by myself, I usually step out to hang with friends, which enables me to power up my social battery. This could not be done since March of last year due to Covid, and, unconsciously, I developed a new hobby.

First, I bought one plant to liven up my house, Then I bought another one. And now I have 20 plus plants. There was a time when the employees where I bought my plants knew my face from the many times I visited there. Some would say I have an addiction, but I did notice something important. When I take care of my plants, I feel better. It is like I am taking care of myself, and I feel lighter each time I water and clip my babies. Days when I wanted to stay in bed (and there were many during quarantine), I got up to open the blinds for my plants. Which somehow put a battery in my back to start my day. When I feel lonely, stressed, or down, I go to my “green room” and tend to my plants. It calms my nerves and gives me something else to focus on. Nothing is more exciting than seeing a new bulb from one of your plants. My plants are a reflection of my mental health.

I grew up with plants in the house, because my daddy had many plants. At a young age, I did not understand why he cared for them so much, but I now realize that plants support one’s mental health. And, I am not the only one. I have friends who have realized this too. We now share a bond based on what plants are easy to care for and what plants are harder to grow. Whenever I can, I recommend for people to bring plants into their house, even if it a cactus. It can be a challenge at first, but nothing is more rewarding than having plants…trust me.

 

 

End of Year Reflections: Morgan Clark

By Morgan Clark

We made it! Another semester in a pandemic and…whew I am tired! I will admit this semester was kinder to my mental health mainly because of the weather. Dealing with school along with a pandemic in the winter is NOT healthy. But luckily the sun is shining and flowers are blooming. This semester at the Women’s Center we had many events. I started this semester with Welcome Week. I was able to create social media posts, introducing our staff to the masses. My next event that I thoroughly enjoyed was Afro Femme. A social media campaign to inform our followers about Black feminists/womanists. Doing this event allowed me to gain knowledge of women I knew little to nothing about, which made me want to learn more on their theories on feminism. March was Women’s History Month and we did a lot. One my favorite events was Every Body is Beautiful Week.  I think this was an important topic to speak on especially with the pandemic, many people’s bodies have changed and that’s okay. The last event that I enjoyed was the Intersexions and Identity webinar. I consider myself an ally to the LGBTQ community, and this webinar was a place where I able to listen. Not only to listen but learn how to be a better ally. The webinar also addressed the Latinx community, which allowed me to learned about the history of the word “Latinx” and the issues that some have with it.

I think the Women’s Center did a good job adjusting to the pandemic. I have to admit it was a bit hard putting events together for social media when it was previously an in-person event, but we did it. I think this semester we tried to find ways to gain more engagements on social media, besides likes. It was frustrating at times when there was little to no engagement but I had to remind myself that it is a pandemic. This is still a challenge for the Women’s Center now but I do believe that once the campus opens up this will change.

For me this semester was about learning and creating for and from the Women’s Center. I have gained knowledge from our forums, social media events, and from myself. I think that the Women’s Center fits well with my social ideologies and my work personality. Working here has shown me what I do want in a career and what I don’t want. I am appreciative of the Women’s Center and look forward to work with them this summer.

End of Year Reflections: Mia Lukic

By Mis Lukic

My time at the Women’s Center was nothing short of amazing. I loved getting to learn from the phenomenal directors, fellow staff members, and friends of the Women’s Center. I feel like I have grown as a woman, professional, and feminist. I have loved writing these blogs and getting time to research and write about some important topics. I was also the project leader on three awesome programs: Equal Pay Day, Women’s History Month, and Rising Gardens.

Rising Gardens was by far my favorite. It was a new program that I did a lot of research and planning for. It was a part of One Billion Rising, a subset of the new V-Day celebrations. Its focus was on how gardens connect to everything and have the power to heal. The first part of the program was during Black History Month, and focused on the Black community, food desserts, and how gardens can be used to combat food insecurity. The second part fell during Women’s History Month and focused on women in agriculture and the difficulties they face. The third and final part was in April and led up to Earth Day, and focused on climate change and the women working to combat it. Over the course of the three months, our staff had home windowsill gardens where we regrew food scraps and repurposed jars and containers. On Earth Day, we gave away food scraps and containers so people could start their own gardens.

I am so grateful for my time at the Women’s Center and although I will not be working there next semester, I will certainly remain a devoted follower on social media and visitor as the center is slowly opening back up. I look forward to wrapping up my undergraduate studies next semester and starting law school!

Introducing Lara Castillo

Photo of intern Lara CastilloHello Everyone! My name is Lara Castillo. I am in the Health Sciences Field and currently approaching my last semester at UMKC. I have two dogs named Peanut and Rocky. We enjoy going to dog parks, on warmer days, of course. And I love traveling and exploring the outdoors with my husband. My secret hobby is video games in my spare time.

The career path I want to go into is social work. I plan to further my education and explore going into law. I chose UMKC to attend because of its diverse and welcoming student population. I believe that experiences and our surroundings are an integral part of growth and, being at this institution has allowed me to explore an environment that lets students thrive.

I am an intern this Spring 2021 at the UMKC Women’s Center. The mission statement of this entity uplifts women everywhere which, is one of my goals. I believe that the same opportunities and resources should be available for women to show that we value our mothers, sisters, aunts, nieces, and friends. This semester, I hope to gain more wisdom with women’s issues to better advocate for women.

 

Introducing Katia Milazzo

Hello everyone! My name is Katia Milazzo, I am a junior here at UMKC. I am majoring in English and double minoring in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Political Science. I chose UMKC for many reasons, but the two most important reasons are being a Kansas City native and how diverse and inclusive UMKC is. There are endless opportunities on campus to be a part of something great.

Women’s Center Intern Katia Milazzo

I believe being a part of the UMKC Women’s Center is an opportunity that will bring me closer to my goals. My career goals reflect my passions. I have a passion for women’s rights, equality, and social justice. There are many injustices in the world, that is why our generation must rise up. Apart from those passions, I have a deep love for music and theatre. I have been directing musicals and plays for a few local theaters. The fine arts world is where I go to escape the everyday chaos.

What do I look forward to the most from my internship at the Women’s Center? I look forward to working with strong and independent women on projects and events that make a difference. I often ask myself; what can I do to turn a negative into a positive? I also look forward to making a change in our community. I always have Ghandi’s quote in mind with every adventure I go on, “Be the Change You Wish to See in the World.”

CALL FOR ARTISTS: The Personal Universe

Presented by 50 Women: A Celebration of Women’s Contribution to Ceramics and the UMKC Women’s Center, The Personal Universe will be a competitive exhibition featuring artists who identify as women or non-binary from across the globe.

Awards:

  • First place
    A featured album on the 50 Women: A Celebration of Women’s Contribution to Ceramics Facebook page.
  • Three Purchase awards
    The jury has arranged with personal collectors to purchase 1 piece from the exhibition.
  • A “People’s Choice” award will be given to the piece that receives the most Likes/Loves on its Facebook post.
  • Ceramics: Art & Perception subscription award for one year

Calendar:

  • January 4, 2021
    Entries accepted at 50WomenCeramics@gmail.com
  • February 12, 2021
    Entries closed
  • March 17, 2021
    Exhibition opens
  • May 11, 2021
    Solo exhibition set up.

Rules and Regulations:

  •  NO ENTRY FEE
  • All submissions are electronic and should be sent to 50WomenCeramics@gmail.com.
  • Submission will be accepted between January 4 and February 12.
  • The work must either:
    a) Be made primarily of clay.
    or
    b) Be video or performance work where clay is prominent element of the work.
  • All entries MUST include: Title of work, Date of work, Dimensions of work, Date of Work, Artist’s name, Artist Location or Academic Affiliation. While not required, artists are encouraged to include their personal website address in the entry.
  • Any person who identifies as female, gender-fluid, or non-binary can apply.
  • Two entries– including up to two images per person.
  • Submission of work will be considered a release by the artist to allow 50 Women: A Celebration of Women’s Contributions to Ceramics organizers to use images in the exhibition as well as in any publication materials. Any use of images will include the maker’s name and contact method.
    • This release extends to publication of reviews of the exhibition on blogs, tweets, and in Facebook groups.
  • For the purchase award, the maker will be responsible for any shipping fees included in the sale of the work. The purchasers live in the United States.
  • All images need to be JPEG or PNG formatted.
  • Prices will be listed in the final exhibition. If no price is given, the work will be labeled “NFS.”
    • Will list prices in local currency ($, Australian $, €, ¥, R, etc…)
  • All entries must be original works of art.
  • All entries will be reviewed at the time of submission to ensure adherence to the artwork condition rules and regulations of the exhibit.
    • Inclusion/Exclusion in the exhibit is at the sole discretion of the Jury: Ms. Alex Kraft, Ms. Melanie Shaw, and Mr. Anthony Merino.
    • All works must adhere to Facebook’s policy regarding acceptable images.
  • “People’s Choice” award will be determined by total number of image Likes / Loves.
    • Likes = 1 point
    • Loves = 2 points
    • This award is independent of any other awards.

There is no formal application, just email the images and description to 50WomenCeramics@gmail.com, with subject line “Entry for The Personal Universe.” Please attach images and include the following information:

  • Title, Date, Dimensions, Price
  • Artist’s Name
  • Artist’s Location/Professional Affiliation
  • Artist’s Country
  • Clay/Process Information (optional, please keep under 75 words)
  • Webpages and Social Media information (optional)

For more information or for questions regarding this exhibition, artwork submissions, or awards, please contact Anthony Merino at merinoanthony@outlook.com.

For more information about 50 Women a Celebration of Women’s Contribution to Ceramics, check them out on Facebook.

Reflection Blog Fall 2020

By Morgan Clark

This year has been a difficult year for a lot of students, given the pandemic and all. It has been an especially hard adjustment for me. But I can say that working with the Women’s Center has helped me get through this semester. Joining the team, I was excited to work for this organization because it’s an organization that promoted the same values that I have. This especially showed in our events. One of the first events I was involved in was the social media campaign that took place in August called “Why I Choose to be a Feminist.” We partnered up with the Counseling Center for this event to promote individuals and their passion for feminism. For this event I was able to use and expand some of my creative skills. The next event I took part in was Walk A Mile. Usually, this event is a social event that allows men to strut their stuff around campus in a show of solidarity with victims of sexual assault. With COVID-19 we had to limit that. However, it was still a successful event that got a lot of participants. Right now, I am finishing up our other social media campaign Phenomenal Feminist Friday. For that, I post a feminist, that each of the staff has chosen, on Friday. I will admit I have learned about some women that I did not know prior to this project! Each of these events has taught me something about myself. How I work with others, what kind of workspace I would like to be in, etc. It has even piqued my interest in a career like what I have done here. It has also been nice to plan these events and see how successful they turn out to be. I will be coming back to the Women’s Center next semester, and I hope to bring more of my creative skills into focus when I do! With Black History month coming soon, I do want to focus on Black feminists and how they are contributing to our culture. After that, I want to do the same thing, but with all women, in March. And finally, for April, I want to inform people about sexual assault. I want to let people know that there are many different types of assaults, and provide a resource to those who have been affected by sexual assault. I am looking forward to the Spring semester and the events to come.

See you soon,

Morgan C.

Reflecting on the Semester

By Mia Lukic

I cannot believe the Fall 2020 semester is already ending. No one could have predicted the circumstances of this semester and it held many surprises for everyone. One of the positive surprises I got was when I received my email that I had been awarded work study. I knew immediately that I wanted to join the Women’s Center staff after taking a class with Dr. Bethman, our director. It was the first post I applied to and I was so incredibly happy to have been accepted. Because of my late work study, I started a month or two later than most of the other staff but they all welcomed me quickly and I started contributing to the programs and events, as well as my blog and social media postings.

I loved working on programs like Words of Wisdom Wednesdays where I shared quotes from women on our Instagram, White Ribbon Day where I collaborated with UMKC RISE to raise awareness for gender-based violence, and Transgender Day of Remembrance where I created graphics of information to share regarding the Transgender community.

These blogs have been a great opportunity to learn a lot about a variety of topics during my research and preparation. I have really loved sharing what I found and am excited to dive into new topics next semester. It has also served as a way to start important conversations with my parents, new devoted Women’s Center blog readers. (Hi Mom and Dad!)

I learned a lot about social media as it switched from casual, personal use to a sizable part of my job. One thing I did not expect to encounter were : Twitter Trolls. I had heard of these creatures before, but never experienced them until this semester. It was difficult at first, but I think it made me a better person and feminist, learning not to second guess myself just because someone didn’t agree with me.

I loved working with this amazing group of people and will miss those not returning next semester, but know they are on their way to doing great things! I look forward to working on more programs next semester like the new and improved V-day and even a program that combines issues surrounding the environment, women, and food insecurity into one.

I plan on taking the winter break to force myself to take time for myself and devote at least the time I would be writing these blogs to self care and I hope you find time to do the same. Until January!

Brianna’s Reflection on Fall Semester

By Brianna Green

As my first semester at UMKC and the Women’s Center winds down, there’s a lot of things to reflect on.

The first thing to talk about is the impact the pandemic has had. Unfortunately, as all of us know, this has pushed classes online and has restricted in-person events on campus. Half of my classes were on Zoom and the others were asynchronous. Because of this, I haven’t met my classmates nor have had the chance to really get to know my professors.

For the first part of the semester, I was working on site once a week. Because I was on campus, I got to see how many students were not there. Haag hall was quiet and I felt like I was working in an empty building. Most of our events have been virtual so I wasn’t able to meet and interact with all the awesome people who’ve shown up to them.

As depressing as all of that might sound, I’m really happy and I still feel close to my new school and community. Being at the Women’s Center has allowed me to explore campus and get familiar with its’ layout. I’ve been able to meet the other students who work at the center with me, and I have to say, I’ve worked with some pretty awesome ladies – especially our blog editor April, she’d helped me a lot with my blogs this semester. Not only that but I have had the pleasure of working with the residential halls and on some of our virtual events.

Outside of the Women’s Center, I joined Psychology Club and became their Secretary. At my off-campus job I’ve become very friendly with my coworkers and feel confident in my position. I’ve still been able to go out, social distantly, and explore KC a little bit. I know my way to Walmart without getting lost so that’s an accomplishment in my book.

All that being said, I’m looking forward to spring semester! I can’t wait for all the programs we’re going to do. I’m excited to learn more about UMKC, the Women’s Center, and my major, psychology. And, finally, I’m looking forward to better weather and 2020 to be over.

Fall Semester At The Women’s Center

By Emma Gilham

This semester at the Women’s Center has been full of new experiences, program planning, and learning how to navigate a virtual environment. The first program I worked on with several other staff members was Walk a Mile in Her Shoes®: The International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence. It is a staple event for the Women’s Center, and it had to be significantly modified to accommodate COVID-19 safety protocols. For example, we rebranded the walk as a socially-distanced, contemplative walk instead of a march. However, with ample planning, teamwork, and many enthusiastic co-sponsors and volunteers we were able to put on a successful event that engaged students on-campus and/or virtually. After a brief break, I started working on an event called Grow Your Resilience. This event was aimed to help participants acknowledge and increase their resilience. Resilience is known as the capacity to recover from difficulties. I was very excited to work on this event and extremely grateful for the donation of mums we acquired from Suburban Lawn & Garden with the help of April Brown. Indeed, we have all confronted a need for flexibility this year, and I was not exempt from that. The day before the event, the location needed to be changed from the Women’s Center to another spot on campus. I was very thankful for the Director of the Student Union Jody Jeffries for accommodating us in moving the event to Jazzman’s Stage. We had great turnout for Grow Your Resilience and we gave away all our supplies for the program on the first day! I worked on a couple projects after Walk A Mile and Grow Your Resilience, but I was most involved in those two. I am so happy to have learned so much from my supervisors, Arzie Umali and Brenda Bethman. I could not be more pleased with my fall semester at the Women’s Center. I look forward to engaging students in our spring activities!