ICYMI (In Case You Missed It): Events Around Kansas City This Weekend

By Briana Ward.

Looking for a way to break out of the gloomy weather and enjoy the beautiful spring weather? Below is a list of events around the city to help you shake off the rest of the winter blues while supporting great organizations connected to the Women’s Center.

TBTN2013_eviteAnd don’t forget that tonight the Women’s Center is sponsoring Take Back the Night. Beginning at 6:30 – 7:30 PM on the UMKC Quad, we will have a rally and speak out to unify women, men, and children in awareness of violence against women, children, and families. Pizza will be provided.





Here are some great reasons to get out of the house this weekend:


–   Saturday, April 27, 2013, 7:45 – 11am

–   Blue Valley NW High School 13260 Switzer rd. Overland Park, KS 66213

–   Sponsored by Enterprise Bank & Trust, Timberline Knolls

This walk promotes a healthy view on life, and embracing exactly who you are. If you are not able to walk you may sponsor, fundraise, or support.



–    Saturday, April 27, 2013, 8am – 1pm

–    Theis Park, 47th & Oak, Kansas City, MO 64110

–    Sponsored by the AIDS Service Foundation

This is the 25th annual AIDS Walk Kansas City. There will be new surprises to honor the 25 years of the fight against AIDS. Last year’s walk raised over $481,000!



–    Sunday, April 28, 11am – Thursday, May 2, 2013, 11pm

–    Brio Italian Restaurant, 502 Nichols Drive, Kansas City, MO 64112

–    Sponsored by Hope House

Dine in or carry out, at Brio Italian Restaurant on the Country Club Plaza for a great cause! Dine from 4/28-5/2 and mention Hope House to have 20% of your bill donated to the Hope House.



    Sunday, April 28, 2013, 2 – 5pm

–     Kansas City Public Library – Plaza Branch. 4801 Main St. Kansas City, MO.

–     An Anonymous Donor, the Friends of the Kansas City Public Library, The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and the UMKC Women’s Center

Once again, the Kansas City Public Library is presenting its annual admission-free Script-in-Hand series of American stage classics with our friends from the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre. Post-performance, please join us for a wine and cheese reception.



–   Monday, April 29, 2013, 8:30am – 5pm

–   Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate – 14225 Dearborn St Overland Park, KS

–   Kenny Thomas’ Olathe Toyota, Lee Jeans, Clinical Reference Laboratory, First National Bank, Sally Root Bange, Referral Leaders International

This four-person scramble at one of the area’s premier golf clubs offers a great day of golf. Registration Fee: $185 per player, $740 per foursome. Fee includes 18 holes of golf, cart, beverages, snacks, lunch, prizes and gifts. For more information, please contact Megan Zinn-Sanchez via e-mail at mzinnsanchez@safehome-ks.org or by phone at 913.378.1517.


Game-Night-Getaway-flyerStudents: Are you looking for a way to relieve some stress before finals? How about a Game Day Getaway?! Join us at the Women’s Center on Monday, May 8, 5:30 – 8:00 PM, for an evening of food, games, and stress-free fun.






Looking for more information on these and other Women’s Center programs and events? Find the Women’s Center and the Violence Prevention and Response Project online, “like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter!


UMKC Faculty Profile: Jacqueline Wood

By Ayomide Aruwajoye.

Jacqueline Wood is an  Associate Professor and the Interim Director of the Black Studies Program at UMKC. Through her educational career,  Professor Wood has been an example of overcoming stereotypes and how maintaining belief in yourself can enable you to achieve your goals. This year will be her second year teaching at UMKC. Below is the transcript from our interview.

Jacqueline Wood (right) with Sonia Sanchez. Wood recently authored an introduction for a volume of plays by Sanchez.

Jacqueline Wood (right) with Sonia Sanchez. Wood recently authored an introduction for a volume of plays by Sanchez.


Why did you go into your field?

  • “I have always loved literature, especially Black literature because it speaks to who I am and to my close ties with my family.”

What was it like being a woman in your field when you entered it? And what is it like being a woman in your field today?

  • “I was very much alone, not only as a woman, but also as a scholar. Much of my learning about Black studies was not formal; I read a lot and researched materials before I began my work at the Ph.D. level.  Being a woman in the academy now is very different from years ago.  Women are more accepted in higher education although there still often is a disparity in salaries.  But I faced a great deal of resistance from people in the academy because of my research and teaching subject.  They did not want to give Black studies respect as a discipline, nor did they want to give my specialization—Black women dramatists—any credit, calling it work on “minor writers.”  I was even denied tenure at my former institution although I had much more than the required high quality publications to earn tenure.  I was forced to appeal the decision of their English department to the level of the School of Arts and Humanities.  Ultimately, after a year of absolute misery, the department’s unfair decision was overturned, and I was awarded the tenure I deserved.”

What is the most exciting aspect about your field? What do you find rewarding?

  • “Truly the most exciting aspect of my job is the enthusiasm and joy I see in my students when they encounter Black studies. They are almost always delighted to find a discipline that speaks to who they are or to their love of diversity and encourages them with the knowledge of what so many outstanding people of African descent have accomplished throughout history and around the world. I love to see the pride in their eyes.”


The Black Studies Program: The Black Studies Program provides critical skill sets in written and oral communication, research, analysis, theory building, multicultural understanding, and global awareness.  It provides in-depth knowledge regarding the perspectives, institutions, and experiences of African Americans, Africa, and the African Diaspora while contributing to the general education requirements of the university in both the humanities and the social sciences.  The Black Studies Program serves to enhance the professional development of its students.  It also seeks to develop scholars in the field.

Violence Prevention & Response Project Partner Profile: MOCSA

By Briana Ward.

The Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA) is a local organization that partners with the Violence Prevention and Response Project on several programs throughout the year, including V-Day and Take Back the Night.

In 1969, a coalition of criminal justice, health, mental health, and other professionals came together to address the needs of victims of sexual assault. Six years later, that coalition became MOCSA. This organization was dedicated to educating the Kansas City area on sexual assault. Included in this this created a 24/7 hotline for people who are sexually assaulted. Over time MOCSA evolved and began helping child sexual abuse victims and their families. MOCSA now offers therapy, support and advocacy for victims of rape and sexual assault, for sexually abused children and families, for adult survivors of child sexual abuse, and for others touched by sexual violence. Through the years MOCSA has enhanced and increased outreach, prevention and education programs focused on children, youth, professionals and community groups.

  • MOCSA’s Sexual Violence 24-hour Crisis Line: 816-531-0233 or 913-642-0233
  • Missouri Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-392-3738
  • Kansas Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-922-5330
  • Domestic Violence Metro 24-hour Hotline: 816-HOTLINE
  • LGBTQ Violence Kansas City Anti-Violence Project’s Hotline: 816-561-0550
  • Homeless Hotline: 816-474-4599

United Way Resource Line: 2-1-1 (cell) or 866-320-5764 (land line) or United Way 2-1-1 Online

For more information on Violence Prevention and Response Project programs and services, visit us online or “like” us on Facebook.


April Showers Bring Girl Powers

By Morgan Elyse

Spring is abloom in Kansas City and so are our women in film!

The Kansas City Women in Film and Television have an entire night of film-related excitement at the Kansas City Film Festival and UMKC’s female (and male) film students have been working diligently to finish and submit their semester’s work to the Middle of the Map Fest by the 20th of April and the Paris of the Plains International Student Film Festival by the 11th of May.

I personally had the pleasure of being a crewmember of two short film productions written and directed by women of UMKC (one of which was an all female crew) in the past few weeks. I also just finished shooting my own short film this past weekend and cannot wait to get it edited and share it with you all and everyone who busted their butts to help me make it. And don’t forget how well CineWomen turned out in March!

I can’t express to you how wonderful a feeling it is to sense that the industrial side of filmmaking is quickly becoming no longer just a man’s world. We are making a difference!

The Kansas City Film Festival and Kansas City Women in Film and Television presented their 2013 Short Screenplay Contest Staged Reading at 5:45pm at the Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet – Theatre 4 on the 11th of April. This KC Film Fest event is sure to be a hit as some of Kansas City’s most talented local actors read the screenplays of contest finalists!

Following the readings will be a screening of two short films based off of the screenplays of last year’s contest winners; The Rest of Her written by Jennifer Friend & directed by Timothy Friend and Wrong Number written by Amber Rapp & directed by Patrick Rea. Concluding the eventful evening is a screening of the feature length film, A Teacher, directed by Hannah Fidell.

Show your support and keep up the good work, everybody. Spring 2013 is looking like a season to remember!

Gay Marriage in South America

By Katelyn Bidondo.

Gay marriage in South America – sounds like an oxymoron, right? Gay marriage on a continent that is primarily Catholic – one would think that the two couldn’t go
together, but you’d be surprised. In July of 2010, Argentina became the first
county in Latin America to legalize gay marriage. On a recent study abroad trip
to Argentina, I was surprised to learn that not only is gay marriage legal, but that there was such a strong sense of acceptance.

I was even more surprised to see the “Marcha del Orgullo Gay” (Gay Pride) was held in Plaza de Mayo, directly in  front of Argentina’s equivalent to the White House, La Casa Rosada.

La march del orgullo gay in front of La Casa Rosada, Buenos Aires Argentina.

La march del orgullo gay in front of La Casa Rosada, Buenos Aires Argentina.


My roommate, Shelby, and I on the float during the parade.

My roommate, Shelby, and I on the float during the parade.

To me, this speaks volumes to level of acceptance of the LGBTQIA community in Argentina. It is truly inspiring. I went to gay pride with my roommate, and I have to say it was one of the best experiences of time abroad. We even got to ride of the first float of the parade!




This experience led me to wonder how the rest of South America views gay marriage. This curiosity could not have come at a better time. Last week, Uruguay’s senate approved gay marriage. This makes Uruguay the second South American nation and  12th country  in the world to legalize gay marriage. With further research, I have found that many other South American countries are allowing for civil unions and are slowly recognizing the partnerships. But, like here in the United States, progress take time and a lot of hard work.

Photos from Katelyn Bidondo.

Take Back the Night is coming April 18

By Briana Ward.


Don’t forget to mark the date of April 18th on your calendar for Take Back the Night! The evening begins at 6:30 PM with the pre-march rally on the UMKC Quad at 52nd St. and Rockhill Road. There will be FREE food! Following the rally at 7:30, we begin our march to the JC Nichols Fountain.  The Speak Out will start at the Fountain at 8:00 PM. All are welcome to come support victims of sexual assault and to share in the effort to unify women, men, and children in an awareness of violence against women, men, children, and families. Together we will take a stand against violence until our nights, our days, our homes, and campuses are safe for everyone!

This event is sponsored by the UMKC Violence Prevention and Response Project.

Take Back the Night is an event that has been gaining momentum for forty years. To learn more about this international movement, follow the links below.

History of Take Back the Night

Temple University

Megan Gibson’s article for Time

To learn more about this and other Women’s Center events and programs, find us online, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.


April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

By Ayomide Aruwajoye


  • 44% of Victims are under the age of 18, 88% percent of victims are under 30
  • Every 2 minutes someone is sexually  assaulted, each year that is about 207,754
  • 54% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police, 97% of rapist will never spend a day in jail

Statistics from RAINN, The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network.

Every year we hear statistics like this, and just move on with our days like as if nothing happened.

Why is that?

Is the information not shocking enough for you, are the numbers too low for you, or is it an “It could never be me,” scenario that keeps playing in your head?

Every day women are getting abused, used, and thrown away, their left feeling hurt, abandoned, disgraced and alone.

This is a worldwide Epidemic but so many people are blinded by the realization that these things do happen to people we know, people we live by, our classmates, family and friends.

I believe People can make a change!



  • Anti-Street Harassment Week ( April 7th-13th )

SAAM--FLYER-2013Meet us on The Street is a week full of opportunities to tell your community, friends, neighbors, ANY ONE ….that sexual harassment is not okay! Learn more about Anti-Street Harassment at our Sexual Assault Awareness Month information table, Thursday, April 11, Noon – 2 PM in Royall Hall.

For more information, visit www.meetusonthestreet.org.



These behaviors are not okay:

  • Catcalls
  • sexist comments
  • public masturbation
  • groping
  • stalking
  • assault

I want to be able to walk down my street and feel safe!

To learn more about Sexual Assault Awareness Month programs and the Violence Prevention and Response Project, like us on Facebook and follow the Women’s Center on Twitter.

ICYMI (In Case You Missed It)

By Ayomide Aruwajoye.

April is a busy month at the Women’s Center. National Equal Pay Day is on the 9th of this month, and all we are observing Sexual Assault Awareness Month with events throughout April. Below is are serveral links to blogs and news items that coincide with our April programs. For more information on Women’s Center and Violence Prevention and Response Project events, visit us online.

Slut walking

Slut walking has made its way to Kansas City, Missouri! A police officer in Canada told a college class that women should “not dress like sluts” if they don’t want to be raped. Women were not just going to let this one go. With signs that read, “my little black dress does not mean yes,” and, “Don’t tell us how to dress, tell them not to RAPE,” they marched through the streets to show women should be able to dress how they want without being accused of wanting to be raped.

To read more click on the link http://www.kshb.com/dpp/news/local_news/slut-walk-advocates-for-sexual-assault-victims


As India Struggles To Address Sexual Violence, Female Tourists Stop Visiting

The idea of teaching women “not to get raped” is a global issue. Can you imagine two women being raped every 60 seconds? This might be shocking news to you, but in India it’s just another estimated statistic. You might think that’s the most shocking part, but it’s far from over. Lingerie to ‘help’ women fight sexual offences in India. Crazy right?

To read more about the subject click on the links below


President Obama Hosts a Celebration of Women’s History Month at the White House

On March 18, President Obama welcomed a group of accomplished and inspiring women to a reception in the East Room of the White House to celebrate the progress women make in this country each and every day.

To read more click on link http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/03/18/president-obama-hosts-celebration-womens-history-month-white-house


National Equal Pay Day

UMKC Womens Center celebrates National Equal Pay Day!

  • Join us on the Quad for resources and food with the UMKC Women’s Center, UMKC Career Services, American Association of University Women, and the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau. Learn more about the wage gap and gather resources about salary negotiation.

Click on the link for more info https://info.umkc.edu/womenc/2013/03/28/april-9th-is-national-equal-pay-day/


AAUW takes a stand too!

Tuesday, April 9 is Equal Pay Day! AAUW-KC will be partnering with the UMKC Women’s Center  to present activities.

Click on the link for more info http://kansascity-mo.aauw.net/2013/01/11/equal-pay-day-rally-missouri-womens-lobby-day-april-17/


Anti-Street Harassment Week 

Meet Us On the Street: International Anti-Street Harassment Week is an opportunity to collectively raise awareness that street harassment happens and that it’s not okay. All over the country people are standing up to say that it’s their neighborhood, their park, their streets too and they want to feel safe.

To get more information about the Meet Us on the Streets Movement and how you can participate click on the link http://www.meetusonthestreet.org/about/


Sheryl Sandberg advances gender equality

“I want to ask if you’ve ever said out loud the following sentence…‘I want to be the number one in my field, I want to be the CEO of the company I work in, I want to be president,’” said Sheryl Sandberg. Ms. Sandberg is truly making a difference with her new book, Lean In. Her book is about the absence of leadership roles held by women around the world in fields ranging from business to government and offers solutions to this lack of gender parity. “I want to especially do this for the women, because the blunt truth is that men still run the world,” Sandberg said. “Unequivocally. No questions about it.”

To read more about Ms. Sandberg and her exceptional book click on the link http://www.stanforddaily.com/2013/04/02/sheryl-sandberg-advances-gender-equality/

SlutWalk: The Campaign Against Victim Blaming

By Katelyn Bidondo

SlutWalk Sydney

SlutWalk Sydney by creatrixtiara

Slut. When we hear the word we automatically think of a woman who is sexually promiscuous. But, why does this word carry such a negative connotation? Well, this is where SlutWalk comes into the picture. The SlutWalk movement seeks to change the perception of the word slut, and make it something empowering for women. The movement started on January 24th, 2011, when a Toronto police representative gave some insight on the chauvinistic view of sexual assault by saying, “women should avoid dressing as sluts in order to not be victimized”. It is these types of views that are perpetuating these falsities and aiding in “slut-shaming”. Slut shaming in short is blaming the victim (traditionally the woman) for the assault. For example, maybe her skirt was too short or her shirt cut too low. SlutWalk aims to raise awareness about sexual assault, gain victim’s rights, and to demand respect for all. The walk is not only open to “sluts”; they welcome everyone in their mission for equality. Although the walk began in Toronto, it has spread to the United States and many other countries. The SlutWalk movement has already come to Kansas City. To see if there is a SlutWalk near you visit www.slutwalktoronto.com.

SlutWalk MSU by mattradickal

SlutWalk MSU by mattradickal

SlutWalk Minneapolis by Alan Wilfahrt

SlutWalk Minneapolis by Alan Wilfahrt

For more information on Violence Prevention and Response Project services and programs, visit our website and “like” us on Facebook.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

By Katelyn Bidondo.

SAAM--FLYER-2013The month of April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the goal of SAAM is to educate and raise awareness about sexual violence. This year the NSVRC the National Sexual Violence Resource Center is focusing on healthy sexuality and child sexual abuse prevention. With the help of the NSVRC and the Resource Sharing Center (RSP), SAAM was first nationally observed in April of 2001. Since then many nationwide and worldwide entities have been wearing the color teal in observance and support of SAAM to raise awareness.


2013-Demin-Day-USAHere at UMKC, the Violence Prevention and Response Project has several events planned to support the cause as well. Thursday, April 18th we will be holding Take Back the Night. This event includes a march and rally, to unify women, men, and children in an awareness of violence against women, children, and families. Watch for more details! We also hold Denim Day USA on April 24th with a denim decorating party on April 4th. Denim Day USA aids in sexual violence prevention and education while making a social statement with fashion by wearing jeans as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions surrounding sexual assault. Also during the coming weeks, we will be having Sexual Assault Awareness Month information tables throughout campus. For locations, times and more information on UMKC Women’s Center events during April call: (816)-253-1638. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!