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!

Join us for National Equal Pay Day!

National-Equal-Pay-Day-(2)Join us on the Quad for National Equal Pay Day. These information tables will raise your awareness to the pay inequities that women still face. This date, April 9, symbolizes how far in 2013 women must work in order to earn the same wages earned by men during 2012. This event is co-sponsored by UMKC Career Services, the American Association of University Women, and the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau.

Here are some photos from last April’s event.


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For more information on this and other Women’s Center events, visit us online, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter!

April 9th is National Equal Pay Day

This year’s National Equal Pay Day occurs on April 9th. This date represents how far in 2013 women must work to earn the same wages that men earned in 2012.  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.


In the meantime, take a few minutes to review these online resources to learn more about National Equal Pay Day.


The official website for the National Committee on Pay Equity.



The American Association of University Women (AAUW) has been empowering women as individuals and as a community since 1881. For more than 130 years, they have worked together as a national grassroots organization to improve the lives of millions of women and their families.



From Forbes writer Megan Casserly, a quick read on why the pay gap is widening and how that can actually benefit women. Be sure to check out the slideshow describing what women could afford if they earned equal pay for equal work.



Jillian Berman of Huffington Post explains how recovery of the national economy held back job growth for women.



A great article posted on the AAUW website by Beth Pearsall on the origins of Fair Pay legislation dating back to the 1890s.



Learn more about Sheryl Sandberg and her Lean In campaign that has been gaining recognition since she premiered her message at a TED Talk in 2010. Sandberg’s new book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, was released on March 11, 2013.



Read Melissa Stanger’s criticism of stereotyped portrayals of women in STEM fields and her assessment of how the media perpetuates those images.



Alix Montes’ reviews Amanda Palmer’s TED talk on “The Art of Asking.”



Meredith Repore shares tips for a successful job interview.


For more information on the Women’s Center and our calendar of events, visit us online, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.


Women’s History Month Profile: Susan B. Anthony

By Briana Ward.

susan b anthonySusan B. Anthony (1820 – 1906), grew up in a Massachusetts a Quaker family with activist traditions. Growing up in this type of environment, Anthony developed a strong sense of justice early in life. When she got older, she began going to temperance meetings. Although she was unable to voice her thoughts and opinions, she still attended the meetings. She was disturbed by not being able to insert her opinions regarding the temperance movement, so she joined the women’s suffrage movement. Women’s suffrage became an important part in her life.

Frederick Douglass & Susan B. Anthony sculpture at Susan B. Anthony house

Frederick Douglass & Susan B. Anthony sculpture at Susan B. Anthony house

She campaigned against abolition of slavery,the right for women to own their own property and retain their earnings, and she advocated for women’s labor organizations. Persuading the University of Rochester to admit women was an enormous milestone. Here is a list of a few amazing things she accomplished as a labor activist, suffragist, abolitionist, and temperance worker (from susanbanthonyhouse.org):

  • 1848: Anthony made her first public speech at a Daughters of Temperance supper.
  • 1863: Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized a Women’s National Loyal League to support and petition for the Thirteenth Amendment outlawing slavery. They went on to campaign for full citizenship for women and people of any race, including the right to vote, in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments.
Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, & Susan B. Anthony sculpture in the U.S. Capitol rotunda

Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, & Susan B. Anthony sculpture in the U.S. Capitol rotunda

  • 1866: Anthony and Stanton founded the American Equal Rights Association. In 1868, they began publishing the newspaper, The Revolution, in Rochester, with the masthead “Men their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less,” and the aim of establishing “justice for all.” The Revolution also advocated an eight-hour work day and equal pay for equal work. It promoted a policy of purchasing American-made goods and encouraging immigration to rebuild the South and settle the entire country. Publishing The Revolution in New York brought her in contact with women in the printing trades.
  • 1870: Anthony formed and was elected president of the Workingwomen’s Central Association. The WCA drew up reports on working conditions and provided educational opportunities for working women. Anthony encouraged a cooperative workshop founded by the Sewing Machine Operators Union and boosted the newly-formed women typesetters’ union in The Revolution. Anthony tried to establish trade schools for women printers. When printers in New York went on strike, she urged employers to hire women instead, believing this would show that they could do the job as well as men, and therefore prove that they deserved equal pay. At the 1869 National Labor Union Congress, the men’s Typographical Union accused her of strike- breaking and running a non-union shop at The Revolution, and called her an enemy of labor.

Make a Statement with Denim for Denim Day USA

By Joseph Salazar.

2013-Demin-Day-USAComing up on Tuesday, April 4 from 5-7PM, the Violence Prevention and Response Project is sponsoring Make a Statement with Denim. Make a Statement with Denim is co-sponsored by MOSCA. This event is part of Denim Day USA. Make a Statement with Denim will be held at the UMKC Women’s Center in 105 Haag Hall. RSVPs are not necessary for this event.

Come show your support and design jeans to make statement against sexual assault. Jeans will be used in the Denim Day 2013 display, which takes place from Monday, April 15-Wednesday April 24 in the Rockhill Parking Structure Skywalk at 52nd & Rockhill. On Wednesday April 24, join us in wearing jeans as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions surrounding sexual assault. We hope to see you there!

For more information on this or other Women’s Center events, please visit our website. For more information on the Violence Prevention and Response Project, please visit our website. You can like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Women’s History Month Profile: Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti

By Briana Ward.

Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was known as the leader for women’s rights in Nigeria, and she was also known as “The Mother of Africa.”  I would like to take this time to acknowledge her for Women’s History Month and share her story and the changes she made in Nigeria.

kuti 2Kuti was raised by parents who believed in the value of education. She attended school in Abeokuta and England. Kuti returned home to teach, and in 1925 married the Reverend Israel Oludotun Ransome-Kuti, founder of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) and Nigerian Union of Students (NUS), a forerunner of the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroons (NCNC). Kuti was active in the NCNC, leading the women’s wing.


A career in feminist activism began for Kuti in 1932 when she founded the Abeokuta Ladies Club (ALC). Initially membership was mostly Western-educated and working-class women. The club expanded in 1944 to include market women. To begin working against injustice and the exploitation of market women, in 1946 the ALC became the Abeokuta Women’s Union (AWU), and membership was expanded. Over 100,000 Abeokuta women worked together to provide social welfare services and to pursue a gender-conscious agenda. In 1949, the AWU expanded to the Nigerian Women’s Union (NWU), a national organization that became known at the Federation of Nigerian Women’s Societies (FNWS) in 1953. With Kuti’s leadership, the FNWS was dedicated to addressing the concerns of all Nigerian women and improving their position in society, including education, suffrage, health care, and other social services.

“Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was a pioneering nationalist who fought against British colonialism and a cultural nationalist…a pioneer African feminist and a human rights activist who was tireless in her campaigns for women’s rights and for economic, political, and social justice. She was an educator who gave a voice to the voiceless and education to the uneducated.” – Oxford Dictionary of African Biography

Kuti biography coverKuti’s was a powerful voice across Nigeria. I love that she was a woman who was not only leading and teaching women, but teaching everyone. Her defense of women was her mission, and her words and actions mattered in Nigerian society.  If you want to read Kuti’s biography and what she has done to affect the feminist movement, look for:  For Women and the Nation: Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti of Nigeria by Cheryl Johnson-Odim and Nina Emma Mba.

CineWomen: A Night to Remember

By Morgan Elyse Christensen

CineWomen 2013 was a huge hit in Kansas City and the committee will soon begin planning for next year’s “CineWomen 2014”!

Almost one hundred guests arrived at the Screenland Crossroads Theatre on March 14 to show their support for our area’s female student filmmakers. Five different Kansas City area universities and many community members came together to make the event a night to remember as we celebrated Women’s History Month with a panel discussion, a short film screening, and a networking reception.

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The panel discussion turned out to be an incredibly motivating and educational segment as UMKC’s Professor Caitlin Horsmon, KU’s Dr. Tamara Falicov, and Avila’s Dr. Dottie Hamilton reported on the trials and accomplishments of women filmmakers in the past and present and spoke to the inspiration of our future women in film.


The crowd was ecstatic over the screening’s featured short films. We were privileged to have had the opportunity to show such quality work and are very pleased that most of the filmmakers had a chance to show the community what they have or will have to offer upon graduation. A well-known women’s film festival in neighboring Columbia, MO (Citizen Jane) even caught word of our event and lent a hand in helping promote the careers of each of our featured artists.

IMG_7963 IMG_8007

IMG_8021The evening ended with a tribute to the late Dr. Carol Koehler who broke ground in Kansas City as a female filmmaker and those in attendance were touched by the speech delivered by Dr. Poe, Associate Professor of UMKC and good friend to the Koehler family, the presence of whose members we were also graced with that evening.

Putting together events like this, there is not always a guarantee that you’ll have a good turnout or full support from a variety of community members and organizations. However, we had an amazing turnout for our first year and through the community enthusiasm that CineWomen seemed to unveil in Kansas City and through our mission of advocating, educating, and supporting women and their artistic contributions, this event is set to grow boundlessly over the years and become recognized as one of the most important platform events for the inspiration of young woman filmmakers in Kansas City, the education of our community, and the advancement of women in the film industry as a whole.