Winter Holiday Hours at the UMKC Women’s Center

The staff of the UMKC Women’s Center wish you the happiest of holidays and peace and joy in the New Year. As we look back on 2011, we are thankful for your continued support and look forward to 2012.

Click the image above to view our Holiday video.

The UMKC Women’s Center will be closed from Monday, December 26, 2011 through Monday, January 2, 2012. During this time we will continue to check our voicemail and email; however, our response may be delayed.

In case of emergency, please contact:

  • UMKC Police – 816.235.1515 from a campus phone, or 9-1-1 from off campus.
  • Kansas City Police – 24 hour line: 9-1-1
  • MOCSA – 24 hour crisis line: (816) 531.0233 or (913) 642.0233.
  • Rose Brooks – 24 hour crisis line (816) 861.6100

We will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, January 3, 2012.

Remembering 2011 and Looking Forward to 2012

By Maritza Gordillo

It was not too long ago when I said I was ready to come back and work at the Women’s Center for the 2011 Fall semester. Time went by so quickly due to the fact that we had approximately 14 events this semester, including some of our big events like Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, Women’s Equity Quilt Dedication, and Starr Symposium in which I had the privilege of meeting Dolores Huerta whom I’ve always wanted to meet. The events were really fun because I got to learn a lot more and meet new people. This semester the Women’s Center was filled with new staff members whom I enjoyed working with and hope to see when we come back from winter break. I am truly excited and look forward to coming back in the spring to plan events such as the Vagina Monologues, Stalking Awareness Month, and our 40th Anniversary Gala. I hope to see everyone soon at our spring semester events!  Happy Holidays everyone and congrats to the 2011 Fall Graduates!

Women’s Council Graduate Assistance Fund Now Accepting Online Applications

[The following was provided by UMKC’s Office of Alumni & Constituent Relations.]

UMKC Women’s Council (WC) Graduate Assistance Fund (GAF) is now accepting online applications for 2012 GAF fellowships to assist UMKC women students in post-baccalaureate approved programs.

Established in 1971, GAF funds are designed to assist with the completion of requirements for graduate and first professional degrees; to help facilitate studies beyond the classroom; and to enrich and encourage educational experiences.
The WC urges faculty and staff to encourage eligible women graduate students to seek this funding opportunity.

Eligible applicants are UMKC women graduate students in a post-baccalaureate approved program of study in A&S, SBS, BPA, Conservatory, SOE, SCE, Graduate Studies, Nursing and first professional women students in Dentistry, Law, Medicine and Pharmacy. A student may only submit one application to the WC per year. Students funded in previous years may reapply as long as a final report is on file in the WC office. Past recipients may call to confirm reports on file.

The deadline for applications is Wednesday, Dec. 14, 5:00 p.m. Visit the WC website for more information about GAF and to access the online application.

2011 Starr Symposium… Will “Survive!”


By Arzie Umali 

Yesterday, the UMKC Women’s Center and Women’s Council hosted the Starr Symposium, an all day event featuring two keynote speakers – Gloria Steinem and Dolores Huerta – workshops to empower women, and entertainment by the Wild Women of Kansas City. There were several highlights during the day that focused on the theme “Age Becomes Us: Leading, Empowering and Building Capacity across the Generations,”  but one of the most exciting moments was the spontaneous dance party that happened during lunch when Millie Nottingham, of the Wild Women, performed an electrifying rendition of “I Will Survive.” Check out the video to see Gloria Steinem, Dolores Huerta, and women from all over Kansas City get swept in by the music.

Quilts That Changed the World: Women, Movements, Healing, and Art

By Emily Mathis

This week the Women’s Center in collaboration with the UMKC Black Studies Program, the African-American Quilt Guild and the Kansas City Public Library will be hosting a Bernardin-Haskell Lecture featuring Dr. Nacny Dawson titled “Quilts That Changed the World: Women, Movements, Healing and Art”. Dr. Dawson is a quilt artist and Professor of African Studies. She will discuss the intersection of quilting, activism, and community building using examples from the work of local textile artist NedRa Bonds. This past year NedRa donated her time to putting together a women’s equity quilt that she will be donating to the UMKC Women’s Center later this month.

This lecture is a great way to learn about how quilts are not only an art but a great way to promote activism and community involvement. Come check it out Monday November 7th at 6 p.m. at the Kansas City Public Library Plaza Branch in the Truman Forum Auditorium.

An Energetic New Addition to the Women’s Center

By Tria Tatum

Come in to meet me, Tria Tatum, the newest addition to the Women’s Center Family. I am a fresh inspiring talent here to generate flavor into what is hip and happening in the Women Center. I am a first year student at UMKC majoring in Pre-Pharmacy and Spanish and I have a natural desire to empower women of all races and identities. I am excited and ready to make a lasting impression on UMKC. My interests include math, science, sports, pharmacy studies, and divinity; additionally, I have a personal goal to bring my own special energy to Women Center events and blogs.  I am originally from St. Louis and have enjoyed my transition to Kansas City, especially since I know that I am now attending one of the top schools for medical professionals. After becoming a Pharmacist I look forward to becoming a role model for all women around me.

Sexual Assault-Can We Stop It?

This is a guest post from Kelly Caver, M.S.. Originally posted on the UMKC Counseling Center’s Blog.

Anna was thrilled to begin college this fall, but also felt a little nervous and insecure about starting a new part of life.  When she met a friendly guy in one of her classes who invited her to a party, she felt flattered by his attention and relieved that she was making a friend.  The next morning after the party, Anna felt hurt and used, remembering how her “friend” continued to offer her alcoholic drinks, led her into a bedroom, and ignored her resistance to his sexual advances.

You might be having some reactions to this story – compassion for Anna, anger or disgust at her “friend,” fear that this could happen to you or someone you care about, or even doubt that something like this could ever happen to you or anyone you know.

Perhaps you’re heard the stats already and know the facts about sexual assault.  20-25% of female college students have experienced attempted or completed sexual assault while in college.  Sexual assault is ANY sexual activity where consent is absent or not freely given.   Anyone can be a perpetrator of sexual violence – a significant other, an acquaintance, a friend, a family member, or a stranger.  90% of attempted or completed sexual assaults on college women involve alcohol use, which can impair a potential perpetrator’s ability to accurately read a partner’s sexual cues and make it difficult for a potential victim to recognize and respond to signs of danger.

Maybe, like me and many others, you hate the fact that sexual assault happens to anyone – let alone so many college students around you.  You don’t want anyone to be taken advantage of sexually.  You want this problem to stop – NOW.  What can you do?

  • Clearly tell your partner what you want and do not want sexually, and ask them to tell you the same.  Feel free to say no at any time.
  • Never assume consent. If you are getting mixed messages, or are not sure what your partner wants for any reason, ASK. Clearly tell your partner that it is OK to say no.  LISTEN to your partner and respect their wishes.
  • Limit your use of alcohol and other drugs at parties and on dates by deciding in advance how much you will drink, counting your drinks, and alternating them with non-alcoholic beverages.  Use the “buddy system” to monitor each other’s alcohol consumption and safety.  Do not leave your drink alone or accept a drink from someone else unless you saw it poured.
  • Directly intervene to protect others when you observe an unsafe situation by making sure the potential victim is safe or confronting the potential perpetrator.  Indirectly intervene by letting a friend, house owner, bouncer, or security guard know about the risky situation.
  • Join others in their efforts to prevent sexual assault. Check out events put on by the UMKC Women’s Center – including the September 22nd Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, a men’s march against sexual violence.  Take part in the Women’s Center’s campaigns to end violence against women, These Hands Don’t Hurt and The White Ribbon Campaign, with tables around campus during the month of October.
  • Learn more about what to do if you or someone else you know is a survivor of sexual assault.  Check out the UMKC Violence Prevention and Response website.

Finally, if you or someone you care about has experienced a sexual assault, the UMKC Counseling Center is here to help you learn to cope with the aftermath, gain personal empowerment, and heal from your assault.


Maritza Gordillo – Student Employee of the Month

The UMKC Women’s Center is happy to recognize Maritza Gordillo as our “Student Employee of the Month” for October.  Maritza has been with the Women’s Center since January of this year and exhibits a strong commitment to our mission by assisting with the planning and implementation of many of our events.  She is a junior majoring in Nursing and minoring in Sociology and she exhibits her passion for helping people through her caring nature, patience, and enthusiasm to assist the visitors of the Women’s Center. As a seasoned staff member, Maritza also provides leadership for the student staff by modeling a positive, proactive, and fun-loving attitude. Maritza is also a talented photographer and she shares her talents with us as the photographer for many of our events including the Women’s Collaborative Reception, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, and Quilts on the Quad. The Women’s Center is proud to have Maritza as a valued member of our staff.

Did You Miss These?

Check out this movie MissRepresentation.

According to a new UN report, the gaps between girls and boys widen as they get older in developing countries.

A new Testosterone study came out with some interesting results.

VP Joe Biden’s 1 is 2 Many campaign is still going on. Make sure you get your voice heard!

2012 World Bank report on gender equality shows women are still oppressed.  

Ms. Magazine has a piece about Facebook not taking down pro-rape pages.

New article about Latinas and unemployment.

Hillary Clinton promotes Women’s Rights treaty.