Why Work at the Women’s Center?

By: Emma Sauer

At UMKC’s Women’s Center, we run a tight ship.  Between the five of us, we currently have three interns, a graduate assistant, and Arzie, our director. We’re looking for another work study student to add to our team this fall and spring, and it could be you!

If you’re a person who is passionate about helping and educating others and someone who is always open to learning new things, you will flourish at the Women’s Center. Through our events and programs, you’ll have to opportunity to educate and advocate for women’s equity on campus.  Our office is also a safe space for everyone, but especially anyone who feels marginalized.  You will help keep the office running by keeping the area tidy, answering phone calls, and providing resources from our brochures or resource list to those who need it. You’ll also help organize and staff events with your coworkers, along with posting regularly to our social media…and the blog of course! This is a great opportunity for teamwork, as you’ll be working alongside your fellow staff to create programs, campaigns, and to make sure events go without a hitch.

Working with the Women’s Center is an incredible opportunity to gain experience in an office setting while also advocating for gender equity.  Plus, it’s lots of fun!  Many of the programs we run involve art activities, meeting new students, and getting involved on campus! Speaking from experience, working here is a great way to gain experience on campus if you haven’t had the chance yet.  All majors are welcome to apply, and as a work study student, you’ll even get paid!

Application Steps:

  1. Complete the Women’s Center Work-Study Application here.
  2. Send your current resume and class schedule to umkc-womens-center@umkc.edu.
  3. Questions? Please contact 816-235-1638 or
    umkc-womens-center@umkc.edu.

Details:

Aid Term: Fall/Spring

Job Title: Office & Events Assistant

Pay Range: $13.00 to $14.00

Weekly Hours: 12

Weekly Work Schedule: Mon – Thurs, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM Fridays, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM (Some evening and weekend hours during special events)

Job Category: Administrative/Customer Service

Essential Duties May Include: Identify needs of individual and appropriately assist with questions or concerns at front desk. Politely greet students and guests to provide quality customer service; Answer phones. Assess questions; offer solutions or additional resources such as a manager to assist. Demonstrate professionalism in a confidential setting. Implement existing/new tasks, projects and/or ideas with accuracy and enthusiasm. Promote services by serving as an representative through conversations with fellow students. Data entry, mailing and other clerical duties as assigned. Open/close office as needed.

Unbothered. In my lane. Focused. Flourishing.

By: Emma Sauer

Hey Roos! I’m back for another round at the Women’s Center this semester, repeating my role as the Blog Editor. Over the summer, I interned at AltCap, a CDFI here in Kansas City. In case you didn’t know what a CDFI is (I didn’t), it stands for Community Development Financial Institution. A large part of what CDFIS such as AltCap do is lend capital to underserved and marginalized communities in Kansas City. Even though my time there was short, it gave me an increased awareness of the very real institutional barriers female business-owners and entrepreneurs face. Those barriers are even more present for women of color. This semester, we’re going to be promotig female business owners and entrepreneurs over social media, blogs, and our display board, so stay tuned!  

I’m so glad to be back with the Women’s Center in a space promoting gender equity and intersectionality. If there’s anything I learned over the summer, it’s that I always have more to learn about feminism, and I’m going to continue to educate myself further this fall!  

Talk soon, guys! <3 

Meet our new Intern, Crystal!

By: Crystal Lum

Hello! My name is Crystal Lum, and I am one of the BHS undergraduate interns at the UMKC Women’s Center. I am a senior here at UMKC and I am about to graduate this upcoming fall. I am majoring in Health Science with a minor in Exercise Science. I chose UMKC because I really liked the environment and the amount of diversity that the campus offers. Through my years at UMKC, I have made so many friends and experienced a lot of college life here at this institution. I have learned a lot about different cultures and met many people with different identities. Interacting with others and helping people in need is one of my passions. I love meeting new people, either through events or just through mutual friends.

I was interested in interning for the Women’s Center because their focus and goals aligned with my own personal values. The organization is inclusive to people regardless of their personal identity. I support their mission values, which are to advocate, educate and provide support services for women’s and gender equity. I am looking forward to planning fun and new events for not only the students and faculty, but for the entire Kansas City community to take part in. I hope for people to learn about what the Women’s Center offers, and for people to feel welcomed in this space.

My personal favorite things to do in my free time are hanging out with friends, attending concerts and visiting different coffee shops!

Welcome our new Women’s Center Intern, Anel!

By: Anel Sandoval

Hello everyone! My name is Anel Sandoval. I am a senior at UMKC and will be graduating in December 2022 with a bachelors degree in Health Sciences! I am a Mexican-American woman who grew up in Kansas City. I have three brothers, who all graduated from UMKC. Although I took a three year break for traveling and work experience, I decided to return to school and earn my degree. My mother moved to the United States from Mexico to give her children a better life and for that reason I want to graduate, because she didn’t have the opportunity to attend college. Attending UMKC has allowed me to stay close to my family and friends in Kansas City who have supported me through this educational journey.

When exploring the different options for internships, I learned about the Women’s Center and knew that I wanted to intern here and work alongside other people that work towards empowering women and advancing women’s equity. During my time at the Women’s Center I hope to gain more knowledge about gender equity and help educate, advocate, and raise awareness to these issues in our community.

When I’m not on campus I enjoy traveling, watching movies, hanging out with my family and friends, and cuddles with my elderly cat. I am so excited to work at the Women’s Center and take this experience with me to my next endeavors and I hope to meet many of you soon

Meet the Women’s Center’s New Graduate Assistant, Alison Kendall

By Alison Kendall

Hello! I am Alison Kendall, the new graduate assistant at UMKC’s Women’s Center! I attended UMKC as an undergraduate, where I obtained a bachelor’s in psychology. I enjoyed my time as a Roo so much that I decided to continue my journey here as a graduate student. Seeking a master’s in clinical mental health counseling, I have always been passionate about helping others deal with the tumultuous nature of our world. Following the reception of my degree, I aspire to specialize in caring for the mental health of LGBTQIA+ individuals and families. Empowering others to embrace their individuality, connect with their community, and care of themselves in all forms are the lessons I intend to impart as a future counselor and as a graduate assistant at the Women’s Center.

The Women’s Center goal of fostering gender equity speaks to me. Growing up in the rural Midwest highlighted the dire lack of inclusive spaces within my community. What also drew me in is the Women’s Center’s ability to combine feminist education with creative expression. The Women’s Center blog flexes creative op-eds which inform and entertain, the use of arts in the context of healing renders beautiful pieces in tandem with alleviating stress, and the Women’s Center connection with the artistic community sheds light on the many artists whose expression has been snuffed for most of history. I look forward to offering my own creative perspective to the Women’s Center through therapeutic events, fresh ideas, and stimulating discussion amongst the student body.

My favorite past times are journaling and writing short story fiction, discovering new restaurants in Kansas City, and watching horror and thriller films. I am eager to continue the Women’s Center tradition in educating, and advocating, and supporting my fellow students, faculty, and community.

Whose Femininity Is It Anyway?

By: Adriana Miranda

Have you ever thought about how, like, femininity is SO strongly tied to men? Hear me out!

Yeah, femininity is traditionally associated with women. BUT! Think about what kind of women are afforded femininity. It tends to be straight women, or white women, orrrr thin women, or just women that fit into the cishet male gaze of desirability in one way or another. So if femininity (at least to a cishet world) means “desirable to men” has it ever really been ours to begin with? And what if our performance of femininity ISN’T for men, what happens then?

Now we all perform gender, right? I personally present very feminine, i’m talking almost-strictly-wears-dresses feminine. I also happen to be a lesbian. And plus-size. And a person of color. This for some reason sometimes confuses (and angers) cisgender heterosexual people.

Either my femininity is called into question or my sexuality is called into question: “Are you sure you’re not at all attracted to men? You dress so cute! I bet you secretly do like us.” Or…“Do you just dress this way because you’re not comfortable being your true self?”

Why does it need to be one way or another? Why does my femininity have to be me trying to attract men or make up for my fatness for men or appear more “soft” for men? What if I just want to present feminine? And even if I was if I was doing it for anyone other than myself, it’s definitely for other lesbians. Femininity can and DOES exist entirely on its own, completely separate from men.

Call Me Slim Shady Cause We’re Back, Back Again

By: Sierra Voorhies

Hello y’all. If you have been a reader of the Women’s Center blogs, you might be familiar with me. I have written blogs about pronouns, gender, and bisexual erasure, as well as stories about my family and tv-shows. I will be continuing to work at the Women’s Center this semester, until May when I hope to graduate with a bachelor’s in psychology and a minor in women’s, gender and sexuality studies.

I am passionate about educating myself and others about how to be a good ally and member of the queer community. I hope to explore some fun subjects and stories this semester, while developing myself and programs through the Women’s Center. Gentle reminder that the Women’s Center is for all genders, and I hope if you have a little extra time around Haag Hall, you will come check out our library, sit on our comfy couch and sip some tea with us.

Welcome Back From Adriana Miranda, Women’s Center Staff Member

By: Adriana Miranda

Hi all! If you don’t recognize me, my name is Adriana Miranda (pronouns are She/Her or They/Them). I started here at the Women’s Center in the middle of our last Fall semester, and I’m back this Spring semester!

Here’s a little refresher on who I am and why I’m here: I’m a 23 year old transfer student from Los Angeles, an artsy Mexican-American lesbian who’s extremely passionate about intersectional feminism and queer liberation (to be honest I’m passionate about literally everything I do) and I’m a psychology major! I love painting, dancing, reggaeton, traveling, cross-stitching, tattooing, singing, and binge watching novelas.

I love my work here at the Women’s Center and hope to bring you all some more posts on intersectionality, queerness, gender equity, gender diversity, uplifting WOC, maybe some media reviews, and who knows what else! I’m so happy to be back another semester and I can’t wait to write for you all soon! Til next time 🙂

Ebony Taylor Joins Women’s Center Staff

By Ebony Taylor

Hi! My name is Ebony Taylor. I am a senior this semester and graduating in the Spring of 2022. I started my academic journey as a transfer student from Mizzou, on track to get a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences. After my mom was diagnosed a second time with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, UMKC warmly welcomed me as a Roo during my sophomore year. My advisors and professors helped me succeed as a student while I took care of my mom.

Three years later, my mom is cancer-free, and I am enjoying my last semester as a Roo! After graduation, I plan to attend a Physician Assistant program, preferably somewhere with more stable weather than Kansas City. I did not have as much of a “college experience” as my peers did, only getting involved when I had free time, which was rare in my beginning years at UMKC. You may recognize me from working at Swinney with UMKC Athletics or from a class in the past, but now you can find me at the Women’s Center!

I first came across the Women’s Center on Instagram when I noticed the events and programs offered catering to the topic of women’s inequality. Growing up, it was standard that women had to protect themselves, watch their surroundings, and be on alert at any time in their lives. The pressing issue did not come into focus until my first year of college. I attended a predominantly white institution, or PWI, with a history of racial injustice. On the campus tour, a few students told my group that there were certain places that black students should avoid on campus. I realized there was a real problem with inequality because of what I identified as. I had to be on high alert because I was a woman, because I was a woman in college, and because I was a woman who was Black. These were all vastly different classifications not to be confused with each other. After taking a global health course, I learned more about women and gender issues. I hope to learn more about protecting, advocating, and supporting all of those embraced through the Women’s Center. I enjoy all things Greek mythology and am a big Harry Potter fan. I believe books are always better than the movies, and I am always up for new ways to showcase my artistic skills!

Alyssa Bradley Joins Women’s Center as Social Media Intern

By Alyssa Bradley

Hello everyone! I am Alyssa Bradley (she/her), a senior at UMKC. This is my second year at the University of Missouri – Kansas City and I am just loving it. I transferred here after attending classes at UCM to develop my career as an Interpersonal Communication Studies major. I have lived in KCMO for about 10 years now, got really comfortable, and wanted to move back to the city to be around my family while still pursuing my degree.

Eventually after graduation, I would like to embark on a career journey fighting and advocating for issues of social reform around the world. I have been lucky enough to travel to a few countries outside of the United States and my heart and mind were thrilled with the things I discovered. These experiences ignited a fire within me that made me want to help others and understand people. Working for a nonprofit that brings care and compassion into our communities is a lifelong goal of mine. I have strong passions for animals, art, and the freedom to be as we are.

The Women’s Center sparked my interest when their message or goals as a Center became clear. The Center’s drive for providing support and security for an individual going through personal struggles piqued my interest. I thought I could be that someone who can help others in need. I want to get to know my fellow classmates and help understand and squash the issues that many people and students go through.

Outside of school you can find me venturing to new places around KC, playing with my cat, doing arts and crafts, and relaxing with a good movie or show.