Support Women’s Athletics at UMKC at Roo Up! With the Women’s Center

By: Crystal Lum

Hi Roos! UMKC Women’s Center is back with Roo Up! with the Women’s Center! The Women’s Center is a huge supporter of women’s athletics, and we want to hype up and show our pride to our athletes. It’s important to show our support to strive for gender equality in sports! According to the National Women’s Law Center, women who participated in sports were reported to have higher grades, score higher on exams, were more likely to graduate and improve in science classes. There is a dire need to stop perpetuating harmful stereotypes and myths that discourage girls’ participation in sports. We should not undermine their ability to feel supported, comfortable and equally respected while doing something they love to do. The lack of support from their fellow peers can drastically affect their morale. The current disparity between men and women’s sports must be addressed. Women’s games need to be publicized by the student body to recognize their hard work and to encourage them to keep playing.

If you want to join us, check out the following dates to support our women’s soccer and volleyball teams by attending the games and visiting our information table at the event. You can get a really cool pin and other awesome merch to show off! We will be attending these dates:

Roo Up! With the Women’s Center at Bark in the Park

Friday, September 16 at 6 p.m. at Swinney Recreation Center (Game begins at 7 p.m.)

Ticket information here

Roo Up! With the Women’s Center

Tuesday, September 27 at 6pm at Swinney Recreation Center (Game begins at 7 p.m.)

Ticket information here

Hope to see you all there!

Back to Basics #5: What is the Women’s Center?

By: Emma Sauer 

Something I get asked a lot, whether at events, in the office, or just when talking about my job is…

What do you actually do at the Women’s Center?”

I’ll tell you! 

The Women’s Center at UMKC serves several purposes. Our office houses a wide array of resources available to the community, such as information on housing assistance, local shelters, and LGBTQIA+ resources. These are available either as brochures or links collected on our Campus and Community Resources tab. We also have a library, a lactation/self-care space, and a kitchen, all available to faculty and students. Of course, we’re also just open as a safe space for any marginalized students, and students are welcome to come in and just hang out. 

Another huge thing our staff does at the Women’s Center is our programming– if you are a student at UMKC, you may have spotted us at one of the many events we host, co-sponsor, or attend. Examples of programs we’ve run in the past include running a menstrual product drive to spread awareness about the Pink Tax, promoting body positivity during Every Body is Beautiful Week, and the Their/Her Art Project, which exhibits and uplifts local female and nonbinary artists. Throughout the semester, the student staff are constantly planning new events like these to promote awareness of gender equity issues with the help of Arzie, our awesome director.

There’s even more to the Women’s Center I could go on and on about, but that’s another post for another time.

“So what’s the point of having a Women’s Center and doing all these programs?” 

 Well, speaking as a woman and outspoken feminist, the Women’s Center matters to me personally because it allows feminism to have a physical, vocal presence at UMKC. The Women’s Center is also important because it provides a safe space for marginalized groups on campus, and our programming throughout the school year means gender equity always has a voice. In other words, we want UMKC– and Kansas City in general– to be more feminist! 

“Feminist? What’s that?” 

… Oh boy. That’s a question for a previous B2B blog, my friend. And if you want to learn more about why women’s centers are so important to have at universities,  you can check out this great article from WIHE (Women in Higher Education). 

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.

Bye for Now, UMKC!

By: Emma Stuart

As the spring semester comes to a close, many of us are logging off of the Women’s Center blog for good, and I am one of those people. This semester seems to have gone by fairly quickly in my eyes and I cannot believe that we are already only 2 weeks from the semesters end. I have enjoyed getting to be a part of the Women’s Center and getting to learn more about what it has to offer. During this internship I have gotten to learn more about how a resource like this functions and how much the people behind it contribute. The thing that I have found most enjoyable about my timer here at the Women’s Center is all of the people I have had the pleasure of interacting with, these people range from students, my co-workers, faculty, and staff here at UMKC. This has been very enriching for me and for my collogues as well.

The connections I have made here are ones that I hope to keep in the future as they are very special to me. Additionally, this internship here at the Women’s Center has been my first so there has been a lot of learning and a lot of firsts over the course of this semester and for this I am grateful. I will cherish the connections that I have made here and all of the knowledge I have gained. This is only my second year at UMKC so I am sure that I will have the opportunity to interact with the Women’s Center again soon! I am thankful for this opportunity and for the skills that I have gained out of this internship. Thank you for the support and encouragement! And I wish the future Women’s Center Staff good luck!

As One Story Ends, Another Begins…

By: Emma Sauer

Wait, the semester’s over already?  

Is it just me, or did these past couple months just breeze by? It feels like just yesterday, I was making shrink art, fumbling with the office phone, and feverishly typing up my new blog post—and now, suddenly, I have to say goodbye. Even knowing I’ll be returning as a blog intern in the fall, I can’t help but get a lump in my throat. I’m especially going to miss my coworkers, who are some of the sweetest, friendliest, and funniest people I’ve met at UMKC. If any of you are reading this, I’ll miss all of you!  

My favorite part of being the blog editor for the blog has definitely been getting to see what my peers write, and how their personalities, passion, and individual characteristics are weaved into their posts. It’s interesting how everyone has their own voice when writing- at this point in the semester, I can actually pick out characteristics of each person’s writing and tell them apart. Within the Women’s Center, our blog posts have also initiated deep conversations between staff about the topics they were writing on. It’s been really cool to see how writing and researching for the blog has contributed to the intellectual growth of our staff.  

As for myself, I’ve gained critical skills in so many areas. I’m much better at planning, communication, and editing than I was when I first took this internship. It’s been a huge help for my professional development, and it’s been super fun! I can’t wait to come back next semester—I have the rare opportunity to revisit and refine my role as editor. Next semester, my goal is to create new and interesting content, and to write more research-based posts.  

The Women’s Center is a warm, welcoming place, whether you’re an employee, a student, or an off-campus visitor. I’ll miss it dearly over the summer, but I know this isn’t goodbye. We’ll meet again, Spiderman Women’s Center!  

It’s Not Goodbye, It’s See Ya Later!

By: Alyssa Bradley

Before the beginning of my internship, I was clueless about the happenings brought on by UMKC Women’s Center. As we approach the end of my time here I want to reflect on all the ways the center has helped me develop into a more well-rounded individual. I’ve been afforded many dazzling weeks of working alongside the other interns and workers to craft the center into a beacon of safety and an oasis for the people at UMKC. The community and engagement elements of this organization have got to be the thing I cherish the most out of this internship opportunity. My favorite experience from the semester was during one of our booths called Crafty Feminism. A student remarked how this was exactly what they needed to turn their day around and to see that impact happen before my eyes was inspirational.

The Women’s Center has given me such a unique experience to grow and challenge myself in ways I never would have imagined. There is no doubt that the Women Center’s mission has unlocked a new passion for gender equity and equality. I hope through my efforts on social media and inside the center, students and community members can recognize how important a place like this is to society. The representation, resources, and amenities provided by the Women’s Center are something I am certainly happy to say I’ve been a part of. The leaders and foundation at this organization were extremely supportive of all my creative and educational endeavors. I cannot wait to see where my professional path takes me after my time spent here. I will hold the Women’s Center at UMKC in a special spot in my heart to encourage me when times get rough and to look back and be confident in all that I can do. I have been forever changed for the better, thank you UMKC Women’s Center.

Sad Goodbyes and New Beginnings

Image Source: Wiki Commons

By: Laura Yac

 It is crazy to say, but my journey here at UMKC has almost officially come to an end. In a few shorts weeks I will be a college graduate which means my time at the Women’s Center is also coming to an end. To be honest, leaving the Women’s Center will be the hardest part of this journey. When starting college, I worked full time, so I never got to experience what many say are “the best four years of your life.”

I never really went out of my way to make too many friends or experience much around campus, util I joined the Women’s Center staff. This last semester I was able to be surrounded by individuals who I genially enjoyed seeing every day. I was able to have so many great conversations and enjoy many laughs. I was finally attend events on a regular basis and get to see all the behind the scenes.  

With this internship opportunity I was able to learn so much and grow every single day. I gained much needed valuable experience that I know will help me once I start my career. For that I have to thank everyone here at the Women’s Center who always were there to help with a great attitude! As I write this post, I hold back tears (I can blame the pregnancy hormones for that one).

It is very bittersweet, but I know we are all meant to do great things. As I plan to leave Kansas City and start a new journey, I will always remember my semester here at the Women’s Center.  

Women’s History Trivia: First Female African American Physician

The New England Female Medical College (Image Source: Wikipedia Commons)

By: Alyssa Bradley

Trivia Question: Rebecca Lee Crumpler was the first African-American woman to become a _______ (occupation) in the United States. 

Answer: Physician

Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler is recognized for becoming the first African-American woman physician in the United States. As a young girl, she grew up in a house with her aunt who took care of the ill. Rebecca was always considered a “special student” and was allowed to attend many prestigious private schools because of her intellect.

Later in life, she pursued her shared family passion for medicine.  During 1860, Crumpler applied and was accepted into the New England Female Medical College. This institution was founded in 1848 and had only started accepting its first female student, a class of 12, in 1850. The women at this college faced ridicule from male physicians who derided the institution. They complained that women “lacked the physical strength to practice medicine”. Others thought that women were incapable of understanding a medical curriculum and that the topics taught were inappropriate for their “sensitive and delicate nature”.

In 1860, there were only 300 women out of 54,543 physicians in the United States–and none of them were African American. Despite the discouraging odds, in 1864 Crumpler became her school’s only African-American graduate.

After completing her schooling, Crumpler relocated to Richmond, Virginia where she found her calling. She discovered “the proper field for real missionary work, and one that would present ample opportunities to become acquainted with the diseases of women and children.” It was here she worked under the Freedman’s Bureau, an agency dedicated to helping newly freed African American slaves.

Throughout the rest of her practice, Rebecca faced daily issues of racism and sexism from her colleagues, pharmacists, and many others. Rebecca Lee Crumpler continued to practice medicine and even wrote a book called A Book of Medical Discourses in Two Parts. She passed in 1895. Crumpler achieved many things in the name of gender and women’s equity and paved the way for many of those who continue to defy adversity.