The Vagina Monologues are right around the corner!

By Michelle Lawson

The Vagina Monologues is a tradition here at the Women’s Center, and we are getting ready for our annual performance coming up on February 27th. This year we are excited to announce that we have a massive cast of 41 passionate, and strong women, who are ready to take on the Vagina Monologues. Our cast consist of women from all walks of life, from veteran performers to Vagina newbies. These Students, alumni, and community members all have one thing in common, their dedication to ensuring women’s voices are heard. And that’s really what the monologues are all about, creating a platform for women’s voices, and stories to be heard.

The Vagina Monologues are just one aspect of V-day, which is a global movement to end gender based violence started by Eve Ensler (who wrote the monologues). This movement started because women were sick of the way they were treated, they were sick of the way they were overlooked, abused, and neglected. This play is here to nurture, to listen, and to advocate for women. That is why I am so proud to be able to work on this project. And I am bringing the, energy, passion, and love that women deserve with me. As every day passes I am becoming more and more excited to bring this piece to an audience. I am excited to fill a room with hundreds of women of all different backgrounds to talk about Vaginas.

I strongly encourage that you put February 27th into your calendars, and make an effort to join us in this experience. I can promise that there will be laughter, sadness, anger, vulgarity, community, and hope. Hope for the future in a time where we all need as much as we can get.

The 2019 Vagina Monologues

By Mackinzie Aulgur

“…find freedom, aliveness, and power not from what contains, locates, or protects us, but from what dissolves, reveals, and expands us.”- Eve Ensler

We all deserve to be ourselves, stand up for what we believe in, and voice our opinions; each and everyone one of us. This Thursday and Friday, February 21st-22nd, UMKC will be presenting the Vagina Monologues! Doors open at 7pm and performances will take place at 7:30pm. This year the monologues will have 18 presenters, all of which play vital parts. The Vagina Monologues are personal monologues read by a diverse group of women in our community. Their stories will touch on subjects such as sex, sex work, body image, love, rape, menstruation, female genital mutilation, masturbation, birth, orgasm, and various names for the vagina. The main theme in the play is redefining the vagina to be seen as a symbol of female empowerment and the embodiment of our individuality (Mission, 2019).

In collaboration with V-Day, we will be selling our famous vagina pops (milk and dark chocolate), t-shirts, feminist mugs, Trailblazers’ blend coffee, and a variety unique of buttons before and after the performances. For those who may not know, V-Day is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. In fact, according to the United Nations, one of every three women on the planet will be physically or sexually abused in her lifetime (Mission, 2019). While we cannot change the past, we have the opportunity to come together as a community, to show support and raise awareness for a better future. Please join us at this years Vagina Monologues as we all reflect on what unifies us in our fight for this goal.

Mission. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.vday.org/mission.html

Thursday, February 21. UMKC Student Union Theater, 5100 Cherry St. 

  • Advance tickets: $10 for students, $25 for non-students, $5 each for groups of 5 or more students
  • At the door: $15 for students, $30 for non-students

Friday, February 22. UMKC Spencer Theater, James C. Olson Performing Arts Center, 4949 Cherry St. 

  • Advance tickets: $10 for students, $35 for non-students, $5 each for groups of 5 or more students
  • At the door: $15 for students, $40 for non-students

Tickets may be purchased through Central Ticket Office. Proceeds from all activities benefit the UMKC’s Women’s Center, Violence Prevention and Response Program and V-Day’s 2019 spotlight campaign.

 

V-Day UMKC presents benefit screenings of Until the Violence Stops

vday-2014-450x232pxV-Day UMKC 2017 will be presenting benefit screenings of Until the Violence Stops. The film documents the start and success of V-Day and The Vagina Monologues Join us this Tuesday, January 31 from 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. in the Oak Street Residence Hall basement, 5051 Oak St.; or on Saturday, February 4, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Kansas City Public Library, Plaza Branch, 4801 main St., KCMO. Donations accepted. Proceeds from all activities benefit the UMKC Women’s Center and V-Day 2017’s spotlight campaign. Co-sponsored by the UMKC Violence Prevention & Response Program, UMKC Masters of Social Work Student Organization, UMKC Residence Life, and Kansas City Public Library.

An Open Letter from your Vulva

by Danielle Lyons

Hey,

It’s me, your Vulva. Perhaps you and I got off on the wrong foot. I feel as if I get a bad rap or am known for being gross. Even Erin Mckelle from Everyday Feminism says, “We’ve created an entire culture around what vulvas are ‘supposed’ to look like, leaving a huge portion of the vagina-having population feeling less-than.” I feel like our relationship is a bit lacking. I was hoping to better that. Maybe get to know each other better. Because let’s face it, I’m a part of you. Literally. Let’s reacquaint ourselves shall we?

Diagram_showing_the_anatomy_of_the_vulva_CRUK_285.svg

By Cancer Research UK (Original email from CRUK) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

There are some things that you should know about me. Now, don’t be intimidated, I’m just going to tell you what I’m made of. You’ll notice my Mons Pubis, which is the fatty tissue covering the pubic symphysis. Then we have the Labia Majora and Labia Minor. Often referred to as the inner and outer lips. Then, of course, the stars of the show are the vaginal opening and the clitoris. Last but certainly not least is the urethra and the anus. Not too scary huh? If you’re still yearning for some more information about me, hop on Our Bodies Ourselves. They have a pretty nifty diagram and extensive information.

Let’s face it, there is a certain ideal that vulvas are held to. That ideal is usually compact, hairless and delicate looking. Which is a total crock. We vulva’s come in many different colors, shapes sizes and haircuts. Unfortunately, that diversity is hardly recognized or represented. This leaves so many women pondering the question, “Do I have an ugly vulva?” Hannah M. Brasswell of Bleeding Feminism agrees, “Lack of information leaves many young (and old!) people under the impression that there’s something “wrong” or “abnormal” about their vulvas.” So, if you’re worried about how I look, don’t! I’m unique in my own right. Ignore all the hype. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with how I look. I’m downright amazing, no need to be ashamed.

Sincerely,

Your Vulva

The Vagina Monologues

2015-VDAY-posterBy Kacie Otto

This is my first time participating in The Vagina Monologues, Eve Ensler’s iconic play about the female experience. I have been lucky to see Kansas City women read these monologues that don’t seem to age. To me, the monologues are as poignant and exciting as they must have been in 1996.

Through coordinating this event, which is a benefit performance for the UMKC Violence Prevention and Response Project, I have been able to watch a community grow. Friendships have been made and healing has taken place.

Please support the UMKC Violence Prevention and Response Project by attending a fabulous and funny show. Click here to get tickets and click here to RSVP to the event. Tickets are also available at the door.

The Girl Cell

Image sourced through Google Images via Creative Commons

Image sourced through Google Images via Creative Commons

By Torshawna Griffin and Kacie Otto

V-Day is a global movement to end violence against women and girls everywhere. Organizations all over the world put on benefit performances of Eve Ensler’s iconic play The Vagina Monologues to raise money for organizations that work to end violence. In 2009, Eve Ensler gave a TED talk about embracing your inner girl and how we all have a “girl cell” inside of us. She talks about how boys hide their inner girl cell and about how society doesn’t allow boys to embrace their inner girl cell because it is not masculine. She talks about changing the verb inside us and making them verbs that empower us as women. Eve lists different girls that have changed their verbs in order to empower themselves.

One story that she gives is of a young girl who ran away after hearing that her father wanted to sell her for cows and her fear of being cut. She ran away to the first V-Day Safe House. And stayed for a year until she could find the courage and bravery, so that she could go to reconcile with her father and care for him for the rest of his life.

UMKC’s Women’s Center has the privilege of hosting a benefit performance this year of Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues on February 10, 2015 at 7:30pm. Click here to purchase tickets. Tickets are also available at the door.

Vagina Monologues to be Staged at UMKC!

2015-VDAY-posterBy Kacie Otto and Kemora Williams

Name of Event: The Vagina Monologues

Date and Time: February 10, 2015 at 7pm

Location: UMKC Student Union Theater, 5100 Cherry Street

Admission charge: $10 for students, $20 for non-students in advance and $15 for students, $25 for non-students at the door.

Parking information: Parking will be available on the fifth floor of the Cherry St. Parking Garage

Coming up on February 10, 2015 at 7:00 p.m., the Women’s Center is sponsoring a benefit performance of The Vagina Monologues. Funds raised from the event will support the UMKC Violence Prevention and Response Project and VDay’s 2015 spotlight campaign, One Billion Rising. The Vagina Monologues will be held at the UMKC Student Union Theater, 5100 Cherry Street. However tickets are required for this event, which you can purchase online at or by calling 816-235-6222. Tickets are also available at the door.

For more information, visit our VDay website. The Vagina Monologues is sure to be an empowering performance and we hope to see you there! What better way to support both the campus and community!

T-Shirts, Buttons, and Chocolate Vaginas, Oh My!

The season of V-Day is upon us!

We have tons of events going on to celebate V-Day, and promote violence prevention for violence against women and girls. There are events all month long (and into March!) that aim to bring attention to the V-Day Movement and call the UMKC campus to action to end violence against women and girls.

Have you licked your vagina today? Stop by 105 Haag Hall to purchase a chocolate vagina, and lick away!

Have you licked your vagina today? Stop by 105 Haag Hall to purchase a chocolate vagina, and lick away!

At all of our events we have our amazing V-Day T-Shirts and V-Day Buttons for sale. In addition, we have the renowned chocolate vaginias in both milk and dark chocolate. Stop by any (or all!) of our events listed below to purchase items! Or, swing by The Women’s Center at 105 Haag Hall during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) to buy any of the items!

We hope you will join us in the fight to end violence against women and girls!

Our Events:

We have various interactive tables where participants can refelct on healthy relationships and express their reflections by creating shrink art charms! The dates/times/locations of our tables are as follows:

  • Thursday, Feb. 13; 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.; Royall Hall
  • Monday, Feb. 17; 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.; Health Sciences Building
  • Thursday, Feb. 27; 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.; Oak Street Residence Hall

We also have our V-Men event, where a facilitated discussion about gender violence takes place among men. Our event will be on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 5 p.m., and there will be FREE PIZZA!

Our V-Day initiative for the year comes to a spearhead on Tuesday, March 4 with our benefit performance of The Vagina Monologues. The doors open at 7 p.m., and the performance begins at 7:30 p.m. o purchase tickets, please visit the UMKC Central Ticket Office at 4949 Cherry or online at http://bit.ly/1g2O7Sh.

For more information about all of our V-Day events, please “like” us on Facebook and Tumblr, follow us on Twitter, and visit our UMKC V-Day 2014 site!

A Women’s Center for Everyone

WC_Logo-2COLOR-FBy Arzie Umali

The Women’s Center has had a home at UMKC for over 40 years; however, every day, someone new walks through our doors, attends one of our events, or discovers us on the internet.  That is what is so great about the Women’s Center. It is available and accessible to everyone.  It is a place to come when you want to meet people or you need some extra support. It is a staff of creative, passionate people who plan programs and events to educate you and raise your awareness about gender issues so that you feel inspired to get involved. And it is a service that helps you find resources for women, learn about the multicultural realities of women, and stay informed about current events that affect women. Our mission is to advocate, educate, and provide support services for the advancement of women’s equity on campus and within the community at large, and as a place, a staff, and a service for our students we strive to make this happen.

The Women’s Center is located in 105 Haag Hall. It is a convenient location for students who need a space to study between classes, finish up homework, or meet up with friends. We are open every weekday from 8 AM to 5 PM and we encourage all students to take advantage of our study lounge with computers and a comfy couch, conference room, and kitchenette. For nursing mothers we offer a private and secure lactation room with refrigerator for storing breast milk. And if it’s a book on women’s and gender topics you are looking for, our friendly staff is always happy to help you find a book in our library. The Women’s Center also houses the Violence Prevention and Response Project, where you can pick up information and resources about gender violence, stalking, and sexual assault, or stop by and speak to our Victim Services Adjudication Advisor if you need extra support. Our center really is about having a safer space to go when you need help, when you need to get away, or even if you need to see a friendly smile.

If activism and getting involved are what you want from your college experience, attending one or all of the Women’s Center’s programs is what you need to do. We offer a number of events that will raise your awareness about gender disparities and inspire you to get involved.  Through our Violence and Prevention Project we offer programs on sexual assault prevention to create a safer campus community.   This semester, our V-Day programs will begin in February with information tables at various locations across campus that will offer information about the international movement to end violence against women and girls. On February 19, we will be partnering with the UMKC Men of Color Initiative to offer a workshop just for men to discuss their own responsibilities in ending violence toward women. And on the evening of Tuesday, March 4, at the Student Union Theater, we will present a benefit performance of The Vagina Monologues, which includes a diverse cast of women from the UMKC student body, staff and faculty, as well as women from the community.  For more details about all our V-Day programs or to purchase tickets to The Vagina Monologues, please visit the V-Day UMKC website at http://www.umkc.edu/womenc/VDay2014/default.asp.

The Women’s Center also hosts a number of events that recognize the accomplishment of women and focus on gender equity. During the week of February 24,  we will be presenting Every Body is Beautiful Week, a series of programs that addresses eating disorders and negative body image as barriers to women’s achievement.  These programs are offered as a campus-wide effort in partnership with the UMKC Counseling Center, Office of Student Involvement, UMKC Athletics, Swinney Recreation Center, Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, and Student Health and Wellness to create more body positive messaging and ideals for women and girls. In March during Women’s History Month we will offer a trivia contest challenging our campus community’s knowledge of the accomplishments of women in history.  And on April 8, we will host an Equal Pay Day event to raise awareness of the pay disparities that women in America still face. All of these events are meant to engage our students in the unique experiences of all women.

The Women’s Center also addresses the issue of gender discrimination in the arts through the Her Art Project we address the issue of gender discrimination. This semester our programs will celebrate Wonder Women at two exciting events.  First, we are presenting a group art exhibit at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center in the historic Crossroads Arts District. The exhibit will run February 7 – March 29 and will feature six local women artists who are superheoines of the local arts community and who create works that represent the strength, courage, and resilience of the empowered woman.  On the evening of April 22 at the Kansas City Public Library Plaza Branch, we will be hosting award-winning filmmaker Kristy Guevara-Flanagan for a screening and discussion of her documentary WonderWomen! The Untold Story of American Superheroines. Both of these events focus on creative women as leaders, change-makers, and inspirations to the next generation of Wonder Women. For more information about these, and all of our events this semester, visit our website, www.umkc.edu/womenc.

Finally, the Women’s Center is a vital resource for everyone, not just women, and not just student at UMKC or people in our community. We are here for everyone and available to everyone, 24-7, on the worldwide web. Through our website, www.umkc.edu/womenc, you can access resources for women, check out our calendar for events happening on campus as well as in the community for women, and learn about the staff and history of the Women’s Center. Through our Blog, https://info.umkc.edu/womenc/, you can get insight on current topics about women from articles written by our own student staff. And on our Social Media sites (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr) you can find information, photos, and news about what’s happening at the Women’s Center and around the world. As you can see, the Women’s Center is more than just a mission statement. It’s a place, it’s a staff, and it’s a service dedicated to making UMKC and our community a safer, more equitable world for everyone.

For more information about the UMKC Women’s Center, please stop by 105 Haag Hall or visit us at www.umkc.edu/womenc.

Student Assistant Thrilled for A Semester Full of VPR Events

By Maritza Gordillo

If feels great to be back! I am excited to start a whole new semester filled with new events sponsored by the Violence Prevention & Response Project (VPR). From January being National Stalking Awareness Month to April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month we have events that once again bring that awareness to our community and our campus this semester (the images below are from our Stalking Awarenss table on Jan. 27). Please stay tuned to all of our events and follow us on our Facebook, Twitter, and Tumbr as we invite everyone to participate! Help us in promoting support, advocacy, and education to prevent gender-based and sexual violence.

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Our next event is our first V-Day table on Monday, Feb. 3, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Atterbury Student Success Center. Join us outside the cafeteria to purchase V-Day shirts, V-Day buttons, and chocolate vagina’s, and to participate in a shrink art activity that promotes healthy relationships!