What are some of the initiatives, programs, organizations on campus that address feminism and African American feminism in particular? What is your level of involvement on campus as it relates to feminism?
Since I have usually been taking at least one WGST course each semester, I have been fairly aware of the feminist activism on campus. I know that UNCC has a Feminist Union, which organizes events on campus related to feminism. The Feminist Union Facebook lists events they are sponsoring and often has pictures from these events. Last year I attended the Feminist Coming Out Day event which aimed to promote a better understanding of feminism, what it is, why we need it, and who benefits from it. They had tables with different activities like writing out why you need feminism, drawing a vagina, and taking a picture in full graduation robes and gear.
Last year I also got to go see this event, which featured Staceyann Chin. She talked about her life and read from some of her books and it was an awesome experience. She was so hilarious, irreverent, moving, and inspirational. I also got to see this event, where Jessica Valenti spoke about her books and online activism. She was also very funny and brought up some great points about ideas of purity and virginity within American culture. I know that the WGST department and groups like the Feminist Union work in conjunction to try to have empowering female speakers like these every semester. Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to attend any of the recent lectures, like Laverne Cox’s a week or two ago, but I hope I’ll get the chance in the future.