Yale Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Volume 1, Issue 2
Spring 2011
Editor, Geetanjali Singh Chanda
Managing Editor, John-Albert Moseley
Layout Design: Nick Appleby

The Women's Center

by Natalia Thompson '13

The Women's Center
Photo by Savannah Kleinlein '11
This year, the Women's Center had continued working on issues at the heart of earlier feminist battles, from sexual violence to reproductive justice—as well as on a broader range of social justice issues, from immigrant rights to economic justice. Since the Center was established in 1970, our mission has remained the same: to serve as a "safe space" for all women at Yale, to "enable all students on campus to find their feminist voices," and to organize in solidarity with other activist groups "to achieve broad social change." We are a large and diverse community that includes seven student coordinators, a team of student staffers, and a coalition of residence groups working on feminist and queer issues. Current residence groups include:

• Bridges, an interfaith group focusing on the intersections of religion, gender, and sexuality
• Fierce Advocates for Equality, an LGBTQ advocacy group
• InSight, a chapter of the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum
• PRISM, for queer students of color
• RALY: the Reproductive Rights Action League at Yale
• Sappho, a queer women's group
• Undergraduate Women in Science
• WYSE: Women and Youth Supporting Each Other, a community-based mentoring group
• Yale Black Women's Coalition

This year, the Women's Center has unfolded a series of new initiatives to build feminist community at Yale, including a series of Open Forums on feminist issues at Yale; a new men's feminist group; a feminist film series; a reading group on the anthology Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World without Rape; and a series of dinner-discussions on issues impacting women in different communities at Yale, from Muslim communities to sororities. We've also organized a number of campus-wide events, including Intimate Partner Violence Awareness Week, a workshop on sexual culture at Yale ("Do You Want to Have Sex?"), and a talk on the importance of a feminist movement that embraces intersecting issues and identities with Miriam Zoila Pérez, editor of Feministing.com, the most widely-read feminist blog.

In addition, we've worked with a diverse range of student groups to organize projects and events that spark discussion and action on issues of gender and sexuality at Yale, in New Haven, and around the world. A sampling of events we've co-sponsored this year:

• A rally to protest the federal de-funding of Planned Parenthood
• A talk with Sunita Viswanath, the co-founder of Women for Afghan Women, on the status of feminist organizing in Afghanistan
• A women's work day at the Yale Farm and a panel discussion, "Women's Work: Farm and Table"
• A "How to Be a Modern Revolutionary" workshop featuring Yale alumnae working for change through community organizing, writing and art, and academia
• A number of events for Trans/gender Awareness Week 2010 and Pride Month 2011, including a lecture by trans feminist Julia Serano, a self-defense workshop for LGBTQ students, and a talk with the founder of the popular blog Effing Dkyes

The Women's Center does not intend to speak for all women at Yale, nor for all feminists at Yale: we recognize that feminism takes many forms on this campus. But we do aim to ask provocative questions about gender and sexuality, to foster vibrant activism that advances social justice, and to build an inclusive, creative feminist community at Yale.

The Women's Center is open Monday-Thursday 6pm-12am, Saturday and Sunday 2pm-5pm. Contact information for this year's coordinators is at www.yale.edu/wc/coordinators.html.

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