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Women's Center 15th Anniversary

Women's Center 15th Anniversary  Image
$2,155
106%
Raised toward our $2,020 Goal
51 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on March 13, at 05:00 PM EDT
Project Owners

Women's Leadership

March 11, 2020

Supporting the development of women’s leadership has been a cornerstone of the Women’s Center through the years. Through programs and opportunities such as the Women’s Leadership Council, student programming assistant positions, internships, practicums, peer facilitator positions, the Women’s Leadership Conference, and more recently the Feminist Leadership Academy the Women’s Center has worked to develop leaders poised to create meaningful change in their communities through a myriad of ways.

 

While the very first Women’s Leadership Conference was held in 2011, after a hiatus it received a reboot in 2019 as the inaugural Leading Change: Women’s Leadership Conference. A collaborative effort of the Women’s Center, Leadership Programs Office, Alumni Association, and the J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, our attendees were able to participate in a variety of workshops, hear from esteemed alumnae, and network with presenters and panelists.

 

This year, the Women’s Center hosted its inaugural Feminist Leadership Academy (FLA). FLA brought together a cohort of students for a two-day leadership retreat. Small group sessions and community conversations helped students become better able to understand how their values can combine with leadership theories to make positive social change. FLA has been an incredible way for us to gather, create community, engage in feminist practices, and work to create plans for future involvement on and off- campus for the betterment of our communities.

 

Through the years the Women’s Center has hosted dozens of student program assistants, interns, and practicum students. These students gain hands-on experience in project management, critical and creative thinking, teamwork, and intersectional diversity. Here’s what a few of our former students have to say about their experience in the Women’s Center or what they learned through the Women’s Center:

 

“Taking part as a peer facilitator with Project BRAVE!! It gave me the leadership tools that I still employ in my day to day life. It empowered me to make a difference not just on campus but in how I operate in the larger world. I'm constantly amazed at how Project BRAVE still shapes my interactions and expectations of others. I would not be the same leader that I am without the thoughtful and thorough training that the program provided.”

 

“That speaking up is to be celebrated rather than feared.”

 

“Inclusion is about dismantling the systems in place that made diversity difficult so people can thrive in those environments.”

 

“I learned skills in leadership, program planning, public speaking, advocacy, and empowerment. Working at the Women’s Center was the most impactful part of my time at GCSU. It helped me to grow in so many ways.”

 

“I learned how to organize, advocate and to fight for what I believe in. I learned that it never hurts to ask for what you want or deserve and that doing your research and being able to tell a compelling story about your "why" can take you a really long way. I also learned that having a circle of women around you, who believe in the same things you do, and who have your back and push you to be better is absolutely invaluable.”

LGBTQ+ Programs

March 10, 2020

One of the ways that the Women’s Center has expanded over the years is the bringing of LGBTQ+ Programs into our work. Dedicated LGBTQ+ programming on GC’s campus has a long history - starting around 1994/95 when GC Counseling Services started a support group for LGBTQ+ students. In January of 2004, a group of dedicated staff and faculty gathered the first meeting of the “Safe Zone Planning Group,” with the first Safe Space training (an LGBTQ+ allyship training) being held later that year.

 

The first Lavender Graduation (a ceremony celebrating graduating LGBTQ+ and ally students) was held in 2012, and in 2013, GC alum Grace Nichols was hired as the Coordinator for LGBT’ Programs. Grace did phenomenal work during their time at GC to support LGBTQ+ students, staff, and faculty, leaving behind a legacy of dedication to social justice and care that LGBTQ+ Programs strives for every day.

 

A few years ago, Georgia College LGBTQ + Programs became a part of the responsibilities and initiatives of the Women’s Center, with staff member Melissa Gerrior serving as the LGBTQ+ Programs Coordinator. We’re hosting our 9th Lavender Graduation in April (we’d love for you to join us! - http://bit.ly/gclavgrad20), and have continued the Safe Space program (which has now trained hundreds) under a new name - S.T.A.R. Ally. Additionally, LGBTQ+ Programs continues to provide support, opportunities for LGBTQ+ faculty, staff, and students to be in community with one another, and educational events and programs that center their unique experiences.

Project BRAVE

March 09, 2020

Today we're highlighting Project BRAVE!

 

Project BRAVE (Bobcats Rising Against Violence Everywhere) is GC’s comprehensive power-based interpersonal violence (PBIV; sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking, etc.) prevention and education initiative.

 

In 2013, the Women’s Center applied for (and received) our first OVW Campus Grant (with a continuation grant received in 2016), which allowed for the Women’s Center to bring on our second full-time staff member, Melissa Gerrior; then in 2017, we were funded through the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council which allowed us to bring on our third full-time staff member, Emily Brookshire. Since then, Project BRAVE has experienced a lot of growth and become a well-known initiative on Georgia College’s campus.

 

At the core of Project BRAVE is education centered on consent and bystander intervention - a community approach to preventing PBIV. A small but dedicated group of GC students, our Project BRAVE Peer Facilitators, are responsible for delivering our main training to campus - Be BRAVE: Step Up Bystander Intervention.

 

Other trainings offered by Project BRAVE are our Intro Presentation (which is presented to all incoming GC students during Weekend of Welcome), BRAVE Ally training (learning how to respond to victim/survivors), One Love Escalation workshops (from the One Love Foundation on recognizing dating violence), MARS (Men Against Rape and Sexual Assault) trainings (funded through the Georgia Department of Public Health and staffed by a committed group of male peer facilitators), and Start By Believing (for faculty and staff).

The Vagina Monologues

March 08, 2020

The Vagina Monologues started on Georgia College’s campus in 2006 by the Theatre fraternity, APO. In 2008, the Women’s Center picked up production of the show and has been hosting it nearly every year since. Over the years, the Vagina Monologues have been a place of community and healing for the over 150 cast members and the hundreds of attendees. Each year, the cast and crew join together to bring about awareness and education as they raise funds for local and global anti-violence initiatives.

 

Here’s what some past cast members of The Vagina Monologues have said about their involvement in the show:

 

“I decided to audition for The Vagina Monologues on a whim and it is still one of my most favorite memories from college! I met such an amazing group of women and it was what lead me to do further volunteer and intern work for the Women’s Center. So many of the values I have today are thanks to the work I did with the Women’s Center.”

 

“It was an empowering experience to be a part of something that addressed such important issues.”

 

Tonight, on International Women’s Day we celebrate the closing night of this year’s (outstanding) show and celebrate the students who made it happen (looking at you Callie Langston).

 

Nationally, The Vagina Monologues was written by Eve Ensler in 1990 and has been performed across the globe since 1998. The show launched the V-Day, a global activist movement to end violence against all women and girls (cisgender, transgender, and gender non-conforming).

Take Back the Night

March 07, 2020

Today we’re highlighting another well-loved annual event: Take Back the Night. Take Back the Night is an international march held to raise awareness of violence against women. It was inspired by the radical feminist movement that planned as a protest against rape and other forms of violence against women.

 

Says Melanie DeMaeyer, one of our GC Women’s Center co-founders, who also helped plan the first Take Back the Night at Georgia College in 2006: “We marched through downtown and held our speak out on the steps of the Old Courthouse. We didn't have budget for the program, so we borrowed candles from the GIVE Center and I took a white sheet and dyed it yellow and then painted it to make the banner for the front of our march.”

 

Take Back the Night has taken many forms throughout the years, but it always includes the opportunity for survivors of violence to share their story. Look for this year’s Take Back the Night in April during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

The Clothesline Project

March 06, 2020

Today we’re highlighting the Clothesline Project, a national awareness raising display that serves to bring attention to domestic/dating violence and the sexual violence that exist in our communities. Originating in Hyannis, Massachusetts in 1990, the Clothesline Project started at Georgia College in 2003.

 

For the first display (in Spring of 2003), students from Georgia College borrowed shirts from Emory’s Center for Women. Fifty-five shirts were made the first year - each shirt was created by a member of the GC community who was a survivor of violence or was made in honor of someone who has experienced violence or been killed by violence.

 

Each shirt color represents a type of violence:

  • red/pink/orange - sexual assault 
  • yellow/beige - domestic/dating/intimate partner violence 
  • green/blue - childhood sexual abuse or incest 
  • gray - emotional abuse 
  • purple - people who have experienced violence because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, or perceived identities 
  • brown - people who have experienced violence because of their religious identity or perceived identity 
  • black - people who have experienced violence because of a disability or perceived disability 
  • white - in memory of someone who died as a result of violence 

Seventeen years later, there are now over 900 shirts in our collection. The Clothesline Project remains an event that folks on campus look for and contribute to every October. While it is an incredibly sobering week, it is also a time of community-building and healing.

 

If you want to be a part of our continuing to share these stories, please donate to our Women’s Center 15th Anniversary Campaign. $50 can help cover the cost of paint and other supplies for the Clothesline Project for an entire year.

The Founding of the Georgia College Women's Center

March 05, 2020

It's the ultimate #tbt for the Georgia College Women's Center - Did you know we started as the dream of a couple of students and a class project? Check out the story of our founding from the perspective of two of the women who, with the support of others, worked to make it happen!

Levels
Choose a giving level

$5

$5

Can provide admission for one student into the Women's Leadership Conference

$10

$10

Can provide materials to create 50 Women's Center celebratory and promotional buttons

$25

$25

Helps support our various community group gatherings (with materials, food, etc.)

$50

$50

Helps provide a year's supply of paint and other materials for the Clothesline Project

$100

$100

Can help send a student to a sexual violence prevention conference

$250

$250

Can sponsor a full day of Feminist Leadership Academy

Our Crowdfunding Groups