Editor’s Note: As a multimedia feminist collective based at Brown University, part of our mission is to highlight and share the work of the many activists on our campus. Below is a guest post from three of the organizers of Brown University’s Women’s History Month, sharing their event calendar and vision for the month.
The theme for Women’s History Month this year is “Activism, Action, and Advocacy.” During our time at Brown, we feel like we’ve had a lot of exposure to critical thought relating to how different systems of power enact themselves in society. We wanted to see how individuals react to these systems of power, and push back against them, and thought this would be an ideal opportunity to bring individuals who were pursuing this work out in their communities. Many of the institutions on Brown’s campus are grounded in a history of activism, including the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center. In light of recent student activism and the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center Anniversary, we hope the discussions that will arise out of the events will be particularly salient in our campus atmosphere, and continue a strong history of social change.
One Women’s History Month event that specifically highlights the history of student activism on Brown’s campus will be the screening of the student-directed documentary, Women’s Only. The film screening will be followed by a talkback from one of the co-directors of the film, Julia Liu ’06, who will discuss the process of making the film and the career she has pursued working in heavily male-dominated film crews.
Another event that highlights activism in our community will be a screening of the film Mountains That Take Wing, a documentary that follows a conversation between women of color activists Yuri Kochiyama and Angela Davis. This screening will be followed by a panel of women of color activists from the Providence area that includes Chanravy Proeung, Aida Manduley, Gina Rodriguez, Mary Kay Harris, and Gloria Greenfield.
A speaker that we are really excited for is Cristy Road. A queer Latina spoken word artist and graphic novelist, she will be leading multiple events during the month, including a zine workshop at Youth Pride, Inc. Rhode Island, a lunchtime talk about the intersections of race, class, and gender in punk rock subcultures, and a book reading from her recent graphic novel Spit and Passion.
Another woman of color who has been doing activist work in her own community and throughout the nation is Katsi Cook. She is a Mohawk midwife who founded the Akwesasne Mothers’ Milk project in 1981 to study the link between toxic exposures in Mohawk Women’s Reproductive Health. She works to bridge the gap between the environmental and reproductive justice movements.
The final speaker that we would like to highlight is Samhita Mukhopadhyay, whose writing has reached global audiences and in print. She is the former executive editor of popular blog, Feministing.com, and also the author of Outdated: Why Dating is Ruining Your Love Life. She will be discussing the intersections of digital media and social justice.
We’re really glad that we have had the privilege of being a part of this wonderful tradition that celebrates women’s work and showcases it to the Brown community. We hope that you can join us at some (or all!) of the events this coming March.
All our best,
Sarah Doyle Women’s History Month Series Coordinators