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Women on Wednesday
Women on
Wednesday

Spring, 2013
St Cloud State University | Women's Center

Events and Programming

The Vagina Monologues
7:00pm Atwood Ballroom
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Sunday, February 15, 2009

Download Poster (pdf)


Download Program Guide (pdf)

The choices, opportunities and lives of women in the U.S. have changed dramatically in the past 40 to 50 years because of visionary and active women’s movements. Feminist activism, landmark decisions, litigation, legislation and the sometimes quiet revolutions in homes, workplaces and religious institutions have led to significant improvements in the rights and lives of many, but not all, women in the U.S. This series examines the ways in which women’s strengths, courage and activism have led to monumental systemic change in our society. In addition, presenters will analyze and offer solutions to the many forms of discrimination still harming women and their choices today. Learning about the struggles and progress from the past will help women continue to shape the course of their futures.

January 22, 2014
Breaking the Silence: “I Had an Abortion”

Forty-one years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion in the landmark legal case, Roe vs. Wade. The debate about abortion continues to rage on in the public policy arena, but what about the private sphere? For multiple reasons, women talking openly about abortion is very rare in today’s society despite the fact that 35% of all women in the U.S. will have an abortion by the age of 45. This film gives voice to women that chose abortion when faced with a problem pregnancy.

Film description:

  • “Why talk about our abortions? Nearly 1.3 million women get abortions each year in the U.S. alone. For most, it is a secret. The debate itself is loud and paralyzing while the voices of the women who get abortions are submerged.” I Had an Abortion, directed by Gillian Aldrich and co-produced by Jennifer Baumgardner, documents the stories of 11 women ranging in age from 21 to 85. The film cuts across race, religion, region, class, sexuality, and politics—demonstrating that abortion affects all women. The film is 55 minutes long.

January 29, 2014:
The Truth about Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs)

Two years ago, NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota Foundation (NPCMF) released a report about a year-long undercover investigation into the state-funded “crisis pregnancy centers,” or CPCs, operated by anti-choice organizations. NPCMF investigated 15 of these 23 crisis pregnancy centers, funded under the Minnesota Positive Alternatives Act. The intent of the Act is to help women with unplanned pregnancies receive services such as parent education classes, transitional housing and care coordination. Despite the intent, the research reveals that funding is being used to dissuade women from choosing legal abortion. In summary, the report, “State-Funded Deception: Minnesota’s Crisis Pregnancy Centers,” uncovers a disturbing pattern of deceptive and misleading practices at these unregulated centers. Join us to learn about the 2011 report and newly-released data on the operating practices of crisis pregnancy centers.

Presenters: Linnea House, Dana Johnson

  • Linnea House is the Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota, serving in the capacity since 2007. Prior to joining the staff, House served as President of the NARAL Pro- Choice Minnesota Foundation Board of Directors from 2005-2007. She has worked in the reproductive health field for over 15 years, most recently with Midwest Health Center for Women and Pro- Choice Resources. House has a degree in English and Women’s Studies from St. Olaf College, and a Master’s in Non-Profit Management from Hamline University.
  • Dana Johnson was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. She is currently a senior at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where she is majoring in Sociology (BA) with a minor in Social Justice, emphasizing women’s studies and reproductive justice. Johnson is an officer for the University Pro-Choice Coalition at the University of Minnesota and interns with the campus-organizing program for NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota.

mp3 February 5, 2014:
Health Care and Money: What it means for women’s future

Keep reading please! If you think you might have a baby someday (or already have children), if you want screenings for cervical cancer and breast cancer, if you choose to use birth control in order to plan your family, if you deal with anxiety, depression or disordered eating? Or, if you want to stay healthy and prevent health problems, then this session is for you! The bottom line is you need Health Insurance! These are two words that you must appreciate in order to take advantage of the Affordable Health Care Act. Join us to learn about no cost or low cost health insurance in an informal and fun session.

Presenter: Ralonda Mason

  • Ralonda Mason is a supervising attorney at Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid where she focuses on public assistance programs including healthcare programs. She has worked extensively in the implementation of health reform serving on the Governor’s Health Reform Task Force and leading Project Care, an education and enrollment outreach initiative in Central Minnesota. Mason is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Southern Methodist University School of Law. She has been advising clients and providing administrative advocacy on health care issues for more than 25 years.

Co-sponsored by Student Health Services

February 12, 2014:
The Beauty and Challenge of Living in Multiple Worlds

“Powerful, raw, honest” are words used to describe the three performance pieces hosted at this session. Each of our presenters explores a topic such as race and the significance of hair, navigating two (and more) cultures and ethnic labels, and discovering unique perspectives of self-identity. Through performance, story-telling, reflection and poetry, three women weave a web of meaning, acceptance, challenge and authenticity. Their examination and discoveries get at the heart of what it means to be a strong woman in 2014.

Presenters: Dr. Niloufer Merchant

  • Dr. Niloufer Merchant is a professor in the Community Psychology undergraduate and Community Counseling Graduate programs at St. Cloud State University. She is an active member of the American Counseling Association and has served as the President of the Association for Specialists in Group Work. She has held other leadership positions, including Department Chair, Board President for the Multicultural Center of Central Minnesota, Interim Director of the SCSU Women’s Center, and Interim Cultural Diversity Director for the St. Cloud School District. Her research and interest areas include group work, multicultural counseling and competence, mind-body healing, and social justice issues.
  • Dr. Tami Spry is a Professor of Performance Studies in the Communication Studies Department at St. Cloud State University. Her teaching, publication, and performance work focuses on issues of gender violence, mental health, race, and loss as articulated through performing autoethnography and non-traditional texts. Spry’s publications appear in Text and Performance Quarterly, Cultural Studies/Critical Methodologies, Qualitative Inquiry, International Review of Qualitative Research, Women and Language, as well as various anthologies. Her book Body/Paper/Stage: Writing and Performing Autoethnography was published through Left Coast Press in 2011.
  • Hedy Tripp is an activist, educator, consultant and manager of W-Isms, LLC. She is also the Board Chair of the National Asian Pacific Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) and treasurer of the local St. Cloud chapter. Tripp has taught Asian American Studies and Human Relations at St. Cloud State University. She has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including the Virginia McKnight Binger Award in Human Service and the Dennis Thayer award for Excellence in Leadership.

February 19, 2014:
“Badass” vs. “Hot Mess:” Deconstructing sexist portrayals of women

Miley Cyrus, Lindsey Lohan, Britney Spears, Amanda Bynes; What do all of these women have in common? They all flood the computer screen after a google images search of “Hot Mess Celebs.” Does this imply that male celebrities are symbols of innocence and perfection? Of course not. This shows us that standards for men and women are drastically different. Why are these female celebrities considered a “Hot Mess,” while male stars who exhibit similar behaviors, such as Charlie Sheen and Robin Thicke, are considered comedic and “Badass?” Join us to explore the double standards of pop culture and the implications it has for women in today’s society.

Presenter: Dr. Roya Akhavan

  • Dr. Roya Akhavan is currently Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at the Department of Mass Communications at St. Cloud State University. She is an awardwinning professor whose honors include recognitions as “Teacher of the Year,” “Outstanding Graduate Professor,” “Outstanding Achievement as V.P. for International Marketing,” and “Outstanding College Leadership.” Dr. Akhavan’s areas of teaching and research focus on theory and methodology, media management and policy, and international communication

    Professor Akhavan has lived and worked in four different cultures, Persian, Japanese, American, and Chinese. Dr. Akhavan’s book entitled Peace for Our Planet: A New Approach (Kinseido Publishers, Tokyo, 1992) was a bestseller in its own genre in Japan, and was widely used as a textbook in Japanese universities. Professor Akhavan maintains an active role in community and professional service. She is a frequent speaker at academic and community forums and radio and television broadcasts on global issues, including eliminating the root causes of war, gender equality, and spirituality in the 21st century.

February 26, 2014:
Examining the “L” in LGBT

Part of OUTOPROUD Week
The last two years have been momentous for the LGBT movement as legal and social rights facing this community were at the forefront of national and Minnesota consciousness. More than ever before, it is acceptable to be LGBT in the U.S! However, ‘acceptable’ is not enough, nor does this acknowledge the continued complexity of issues faced by lesbians. These issues include visibility in the LGBT and broader communities, “acceptability” based on where one falls on the continuum of traditional femininity/masculinity scales, heteronormativity as a social control through fetishized media and pornography; and, finally, language. Are they gay, lesbian, queer and/or other? The aim of this panel is to deconstruct the problems created by stereotypes, invisibility, co-opting of lesbian culture and discrimination and bias in various forms. A multigenerational panel will speak and share stories from their various identities and their unique lens.

Presenters: Kimberly Duong, Karen Thompson

  • Kimberly Duong is a second year student at St. Cloud State University majoring in Political Science and minoring in Film Studies. She is currently Co-Chair of the Queer People of Color group (QPOC) on campus as well as a member of OUTLOUD!, Women’s Action and the College Democrats.
  • Karen Thompson retired after 36 years as a professor at St. Cloud State University. She gained national recognition following the November 13, 1983 car accident of her partner Sharon Kowalski. Following the accident, Sharon’s biological family refused to acknowledge or accept Sharon’s relationship with Karen and kept them apart for more than 3 ½ years. As a result of these actions, Karen came out and began her nearly decade long legal battle for guardianship and for Sharon’s right to come home. She spoke across the country not just to tell the story of her fight for Sharon to move home, but also to raise awareness for legal protection for lesbian and gay relationships.

Co-sponsored by the LGBT Resource Center, OUTLOUD! and the GLBTA Alliance

March 5, 2014:
Behind Prison Walls: “Sin by Silence”

An extraordinary group of women are shattering misconceptions about domestic violence from behind prison walls. Convicted Women Against Abuse (CWAA) is the U.S. prison system’s first inmate-initiated group led by women. Founded in 1989, by Brenda Clubine, CWAA has changed laws for battered women, raised awareness for those on the outside, and educated a system that does not fully comprehend the complexities of domestic abuse. Because of CWAA’s work and advocacy, new laws have been enacted that now allow incarcerated survivors to challenge their original convictions.

Film description:

  • With unprecedented access inside the California Institution for Women, this emotionally packed documentary shatters the misconceptions of domestic abuse. “Sin by Silence”, directed by Olivia Klaus, tells the stories of courageous women who have learned from their past, are changing their future, and teaching us how domestic violence affects each and every person. The film is 49 minutes long.

March 19, 2014:
Xenophobia, the Current Racism in St. Cloud

In a post 9/11 America, suspicion of other races and religions is actively encouraged as a matter of ‘national security.’ Due to this encouraged ignorance of other cultures, races and religions, people of color are often treated with mistrust and met with blatant racism and isolation. St. Cloud as a community is no exception. The arrival of Somali immigrants and refugees settling in Central Minnesota during the last decade has been met with suspicion and discrimination. The controversy surrounding the creation of a new Muslim community center in St. Cloud illustrates the types of obstacles faced by immigrant communities. Our panelists will share their experiences in the community and address how these experiences affect their daily lives, as well as offering their perspectives and solutions to the problem.

Presenters

  • A multigenerational panel of Somali women will share their experiences and perspectives.

March 26, 2014:
A Woman Who Rocks!

Women entering or working in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), continue to be vastly underrepresented at all levels—as students, faculty, administration and researchers. The reasons for this are diverse, but include gender stereotyping and subtle and overt discrimination, coupled with negative messages to girls and women plus work environments that inhibit work/family balance. However, progress has occurred and the number of role models is steadily growing.

Women who are engaged in science based fields have unique experiences that should be heard. Young women, who are examining their options for entering STEM fields, can learn from experienced and successful women who have excelled and overcome obstacles. This session features one of our own, namely Dr. Kate Pound, a geologist who has worked in Antarctica, and co-authored a lab textbook on Earth’s Climate History.

Presenter: Dr. Kate Pound

  • Dr. Kate Pound is a Geology Professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Hydrologic Sciences at St. Cloud State University. She is a geologist with research and teaching interests that center around provenance studies, stratigraphy, and tectonics, with a focus on field work. Dr. Pound has worked in New Zealand, Australia, Alaska, California, and Mexico. In 2007, she spent two and a half months in Antarctica with the ANDRILL Project, where sediment-core research was undertaken to better understand the past 20 million years of climate change.

April 2, 2014:
Body Image Internalized

In 2013, Abercrombie and Fitch told us that beauty is limited to sizes 0-8, popular magazines continued to show us that the ideal body is an airbrushed supermodel, and the concept of maintaining a gap between your thighs has become a new standard for beauty. With messages like these staring women in the face on a daily basis, how could we not internalize negative thoughts about our own bodies? Join us for a session that will explore the internalization of body image and what many are doing to counteract these messages.

Presenters: Nikki Jagodzinski, Dr. Kyoko Kishimoto

  • Nikki Jagodzinski is the Coordinator of the Suicide Prevention Program PACC (Promoting a Caring Community) at St. Cloud State University. She has a Master’s Degree in College Counseling and Student Development from St. Cloud State and a bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of North Dakota. Jagodzinski has lived with Rheumatoid Arthritis since infancy. She joins us to share her views on body image and media representation from the perspective of a woman with a disability. She is also the mother of two teenage daughters.
  • Dr. Kyoko Kishimoto is an Associate Professor in the Ethnic and Women’s Studies Department at St. Cloud State University. She is the Interim Director of the Women’s Studies Program and the Director of the Asian Pacific American Studies Minor. On campus, Kishimoto is active in the Anti-Racist Pedagogy Across the Curriculum initiative. Off campus, she is involved in the St. Cloud Chapter of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, an organization whose mission is to build a movement to advance social justice and human rights for Asian and Pacific Islander women and girls.

April 9, 2014:
Presentation: The Future of Feminist Activism - Noon
Film: “IT WAS RAPE” - 6:00pm

NOON - The Future of Feminist Activism - Presentation
This session focuses on the diversity of feminist activism and its impacts. Activism has clearly been fundamentally changed by technology. Today’s generation of activists are rarely seen in the streets protesting en mass; but rather, they make their voices heard online by commenting, blogging and posting in social media, signing online petitions, and making YouTube videos. While this can be beneficial for improving the outreach of the message, it does not bring people together in the same ways that the protests of the 60’s and 70’s did. Baumgardner will talk about what feminist activism looks like today, coupled with her perspectives on the effectiveness of different strategies for inspiring people to become advocates in today’s complex world.

Presenter: Jennifer Baumgardner

  • Jennifer Baumgardner is a writer, activist, filmmaker, and lecturer whose work explores abortion, sex, bisexuality, rape, single parenthood, and women’s power. She is the Executive Director/Publisher at The Feminist Press at CUNY. She moved to New York City after graduation and began working as an unpaid intern for Ms. magazine in 1993. By 1997, Baumgardner had become the youngest editor at Ms. Magazine. She has since written for numerous magazines, including Glamour, The Nation, Babble, and Maxim and written and produced two films, “I Had an Abortion” and “It Was Rape."

6:00 PM - "It Was Rape" - Film
Film Screening and Discussion with Filmmaker Jennifer Baumgardner
6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Ritsche Auditorium, Stewart Hall

The Film
Rape is wrong, illegal, reprehensible—and yet still tragically common. In this film, eight women tell their diverse personal stories of sexual assault, from a Midwestern teenager trying alcohol for the first time to a Native American woman gradually coming to terms with her abusive childhood. Gripping and emotional, this film is an opportunity to empathize with people—not just absorb faceless statistics—and to puncture the silence and denial that allow sexual assault to thrive. Ultimately, these stories shed light on how this epidemic affects us all.

Presenter: Jennifer Baumgardner

  • Jennifer Baumgardner is a writer, activist, filmmaker, and lecturer whose work explores abortion, sex, bisexuality, rape, single parenthood, and women’s power. She is the Executive Director/ Publisher at The Feminist Press at CUNY.

    After five years as an editor at the feminist magazine, Ms.(1993- 1997), Baumgardner began writing investigative pieces for Harper’s and The Nation, commentaries for NPR’s All Things Considered, and contributing to magazines such as Real Simple, Glamour, Redbook, Babble, Harper’s Bazaar, Teen Vogue, Marie Claire, and Elle.

    In 2005 Baumgardner created and produced the award-winning documentary I Had an Abortion. In 2013, she released her second film, It Was Rape, which tells the story of eight diverse women.

    Baumgardner and her work have been featured in venues from Oprah to NPR, and BBC News Hour to Bitch Magazine. She is the author of five books. In 2002, Baumgardner along with and Amy Richards founded Soapbox, Inc., a speakers’ bureau that also produces week-long Feminist Camps and Intensives. Soapbox and its projects connect people hungry for feminism with resources and with one another.

    Originally from Fargo, North Dakota, Jennifer lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.

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