WOW Panelists, 2013

Women on Wednesday

Women on Wednesday is a weekly noon-hour lecture series organized each semester by the Women’s Center that has become a signature program at St. Cloud State University. The goal of the program is to feature diverse women and their distinctive areas of expertise, which are figuratively and literally all over the map.  The topics we explore are as diverse as the women presenting them, but they address the political, economic, social and personal arenas that impact the status of women.

The 25-year old series originated as an informal brown bag lunch gathering and has evolved over the years to a more formal presentation-style series, bringing intelligent, savvy women from the local to the national level to speak to our campus community. The series is held in the Atwood Theatre in Atwood Memorial Center, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. most Wednesdays throughout fall and spring semesters.  Admission is free and open to the public. 

The Women’s Center will celebrate 25 years on the campus of St. Cloud State University during the 2014/15 Academic Year.  The Women’s Center was born from activism of faculty, staff and students in direct and indirect ways and through persistence and passion for feminist-led social change.  Our mission to advance women and address gender inequity is accomplished in myriad ways, including advocacy (both individual and institutional), support services, educational programming, scholarships and systems change. Having an institutionally-supported office to help students (and employees) explore and address the ways in which gender influences every aspect of one’s life exists for only 18% of students at four-year universities and colleges in the U.S. It is in this context that the Fall 2014 Women on Wednesday series has been organized.

We explore the following questions: What are some of the most important issues that have impacted student’s lives in relationship to gender over the past 25 years?  What impact has the work of the Women’s Center had on individual students who worked, interned, volunteered or in some way affiliated with the Women’s Center?  What would St. Cloud State University look and be like without the Women’s Center. Who are some of our feminist leaders today?

The Women’s Center has hosted more than 750 women from all walks of life, areas of expertise, diverse identities and life experiences over the past 25 years.  There is no way to avoid the word “wow” upon reviewing the women who have presented and topics we’ve addressed.  Please join us at Women on Wednesday during the 2014/15 academic year as we continue to offer this unique and interesting forum for women’s voices.

Current Series

Series Booklet

Women on Wednesday Fall 2015

The Global Women: Perspectives, Challenges, Solutions
Select Wednesdays, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m., Atwood Theatre

October 14
Abortion Restrictions Around the Globe: Gender, Race, and Reproductive Justice


What do Chile, Ireland and El Salvador have in common?  The answer is particularly harsh abortion bans that the UN believes are violations of international human rights treaties.  Abortion laws, restrictions and cultural norms are part of the global context of women’s rights, affecting access to abortion especially for poor women and women of color.  This session will examine these abortion restrictions, the importance of Reproductive Justice, and the ways in which women of color and low income women are disproportionately impacted. We will also consider how abortion restrictions and the rhetoric of “fetal personhood” in the U.S. are connected to the transnational landscape.


Presenter: Dr. Laura Harrison is an assistant professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her scholarly interests focus on reproductive rights and politics, including her current book project Brown Bodies, White Babies: The Politics of Cross-racial Gestational Surrogacy which examines how reproductive technologies intersect with beliefs about race, gender, and family formation, and is forthcoming from NYU Press.  She received her doctorate from Indiana University, and has articles published in the journals Genders, Feminist Media Studies, Feminist Formations, and Women’s Studies International Forum.

Women on Wednesday Recordings - Fall 2015
September 16, 2015 Pushing the Boundaries: Engendering Gender Studies/Women's Studies in the Transformational Discourse of Higher Education in South Africa MP3
September 30, 2015 A Web of Injustice MP3
October 14, 2015 Abortion Restrictions Around the Globe: Gender, Race, and Reproductive Justice MP3
October 21, 2015 Leading for Change: Ending the Practice of Genital Cutting MP3
November 4, 2015 Thailand as Transsexual "Mecca": Transnational Trans Politics and Gender Reassignment Surgery MP3
November 18, 2015 Even Disaster is Gendered MP3
December 2, 2015 Access and Menstruation: Exploring Social Taboos MP3

Women on Wednesday Recordings - Spring 2015
February 4, 2015 What's Next? The LGBTQ Community Looks Forward MP3
February 11, 2015 The Best Party Ever: Male Allies Challenge Gender Violence MP3
February 18, 2015 Latinas and Grassroots Organizing in Central Minnesota MP3
February 25, 2015 My Masculinity Helps (Film and Discussion)  
March 4, 2015 Pornland: How the Porn Industry has Hijacked Our Sexuality (Film and Discussion)  
March 18, 2015 Hollaback!: An Exploration of Identity and Street Harassment in the Age of Online Feminism MP3
March 25, 2015 Expanding the Conversation: Hmong and Somali Women's Empowerment Forum MP3
April 1, 2015 "Yes Means Yes." A Dialogue About Affirmative Consent Policies MP3
April 8, 2015 Is Beyonce a "Real" Feminist? Celebrity Feminisms, Activism's and System Change MP3
April 15, 2015 SLUT: The Play - A Post-Play Discussion MP3