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

The Future of Gender Justice: Be the Difference!
Wednesdays, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m., Atwood Theatre
Series Booklet
Series Flyer


Wednesday, March 18

Hollaback!: An Exploration of Identity and Street Harassment in the Age of Online Feminism

“Hey sexy! Why don’t you come on over here? (Put a smile on that pretty face!)” Street harassment is a daily reality for many women and girls across the globe. Sexual harassment in the public sphere happens every day during commutes to work, class, markets, etc., and it can happen anywhere at any time, no matter what you’re wearing or what you look like. At its core, street harassment is the exploitation of a (perceived or real) power dynamic that reminds non-dominant groups (often people of color, women, and members of the LGBT community) of their vulnerability to assault (physical, sexual, and/or verbal).

In the age of burgeoning online feminism, Hollaback! is an international movement to end street harassment founded by seven women and men in New York City in 2005. After nearly a decade of developing web platforms, mobile applications and global networking strategies, the movement today is powered by local activists across the globe (84 cities, 25 countries, and 14 languages) who believe in building communities in which everyone feels safe, comfortable and respected. Join Becca Lee, of Hollaback! Des Moines, for a discussion of the impacts of experiencing street harassment, the intersectionality of sex, gender presentation, race and class in experiences of street harassment, and the successes and challenges of Hollaback! as a feminist movement.

Presenter:  Becca Lee is a writer, educator, and activist who has served as the volunteer Site Director of Hollaback! Des Moines since its launch in 2011. Working in collaboration with the movement’s founding director Emily May and international activists, Lee was the first to bring Hollaback! to Iowa and facilitate online story-sharing as a primary mechanism for supporting survivors of street harassment. She holds a master’s degree in English from Iowa State University, where she completed her thesis, Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues as Feminist Activist Ecology, and bachelor’s degrees in English and Secondary Education from Drake University. In addition to her activism, Lee is a public relations coordinator for a statewide social services agency and teaches at a community college in Des Moines, where she lives with her partner and 10-year-old lionhead rabbit. Follow her on Facebook at and on Twitter at @Hollaback_DSM.

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  
March 25, 2015 Expanding the Conversation: Hmong and Somali Women's Empowerment Forum  
April 1, 2015 "Yes Means Yes." A Dialogue About Affirmative Consent Policies  
April 8, 2015 Is Beyonce a "Real" Feminist? Celebrity Feminisms, Activisms and System Change  
April 15, 2015 SLUT: The Play - A Post-Play Discussion