Women's Center

Mapping the Landscapes: Women Creating Change

Women on Wednesday

Fall 2017 Series

Mapping the Landscapes : Women Creating Change

Select Wednesdays, noon to 1 p.m.
Atwood Theatre, Atwood Memorial Center

Fall 2017 Series Booklet (PDF)


October 25

Women’s Prison Book Project

Since 1994, the Women’s Prison Book Project (WPBP) has provided women and transgender persons in prison with free reading materials covering a wide range of topics from law and education (dictionaries, GED, etc.) to fiction, politics, history, and women’s health. We are an all-volunteer, grassroots organization. We seek to build connections with those behind the walls, and to educate those of us on the outside about the realities of prison and the justice system.

 Presenter:  Beth Derenne is a collective member and volunteer of the Women’s Prison Book Project.  She also organizes a transgender and gender non-conforming prisoner pen pal project (Midwest Trans Prisoner Pen Pal Project) that was started as a response to the arrest of CeCe McDonald. 

 Sara Olson has been involved with social justice work for most of her adult life. She was a member of the Mayday Bookstore collective from 1977-1991 and, later, helped found the Arise! Bookstore collective. She has worked with the Center for the Victims of Torture speakers’ bureau and Take Action Minnesota’s Justice for All committee. She has been affiliated with the Women’s Prison Book Project since 1999 and is currently a member of its collective. Ms. Olson has worked with Tackling Torture at the Top, an affiliate of Women Against Military Madness. Currently, she is a board member of Women Against Military Madness and the Minnehaha Food Shelf. Ms. Olson was incarcerated for seven years in a California women’s prison, 2002-09. She completed requirements for a Master’s of Liberal Studies in May, 2016 at the University of Minnesota, concentrating her graduation project on aging women in American prisons.

Co-sponsored by University Library.


Fall 2017 - Mapping the Landscapes : Women Creating Change
Sept. 13 From Night Club to Pop Culture: Drag and How It's Changing Gender Norms MP3
Sept. 20 Theatre Unbound: The Women's Theatre MP3
Sept. 27 The Personal is Political: Performance and Discussion with Chastity Brown MP3
Oct. 4 We Are Here: Voices of Women in STEM MP3
Oct. 18 Testify! MP3
Oct. 25 Women's Prison Book Project
Oct. 26 Writing Women at the Center
Nov. 8 Women Student Leaders Create Change! MP3

For more episodes, visit the Women on Wednesday Archive


About the Program

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 27-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 free public series is in Atwood Theatre, Atwood Memorial Center, from noon to 1 p.m. most Wednesdays, during fall and spring semesters. 

The Women’s Center celebrated 25 years at St. Cloud State 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. 

The Women’s Center has hosted more than 750 women from all walks of life, areas of expertise, diverse identities and life experiences during the past 26 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 2016/17 academic year as we continue to offer this unique and interesting forum for women’s voices.