Featured News - Current News - Archived News - News Categories

A month for women, a month for revolution

by Kristina Livingston - Managing Editor
Tue, Mar 28th 2017 10:00 pm
Photos courtesy of Bailey Morse

The American Association of University Women received a notable grant to hold its `Be the Revolution` program throughout the entire month of March, which is Women's History Month. Although the club is fairly new on campus its goals have been around for years: proper representation for equality for people of all genders.
Photos courtesy of Bailey Morse The American Association of University Women received a notable grant to hold its "Be the Revolution" program throughout the entire month of March, which is Women's History Month. Although the club is fairly new on campus its goals have been around for years: proper representation for equality for people of all genders.
No Prior Images
Viewing 1 of 3
View Next Image

 Targeting the gender leadership gap, throughout what in 1987 officially became known as Women's History Month, the Brockport chapter of American Association of University Women (AAUW) has been hosting a series of workshops, speakers, films and other events for its "Be the Revolution" series.

Encouraging women to celebrate their worth as leaders, allies and marginalized peoples, the core of "Be the Revolution" is to continue spreading empowerment, both on a personal and community level, after the month-long series comes to a close at the end of the month.

Having begun with a film series celebrating "trailblazing women" hosted at the Little Theatre in downtown Rochester, AAUW President Bailey Morse has been instrumental in coordinating the diverse lineup of events.

"We applied in October for a grant called the Campus Action Project Grant through the National American Association of University Women organization," Morse said. "We were one of five or six schools who did [get approved for the grant of approximately $5,000]."

According to aauw.org, "The AAUW Action Fund advances equity for women and girls through member activism and voter mobilization."Applications for the grant are valid from August 1 until January 15 and are distributed based on proposed education campaigns or the addressing of issues which relate to the needs of women or girls. The proposals must be aimed to impact a community or the general public.

The "Be the Revolution" series was split into six parts calling to mind different themes of empowerment, each spanning five to nine days, the first of which prompting participants to educate themselves on "Understanding Bias" and kicked off the series on February 27. 

The remaining themes  for the month continue to touch upon challenges unique to women in positions of leadership, political action and community service, a focus on self-care, and forming a network of people who may enhance your empowerment and leadership abilities. The series closed with a prompt to think ahead to the future, and how the provided education can further be harnessed.

Having achieved the aforementioned grant, AAUW has formulated transformative workshops, bringing to campus discussions such as Circle of Identity, which, according to the official "Be the Revolution" program, was led by Karen Podsiadly, director of the Office of Community Development and intertwined the reality of living as individuals with varying identities, dissecting how these identities have shaped their leadership experiences.

A research report conducted by the national AAUW was placed up for discussion with the talk, "Implicit Association Testing: Are you against female leaders?" as part of the kickoff to the month's activities.

As a freshly official club, AAUW has taken the opportunity of recruiting students to interact with "Be the Revolution" with tabling events inviting passersby to partake in an adaption in solidarity with the United Nations' HeforShe movement, a pledge dubbed "WeforShe" in support of gender equality.

"We've never done a project that's this large," Morse said. "The first time we got the grant was for the Start a Revolution Symposium ... We wanted to show the national organization 'we did this, we're still doing it and it's a great thing' and we want to expand on that."

To manage the project, AAUW formed several teams in order to manage social media, logistics, research and other important factions of club operation.

Within its "Be the Revolution" program, AAUW highlighted supplemental resources provided by other on-campus resources, such as leadership opportunities promoted by Career Services and the Center for Select Respect.

"Be the Revolution" is set to wrap up with an evening of mentoring led by keynote speaker Ann Marie Klotz, PhD, with "Celebration of Self!" accompanied by mocktails and mingling on March 31.

Several events will run into April, with AAUW's celebration of women in leadership ending with "Pancakes with Presidents," an open breakfast with Heidi Macpherson and BSG executives, will highlight overcoming adversity as a woman in positions of government and leadership on Saturday, April 22. The breakfast is open to all students and is set to be held in Eagle's Lookout, and is preceeded by a community-wide Equal Pay Day.

While "Be the Revolution" has been the primary focus for AAUW's 2017 spring semester, its youthful club status has led to struggles on campus to notify potential participants of its presence and involvement.

"[The lack of attendance] is very disheartening," Morse said. "We work very, very hard; it consumes all of our lives. We don't get the turnout we want but it's part of the learning process." 

Despite this, she believes AAUW is on its way to making a lasting impact on women here at Brockport.

"It's enough for me to know that for the people that we have been able to reach, it was a valuable experience for them," Morse said. 

The Brockport chapter of AAUW is committed to recognizing the statistical reality of 51 percent of the national population being women and the problems with women being inaccurately represented in certain spheres of power.


brockport.editor@gmail.com

Photo of the Week