The Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender is hosting a series of events throughout the month of March in celebration of Women’s History Month. The 2023 Women’s History Series will feature presentations related to the theme of “World Building/Building World: Creative Praxis for Radical Futures.”
Ariana Brown, a poet and author, gave the series’ first keynote lecture March 10, and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, a disability justice activist, will deliver the second keynote lecture March 16.
Brown discussed “what it means to be a Black Mexican-American poet in different kinds of spaces, thinking of identity but also thinking of futurity, navigating many contentious identities,” said Alexa De La Fuente ’23, a student coordinator.
When planning the series, De La Fuente and peck ’23, another student coordinator, focused on “all the feminist theory, frameworks, leaders and praxis that inspire our work,” according to De La Fuente.
One of the main goals for the organizers was to look beyond “cis white womanhood and feminism as defined within those bounds traditionally and historically,” peck said.
This led them to select two keynote speakers, both of whom “approach their work with frameworks that include race, gender, sexuality and disability justice,” said Madyson Crawford, assistant director of the SDC.
Piepzna-Samarasinha is a “nonbinary, femme, autistic disabled writer, space creator and disability and transformative justice movement worker,” according to the SDC’s announcement email.
To prepare listeners for their talk, entitled “Imagining Disabled Futures Is an Act of Resistance,” the SDC held a reading circle March 6. Participants read and discussed portions of Piepzna-Samarasinha’s recently published book, “The Future is Disabled.”
On March 8, the SDC and the Global Brown Center for International Students held an International Women’s Day brunch featuring a speech by Alice Plane, senior fellow in international and public affairs.
“My goal ... was to share my own personal journey with my understanding of feminism and climate change,” Plane said, as well as to consider questions of what society values in those contexts.
Rocky Douglas GS, a wellness practitioner, held an event entitled “Imagining our Worlds with Rocky’s Root Care” March 7, which featured a conversation about participants’ visions for the future and a communal art project inspired by the discussion’s ideas.
Douglas also led BIPOC Restoration Day on March 12. For the event, each room of the SDC was converted into a different “invitation to some form of intimacy or care or reflection,” such as “an altar for feminist ancestors and teachers,” face masks, bath salts, games and food, according to the event description.
Douglas will host “Root Care: Connecting Herbalism, Spirituality and Mental Health” on March 20. At the workshop, Douglas will introduce herbal medicine and bring some herbs for participants to test. She will also teach participants “how to incorporate herbal medicine into day-to-day routines.”
“Although there are so many issues with the sort of historical association of care work with women’s work,” Douglas said, “there also can be a lot of power in claiming that.”
“It’s a homage to the feminists … who came before us, who’ve talked about the importance of this work as a political project, as a communal project,” she added.