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Women's Studies at Aquinas College

  • Desiree Cooper

    Events

Events

Spring 2021 

January and February 2021: Members of the JHIWSC Fall 2020 Book Club on My Grandmother’s Hands join for a reflective discussion of the book as part of the Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity’s Celebration of MLK’s Legacy. Find this and other videos through Aquinas College’s Center for Diversity, Inclusion and Equity.

HerStory Brownbag Speaker Series for Spring Join us the first weeks of February, March, and April for our third year of HerStory speakers – virtual this year – featuring women in leadership positions on campus and how they acted in their own lives to meet challenges and reach goals. 

Picture a Scientist Film Discussion, Thursday, February 11, 7 p.m., via Zoom. On International Day of Women and Girls in Science, join Biology Department Faculty and the JHIWSC on a Zoom call to discuss the documentary Picture a Scientist, featuring stories of women scientists across fields and their views on how to make the sciences more open and equitable for all. To learn more: https://www.pictureascientist.com. Check out JHIWSC social media for the film’s availability before and after our film discussion.

“Love is Love” Button "Sale" Friday, February 12 For our second Valentine’s Day celebration in a row, we’ll sell “Love is Love” buttons, with proceeds going to the Grand Rapids Pride Center, whose mission is “Empowering our LGBTQ community through supportive services and awareness” and the YWCA of West Central Michigan, whose mission is “Eliminating racism. Empowering women and girls. Promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.” 

Leading Documentary Filmmaker Byron Hurt Soul Food Sunday, February 28 Hosted with the Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity, award-winning documentary filmmaker, writer, speaker, and anti-sexism activist Byron Hurt will join campus’ Soul Food Sunday at the end of February, speaking to his knowledge of hip-hop, toxic masculinity, and #Me-Too in contemporary American culture. Hurt’s films have included Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, Soul Food Junkies, I am a Man: Black Masculinity in America, and Hazing. 

Keynote Charisse Mitchell for the AQ Resourceful Women Conference, now renamed the Gender, Identity, and Sexualities Symposium Saturday, March 27, tentatively Donnelly Center To keynote our biennial Resourceful Women Conference, Charisse Mitchell, CEO of the YWCA of West Central Michigan, addresses her professional work leading the YWCA, as well as recent “power shifts” in local leadership in recent years, and how her own social-justice Catholic education has informed her leadership. Mitchell worked in Washington, D.C. for over a decade in numerous bipartisan, nonprofit groups to build capacity and improve the infrastructure needed to serve children and families. Throughout the conference day, undergraduate students present research and creative work on women, gender, and identity for our now-annual, interdisciplinary undergraduate conference, a campus-wide academic collaboration. If you are a student wishing to submit a conference proposal, complete this form by February 1.

Annual April “AQBelieve” & “Mother Earth” Events Check back with us in April for details on our programs in support of Sexual Assault Awareness Month and “Mother Earth” Day on campus. 

 


Past Events

Fall 2020 

Check back here frequently or follow us on Facebook (@aqwomenscenter) or Twitter (@JHIWSC) for evolving programming updates and information to join events virtually throughout the year. 

JHIWSC at SaintStock Wednesday, August 19, 1-2 p.m., Outdoors on Wege Way Join us again in Aquinas’ annual “Welcome Week” community resource fair for student organizations, local businesses, faith communities, and non-profits. 

HerStory Brownbag Speaker Series Virtual Speaker Series for Fall Join us the first week of September, October, and November for our third year of HerStory speakers – virtual this year – featuring women in leadership positions on campus, and how they acted in their own lives to meet challenges and reach their goals. 

Running In Silence Monday, September 21, 6:00 p.m., via Zoom AQ alumna, author, and running coach Rachael Steil shares her story of “running in silence” and facing an eating disorder in the athletic community – and how it led to her authorship, sports leadership, and her own non-profit. 

Annual Clothesline Project Monday-Friday, October 5-9, Daily, AB Second Floor Lounge Atrium Domestic Violence Awareness Month begins with our annual Clothesline Project, hanging t- shirts made by community members on a clothesline in support of survivors of domestic violence. Clothesline Projects like ours have been displayed internationally since 1990, when they began in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, as a visual reminder of often-overlooked statistics related to domestic violence. We include t-shirts created by Aquinas students, faculty, and staff, giving visibility to the problem of domestic violence here as well as globally. 

Dare to Lead Workshops with Brene Brown-trained facilitator Amy Andrews McMaster Tuesday, November 10 and Wednesday, November 11 Whatever comes of the 2020 elections and Covid-19, there is no doubt that these are times for courageous leadership. Brene Brown’s bestselling work on “leaning into courage” addresses this need, and certified Dare to Lead facilitator, leadership consultant, and executive coach Amy Andrews McMaster will share Brown’s work in a series of talks and workshops for community members, students, and faculty – focusing on how we cultivate the four skillsets of courage. 

Spring 2020

Resourceful Women Conference
The Resourceful Women Conference is a biennial, interdisciplinary conference featuring undergraduate student presentations on women, gender, and identity. It is an opportunity for undergraduates to work with faculty mentors to showcase their work from all disciplines – literary analyses, research projects, scientific studies, art, music, poetry, theatre, dance – addressing issues related to women, gender, or identity. Submit your proposal (due Jan 20, 2020)

HerStory Speaker Series, continued
First Wednesdays: February 5, March 4, April 1, 12:15-1:30 p.m., The Moose Café
Bring your lunch and come for another year of personal stories of women in leadership positions on campus – their paths, their challenges, their motivations, their mentors. An ongoing collaboration with the Center for Diversity, Inclusion, & Equity.

Sr. Mary Brigid Clingman, OP: Dominicans in Search of Justice
Wednesday, January 22, 1:15-2:30 p.m., Loutit Room, Wege Center
Sr. Mary Brigid Clingman, OP, MSW, Promoter of Justice for the Dominican Sisters~Grand Rapids, shares perspectives of the Dominican family here and worldwide on the relationships between "justice" work and "charity" work, on meeting immediate need and on promoting systemic change, and on spiritual lessons for social activism.  Sr. Mary Brigid is an Aquinas alumna, a social worker by profession, with experience in child welfare, jail/prison ministry, community leadership, and pastoral programming. Her talk is part of campus’ annual St. Thomas Aquinas Week with Campus Ministry.

“Love is Love” Button Sale
Friday, February 14, 9-5 p.m., Jane Hibbard Idema Women’s Studies Center, AB 263-65
To celebrate Valentine’s Day 2020, stop by the JHIWSC to pick up a “Love is Love” pin. As with past years of our “Equality Bake Sale,” proceeds from this sale will go to the YWCA of West Central Michigan, whose mission is “Eliminating racism. Empowering women and girls. Promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.”

Resourceful Women Conference Keynote Dr. Kelly Dittmar: A Seat at the Table Resourceful Women Conference
Saturday, March 28
Keynote Presentation, 1 p.m.
Conference Presentations, 9-5 p.m.
Donnelly Center
To keynote our biennial Resourceful Women Conference, Dr. Kelly Dittmar – Aquinas alumna, Rutgers University professor, and scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics at the Eagleton Institute of Politics – returns to campus for a talk on her latest book A Seat at the Table: Congresswomen’s Perspectives on Why Their Presence Matters (Oxford 2018). Throughout the day, students present research and creative work on women, gender, and identity for our interdisciplinary undergraduate conference, a campus-wide academic collaboration. Luncheon music features songs by women, sung by the Aquinas College Women’s Chorus.

Annual April “AQBelieve” & “Mother Earth” Events
Check back with us in spring for details on our April programs in support of Sexual Assault Awareness Month and “Mother Earth” Day on campus: www.aquinas.edu/womenscenter

Fall 2019

HerStory Speaker Series
First Wednesdays: September 4, October 2, November 6, December 4, 12:15-1:30 p.m., The Moose Café
Bring your lunch and come for a second year of personal stories of women in leadership positions on campus – their paths, their challenges, their motivations, their mentors. An ongoing collaboration with the Center for Diversity, Inclusion, & Equity.

JHIWSC at Saint Stock
Wednesday, September 11, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Sturrus Center
The JHIWSC joins again in Aquinas’ annual “Welcome Week” community resource fair for student organizations, local businesses, faith communities, and non-profits. With Student Leadership & Engagement.

Voters Not Politicians & Proposal 2: One Year Later
Thursday, September 12, 7:00 p.m., Wege Ballroom
Join Aquinas alumna Katie Fahey, founder of Voters Not Politicians, a grassroots, volunteer-led movement to end gerrymandering in Michigan, to reflect on citizen engagement and Proposal 2 a year after its passage. Katie is now Executive Director of The People, a nonprofit organization committed to sharing the lessons learned in Michigan with voters across the ideological spectrum in other states. The People's goal is to bridge political divides and support nonpartisan good governance reforms nationwide.

Margaret Atwood Read-Aloud Marathon
Saturday, September 14, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Donnelly Center
AQ English Department faculty and the JHIWSC celebrate the September 10 release of Margaret Atwood’s new novel, The Testaments, the much-anticipated sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, with a day-long read-aloud. Stop in for part or all of our reading marathon!

Annual Clothesline Project
Tuesday-Tuesday, October, 1-8 Daily, AB Second Floor Lounge Atrium
We begin Domestic Violence Awareness Month with our annual Clothesline Project, hanging handmade t-shirts on a clothesline in support of survivors of domestic violence. Clothesline Projects like ours have been made worldwide since 1990, when they began in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, as a visual reminder of statistics that are often overlooked. We include t-shirts created by Aquinas students, faculty, and staff, giving visibility to the problem of domestic violence here as well as globally.

Dopesick: The Opioid Crisis in America and its Impact on Women with author Beth Macy
Thursday, November 7, 7 p.m., Wege Ballroom
Journalist Beth Macy offers a comprehensive investigation of the opioid epidemic in America, with particular attention to the effects of the opioid crisis on women and families. Macy’s New York Times-bestselling book Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America (Little, Brown, 2018), also reveals stories of citizens – alarmed mothers, a country doctor, an angry nun – who brought the crisis to light in hopes of building a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities. Co- sponsored by the AQ Nursing Program. >Read Press Release

Spring 2019

HerStory Speaker Series
Continued Second Mondays: February 11, March 18, April 8, 12 - 1 pm., The Moose Café
Bring your lunch and join in our new collaboration with the Center for Diversity, Inclusion, & Equity. The HerStory Speaker Series features personal stories of women in leadership positions on campus – how they got to where they are, who or what motivated them, and how they overcame obstacles. Note: On March 18, Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss will be returning to Aquinas. This HerStory event will be held in the Wege Ballroom.

Sr. Megan McElroy, OP: On Dialogue in the Dominican Tradition
Wednesday, January 23, 1:30 - 2:30 pm, Loutit Room, Wege Center
Sr. Megan McElroy, OP, reflects on the meaning of dialogue in the Dominican tradition as part of Campus Ministry's annual St. Thomas Aquinas Week events. An Aquinas alumna, a Dominican Sister since 1988, and a longtime teacher and preacher, Sr. Megan has served as co-director of the Collaborative Dominican Novitiate in St. Louis, MO, where she also earned a Doctor of Ministry in Preaching at Aquinas Institute, St. Louis.

Equality Bake Sale
Tuesday, February 12, 12 - 2 pm. in the AB Lobby; 6 - 9 pm. in the JLH Library Atrium
Our annual bake sale illustrates the persistent gender wage gap—by charging women approximately 25% less for baked goods. Proceeds go to the YWCA of West Central Michigan.

Women, Community, & the Environment Series
Thursday, February 21 - Saturday, 23, various Grand Rapids locations
The JHIWSC joins West Michigan Environmental Action Council, GVSU's Women's Center, and community partners in annual exploration of the deep connections between "women's issues" and "environmental issues." Check back for more details at: www.wmeac.org

Outstanding AQ Women Awards
Thursday, March 21, 12:15 – 1:30, Wege Ballroom
This longtime luncheon tradition, now biennial, celebrates outstanding women of Aquinas. This year, we host our awards luncheon during Women’s History Month to mark women’s history made on our campus. Nomination forms for faculty, staff, students, alums, and allies are available through the Women’s Studies Center website several weeks prior to the event.

Dr. Arlie Hochschild Keynote
Tuesday, April 9, 7 pm., Wege Ballroom
Influential contemporary sociologist Dr. Arlie Hochschild discusses insights from her National Book Award Finalist Strangers in Their Own Land (2016). Translated into seven languages, the book’s central theme is communication across difference. Hochschild has authored The Second Shift, The Time Bind, The Managed Heart, The Outsourced Self, and, with Barbara Ehrenreich, Global Woman; she is the winner of Guggenheim, Mellon, Fulbright, and Sloan grants, as well as the Ulysses Medal. 

“AQ Believe” & “Mother Earth” Events
Stay tuned for details on our annual April activities in support of Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Earth Month: www.aquinas.edu/womenscenter

Fall 2018

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss: On Running for Office, with the LWV
Thursday, August 30, 11 am – 1 pm., Wege Ballroom Grand Rapids
Mayor Rosalynn Bliss shares her experience running for office, and the League of Women Voters (LWV) gives tips for running. We recognize historic Women’s Equality Day (August 26, 1920), when women won the right to vote, by also hosting a nonpartisan Voter Registration Drive.

HerStory Speaker Series
Second Mondays: September 10, October 8, November 12, Dec 10, 12 – 1 pm., The Moose Café
Bring your lunch and come hear the personal stories of women in leadership positions on campus – how they got to where they are, who or what motivated them, and how they overcame obstacles. A new collaboration with the Center for Diversity, Inclusion, & Equity.

JHIWSC at Saint Stock
Wednesday, September 12, 11 am – 2 pm., Sturrus Center
The JHIWSC joins in Aquinas’ annual “Welcome Week” resource fair for student organizations, local businesses, faith communities, and non-profits.

Brendan Kiely: Tradition
Thursday, September 27, 7:30 pm., Wege Ballroom
With the Contemporary Writers Series, we bring to campus acclaimed novelist Brendan Kiely, whose work has received a Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award, and has been twice awarded Best Fiction for Young Adults by the American Library Association. Tradition (May 2018) takes up gender socialization and sexual assault at a fictional elite prep school.

Annual Clothesline Project
Monday-Friday, October 1-5, Daily, AB Second Floor Lounge Atrium
The Clothesline Project displays handmade t-shirts, hung on a clothesline, to support survivors of domestic violence. We include t-shirts created by Aquinas students, faculty, and staff, giving voice to the problem of domestic violence in our own community as well as worldwide.

Dr. Kelly Dittmar: A Seat at the Table
Thursday, October 25, 7 pm., Donnelly Center
Aquinas alumna, Rutgers University professor, and scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics at the Eagleton Institute of Politics, Dr. Kelly Dittmar gives a talk on her latest book A Seat at the Table: Congresswomen’s Perspectives on Why Their Presence Matters (Oxford 2018). A collaboration with Aquinas’ Insignis Honors Program and Political Science Department and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation.

Desiree Cooper: Know the Mother
Thursday, November 8, 7:30 pm., Wege Ballroom
Former attorney and Pulitzer-nominated journalist Desiree Cooper shares stories on the archetype of the mother from her collection Know the Mother, a 2017 Michigan Notable Book. A 2015 Kresge Artist Fellow, Cooper is also a Kimbilio Fellow, a national residency for African American fiction writers. In partnership with Aquinas' Contemporary Writers Series.