See updates on our fall 2021 plans at aquinas.edu/saintstogether.

Women's Studies at Aquinas College

  • Desiree Cooper

    Events

Events

Follow us on Facebook (@aqwomenscenter) or Twitter (@JHIWSC) for updates on programming throughout the year.

Fall 2021

JHIWSC at Saint Stock
Sept. 1, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Sturrus Center
Stop by the Center’s table at our annual community resource fair, featuring student organizations and many opportunities to get involved!

Fall HerStory Brownbag Speaker Series
First Thursdays of each month, 12:15 p.m.
Moose Cafe, Cook Carriage House
Bring your lunch and join us for our fourth year of collaborating with our Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity to offer HerStory speakers, featuring women in leadership positions on campus and in our community sharing their life journeys.

  • Sept. 2: Sr. Mary Kay Oosdyke, O.P.
  • Oct. 7: Mac Anderson
  • Nov. 4: Dr. Jennifer Hess

Fall Anti-Racism Campus Book Group
Variable times and locations in September, October, and November
Together with the Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity, we offer small group conversations on Ibram X. Kendi’s “How to Be An Antiracist” throughout the semester.

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Georgetown Professor Marcia Chatelain
Sept. 30, 3:30 p.m.
Virtual speaker
Join together - Allbertus 104 or join individually via Zoom
With several campus partners, we bring Pulitzer Prize-Winning Georgetown Professor Marcia Chatelain back to AQ for a virtual talk on understanding Critical Race Theory and Antiracism, in anticipation of campus’ “Solidarity Matters” March in October. Zoom links to be provided.

Annual Clothesline Project
Oct. 4-8
AB 2nd Floor Commuter Lounge
We begin Domestic Violence Awareness Month with our annual Clothesline Project, a display of t-shirts made by community members and hung on a clothesline in support of survivors of domestic violence. Clothesline Projects have been raising awareness about domestic violence since 1990, when the project started in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. We include t-shirts created by Aquinas students, faculty, and staff, giving visibility to the problem of domestic violence here as well as around the world.

“Running for Office” Panel
Thursday, Oct. 14, 7-8:30 p.m.
Wege Ballroom
A panel of dynamic women in public office -- Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, Senator Winnie Brinks, Representative Rachel Hood, City Commissioner Milinda Ysasi, and GRCC Trustee Brandy Lovelady Mitchell -- demystify the process of running for office for women to move forward politically. Moderated by Shannon Garrett, co-founder of Vote Run Lead and Chief Strategy Officer for the Michigan Women’s Commission.

Spring 2022

Spring HerStory Brownbag Speaker Series
First Thursdays (Feb. 3, March 3, and April 7) of each month, 12:15 p.m.
Moose Cafe, Cook Carriage House
Bring your lunch again and join us for our fourth year of collaborating with our Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity to offer HerStory speakers, featuring women in leadership positions on campus and in our community sharing their life journeys.

“Love is Love” Button Sale
Monday, Feb. 14, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.
Grace Hauenstein Library Piazza
For our third Valentine’s Day celebration in a row, we’ll offer “Love is Love” buttons in a campus fundraiser, 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.”

Grand Rapids Poet Laureate Ericka “Kyd” Kane Poetry Reading
Wednesday, March 30, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Wege Ballroom
We conclude Women’s History Month by hosting spoken word poet Ericka “Kyd” Kane, Grand Rapids Poet Laureate and self-described “beacon of peace and love,” for a March poetry reading and workshop. With Aquinas’ Contemporary Writers Series.

Sexual Assault Survivor Flags
April TBA
Donnelly Center
“Every 68 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. And every 9 minutes, that victim is a child” (www.rainn.org). We join our Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services for an awareness-raising event -- the visible sign of sexual assault survivor flags on our campus -- to mark April as Sexual Assault Survivor Month.

“Mother Earth” Events
April TBA
Check back with us in April for details on our programs in support of “Mother” Earth Day on campus.

Michigan Blueswoman Shari Kane and Dave Steele, “Street Swing and Stomp Blues”
Spring, date and time TBD
Moose Cafe, Cook Carriage House
Ann Arbor blues guitarist Shari Kane and vocalist Dave Steele return to campus for a spring musical celebration, performing their healing blues music, with Shari sharing her experiences as one of the country’s most accomplished blueswomen, and Shari and Dave telling about their experiences balancing performance and partnership as a husband-wife duo: http://sharianddaveblues.com.


Past 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, Feb. 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, Feb. 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, Feb. 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 Feb. 1, 2021.

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.

Fall 2020

JHIWSC at SaintStock
Wednesday, Aug. 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, Sept. 21, 6 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, Oct. 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, Nov. 10, and Wednesday, Nov. 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: Feb. 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, Jan. 22, 1:15-2:30 p.m.
Loutit Room, Wege Center
Sr. Mary Brigid Clingman, O.P., M.S.W., 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, Feb. 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: Sept. 4, Oct. 2, Nov. 6, Dec. 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, Sept. 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, Sept. 12, 7 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, Sept. 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, Oct., 1-8, daily
AB Second Floor Lounge Atrium
We begin Domestic Violence Awareness M onth 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, Nov. 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: Feb. 11, March 18, April 8, Noon-1 p.m., 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, O.P.: On Dialogue in the Dominican Tradition
Wednesday, Jan. 23, 1:30-2:30 p.m., 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, Missouri, where she also earned a Doctor of Ministry in Preaching at Aquinas Institute, St. Louis.

Equality Bake Sale
Tuesday, Feb. 12, Noon-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, Feb. 21 - Saturday, Feb. 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 p.m., 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 p.m., 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, Aug. 30, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., 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 (Aug. 26, 1920), when women won the right to vote, by also hosting a nonpartisan Voter Registration Drive.

HerStory Speaker Series
Second Mondays: Sept. 10, Oct. 8, Nov. 12, Dec 10, Noon-1 p.m., 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, Sept. 12, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 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, Sept. 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, Oct. 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.

Thursday, Oct. 25, 7 p.m.
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, Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m.
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.