Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Why Cleveland Women were “Invisible?”
These women were found in October 2009 -- all on one man's property, Anthony Sowell. Police believe the women were easy prey for Anthony, a convicted sex offender who served 15 years for the attempted rape of a woman in 1989. Sowell, now 51, had moved to the home on Imperial Avenue in 2005, after his release from prison. He has been charged with eleven murders, two rapes, one attempted rape and more than seventy other related charges. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and is scheduled to go to trial in February 2011, according to the prosecutor's office.
Since the bodies were discovered, other women have come forward, alleging Sowell attacked them. The bodies were not found for so long because people did not believe they were dead, and even if they were people believed it was their own fault. Some observers suggest the location of the crimes explains why the bodies went overlooked. There is a suspicion echoing among Cleveland residents, particularly in the black community: that the lives of poor black women aren't worth much, certainly less than if they had been suburban white women. The lives of these women were overlooked and ignored due to a nasty addiction, and this dismissal has lead them to a cease in their lifetime.
The bodies at Sowell's home were finally discovered when a 36-year-old Cleveland woman went to police. On September 23, 2009, she reported that Sowell had invited her into his home for beer. Her description of what happened there was eerily similar to the events laid out by Sowell's 1989 victim and later by Gladys Wade, a victim who frantically reached out to police about her incident. They entered his home on October 29, 2009. First, they discovered two bodies rotting in the attic, then five more buried in the backyard. Eventually the body count reached eleven. This man devastated homes and took away lives, which he had no right to. These women left behind children and grandchildren who will never get the change to know them because they lives were cut too short. Do you believe that the lives of these women were worthless and their deaths should have been ignored? Is it okay that when white women disappear there is more media coverage and community focus on the issue? Ask yourself!