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.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Power of Storytelling

I wanted to use my blog space to tell you all about an awesome opportunity coming up this Tuesday! Faye Lane, the writer & performer behind Beauty Shop Stories, will be coming to Ramapo to perform her award-winning show at 7pm. Before the show, at 2pm, she will be in the Women's Center conducting a workshop called Write Your Own Story. 

I am a strong believer in the power of personal stories. Despite the fact that everyone has a different set of circumstances and experiences, we can find common ground through the telling of stories. There's nothing quite like the feeling of validation that comes with hearing someone share an experience that mirrors your own, or the excitement that you can draw from hearing stories about a life completely different from your own.

This connection is what we've tried to generate in the Women's Center through the Body Image Monologues (which just finished it's second incarnation at Ramapo!) Having the chance to pour my feelings about my body onto a page, and then see that story performed in front of a room full of people was electrifying. Knowing that people who you don't even know can connect with your experiences is powerful and exciting and addictive. From the Body Image Monologues to Take Back the Night (in October) to Voices Not Bodies (in February) the Women's Center provides many annual experiences to connect in this manner.

I'm so excited that Faye Lane will be providing another chance for people to share their stories here at Ramapo, and I hope some of our blog readers will be interested in checking it out (while I am, regrettably, taking a midterm.) You don't have to be a writer - if you're a person who feels like they might have a story to tell you are welcome to come by and  give it a shot.

On a somewhat related note, I'd love to share the pictures that we took at our eating Disorder Awareness Week table with you all. Last Monday and Tuesday people were invited to write and pose with some positive affirmations about body image, their bodies, etc. This was another awesome opportunity to connect and I loved seeing all of the unique things that people loved about themselves!

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