Womxn's Council First Fem Fest Among Virtual Events

August 5, 2020

Special to MSU Division of Student Affairs and Services

Like nearly everything in our lives, how Michigan State University’s Womxn’s Council (also known as WoCo), works with others will be different this fall.

Our progressive student-led feminist organization, advocating for and empowering womxn-identifying voices on MSU’s campus for over 30 years, will continue its main initiatives to hold MSU administrators accountable, bring awareness to and end sexual violence on campus, and make every effort to ensure that all Spartans feel safe, validated and heard. The way this work  during COVID-19 may look different, but the work remains consistent. 

While physical distancing is extremely important for safety measures, the Womxn’s Council still plans to create a space where Spartans can actively engage with each other and create meaningful connections through virtual events and weekly meetings.

We are very excited and happy to announce that throughout the week of Aug. 28- Sept. 4, WoCo and Women*s Student Services is collaborating with Impact 89FM and The Writing Center for Michigan State’s very first Fem Fest! The goal of this event is to celebrate feminism in visual arts, poetry and music, as well as welcome incoming and returning students to our programs. Throughout the week, students will be provided with opportunities to connect with other gender empowerment groups on campus, create and present art and poetry and listen to musicians in the Greater Lansing area perform songs and talk about feminism in their music.

Opportunities to participate:

Even though we are unable to hold these events in person, we want to demonstrate that physically distanced doesn’t have to mean socially isolated. There are still a lot of ways that we can come together to uplift each other, celebrate our differences and rejoice in our initiative to make a better campus and world for all. 

The root of feminism is fighting for the equality of women in all aspects of society. While the term ‘feminist organization’ may seem exclusionary, we include an ‘x’ in our description of women to show that our group is expansionary. We look beyond the gender binary to appreciate and celebrate the fact that womxn-hood means something different to everyone and that there is no one identity exclusive to feminism. In addition, Womxn’s Council works closely with WSS to promote gender equity, sexual identity initiatives and overall diversity/inclusion across campus through event collaboration and resource sharing. 

Womxn’s Council, in particular, finds new ways to further educate ourselves and our peers on gender, sexuality and diversity issues that occur at Michigan State and within our communities. We achieve this by raising awareness, participating in service opportunities and by taking action through rallying or policy change.

Throughout the year we will collaborate with different campus organizations to host events focused on bringing students together while simultaneously advocating for change. For instance, Womxn’s Council and Women*s Student Services worked together last year to bring back the Womxn’s Initiative for Leadership Development (WILD) Conference, which sought to create a safe and brave space for womxn-identifying students. The goal of the conference was to reinvent the traditional ideas of what it meant to be a womxn-identifying leader in a predominantly male-led society and how to apply those ideals in their everyday lives. This year’s WILD Conference is Oct.24. We hope to empower Spartans to use their voices to speak out against injustices by providing advice and opportunities on how to make the changes they wish to see in their respective communities.

We also work with the Center for Survivors, the Sexual Assault Crisis Intervention team and the Prevention Outreach and Education Department to put on the annual event, Take Back the Night. This event occurs during the spring action week of “It’s On Us” and is centered around bringing awareness to the prevalence of domestic and sexual violence. It also aims to empower survivors by breaking the silence that surrounds these forms of abuse. A major goal of Womxn’s Council is creating a campus that not only protects survivors but also actively fights to decrease the frequency of assault through continued education and advocacy.  

If you’re interested in our movement or want to know more about feminism and gender empowerment, please feel free to contact us. We will typically respond within 24 hours and would love to hear from you. 

Go green!

Email: womenscouncilmsu@gmail.com

Twitter: @MSUwoco

Instagram: @michstatewoco

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