Indigenous Rising: Warriors in Leadership
For Native American women, the election of Davids and Haaland reclaims their ancestral right to leadership in a society that has undermined the power of Indigenous women. The Inter-Tribal Student Association chose to honor these women with Indigenous Rising: Warriors in Leadership as a way to highlight the return of women to their place of leadership.
MLK Week 2019 served as a call to action for young people across our campus to engage in grassroots movements and communities that promote social change. Keynote Charlene Carruthers Carruthers lead a discussion on the power of grassroots movements, youth leadership development work, ways to strategize activism and build community solidarity.
This year’s Women’s Week theme “Redefine” explored what it means to be powerful or to be radically creative. Keynote Gabby Rivera explored the definition of these traits and how to incorporate them into work, communities, and daily lives.
Queeroes: Reclaiming Hero
Pride Week 2019 highlighted queeroes in modern-day, who are taking a stand against bigotry and discrimination. This year’s theme, “Queeroes: Reclaiming Hero” recognized the hero in all of us – especially the heroic efforts exerted by each LGBTQIA+ person as they live their lives every day.
TOXIC: A Conversation on Environmental Racism
This year’s theme addresses the intentionality of environmental racism through systems and policies that disproportionately regulate zoning laws, chemical and toxic waste, and access to natural resources for communities of color as a way to further inequity of social, economic, and political power.
Resilience: We are powerful because we have survived.
Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress. For social justice movements, the term has also come to reflect attention to resilience through individuals and group actions. People are engaging in politics, activism and the arts to improve their personal situations, but also move society as a whole. This year’s theme highlighted the lived experiences of women with events focused on the power of resilience that women, and especially women of color, have shown, and continue to demonstrate, in the face of increasingly repressive policies.
In Honor of Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women
Historically, for many tribes, women are the heart and backbone of their communities. From colonization to the present, there have been disproportionally higher rates of violence and assault towards indigenous women. Though there is little official collection of data, many families recount stories of missing family members. This year’s theme focused on creating awareness around the widespread problem facing women in indigenous communities.
Em(body) Pride: Art. Activism. Accountability.
Pride Week 2018 featured author and spoken word artist Sonya Renee Taylor and her work around radical self-love for our bodies. “Embody Pride: Art. Activism. Accountability” was a call for folks to express, represent, and make tangible their Pride in the ways that make sense for their specific identities and bodies, particularly through different art mediums.
Unified Resistance: Tales of the White Rose
Unified resistance groups seeking civil rights today are primarily led by our youth and influenced by our current social, economic, political and environmental climate. Keynote Jud Newborn, drew lessons and parallels of the Holocaust – particularly the German university students who formed the Nazi resistance group called the White Rose – to the resistance in today’s current events.
We Live It. We Breathe It.
Inspired by the analogy of Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum who describes systemic racism as smog in the air, this year explored the ways in which these systems are manifested and ways we can achieve more fundamental and systemic levels of change. “Sometimes it is so thick it is visible, other times it is less apparent, but always, day in and day out, we are breathing it in.” Keynote Ta-Nehisi Coates spoke to the policies, practices, behaviors, and ideas that have affected how we all navigate the socio-political and economic realms today and throughout our U.S. history.
In recent years, scholars and activists have pointed out society’s desensitization to rape. Because sexual violence and rape happen often, and rarely go punished, we operate under the assumption that rape is an inevitable fact of life. This normalization of rape has led people to internalize beliefs and attitudes that condone and even encourage gendered sexual aggression and violence. The events of this year’s Womens Week promoted ways in which everyone can take steps to disrupt the current status.
Face Everything and Rise
January 18 - January 25, 2020
James L. Farmer, Jr., leader and activist of the Civil Rights Movement, highlighted the true process of social change when he stated, “Anyone who said they weren’t afraid during the civil rights movement was either a liar or without imagination. I was scared all the time. My hands didn’t shake, but inside I was shaking.” In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and countless others who chose to vacate their comfort zones and stand for a cause, this year’s MLK Week challenges us to redefine the definition of fear and its role in the fight for freedom and equality. As individuals (and a community), we must remember to never be deterred by fear, as it is an essential milestone in successfully combating systematic racism and oppression. This year’s theme will challenge you to redefine, persevere, and overcome the urge to fear everything and run, but rather Face Everything And Rise.
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