Post Contributor: Erika Sanchez
The Bandana Project was held on Thursday, March 26th from 1:30 – 5 pm with a great turn-out. Students designed bandanas in support of migrant farmworker women who, in the name of making money for their families and putting food on the table, face grave threats such as sexual violence and exploitation. Many suffer silently in fear of losing their job, deportation, and separation from their children.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in Montgomery, AL, launched the Bandana Project through their program Esperanza: The Immigrant Woman’s Legal Initiative. The creator of the initiative, Monica Ramirez a lawyer and immigrant rights activist started this project with an aim “to bring a sense of hope, confidence and the will to be brave.” The bandana is the symbol for this effort because female farmworkers often wear bandanas to keep their face and gender hidden from unwanted sexual advances.
Members from Eastern clubs such as O.L.A.S., N.O.W., and M.A.L.E.S. were able to attend the program and design powerful art with messages on the bandanas. It was great to see leaders of these student organizations supporting important programs and causes. Monica Ramirez and Mily Treviño-Sauceda will be on campus Monday, March 30th, in the Johnson Room from 6 – 8 pm to discuss the community’s response to stop the abuse of farmworker women.
Post Contributor: Garland Mann-Lamb
Last week, the Women’s Center launched the Red Flag Campaign on campus. The Red Flag Campaign is a public awareness project aimed toward educating students on the importance of healthy relationships, identifying relationship “red flags,” and feeling empowered to say something when a red flag is seen. As part of the campaign, small red flags were placed on the Student Center lawn, each stating a red flag situation such as jealousy, stalking, coercion, sexual assault, emotional abuse, isolation, and victim-blaming. The Women’s Center Ambassadors hosted tables in the Student Center and Webb Hall to share information on the Red Flag Campaign and the Sexual Assault & Interpersonal Violence Response Team, which is a multi-disciplinary team that provides assistance to victim-survivors of interpersonal violence.
At these events, students were able to sign a banner and take the pledge, “When I see a red flag, I’ll say something.” Over 150 students, faculty, and staff took the pledge, including athletes, coaches, men, women, professors, and administrators. The pledge doesn’t end with signing a banner. We encourage all to stand up and speak out when they see unhealthy characteristics in a relationship. How can you help someone? Say something! Lend a listening ear. Be supportive and non-judgmental. Refer them to services. Visit the Women’s Center to learn more about all the resources available to students in our area and keep an eye out for Red Flag programs coming to your residence hall in the coming weeks!
The Spring 2015 semester just kicked off this week and we’re happy to see everyone back! We’re also excited to share the new Cultural Celebrations Calendar. There are plenty of events on it that discuss a variety of topics, thanks to the collaboration between the Women’s Center, Intercultural Center, Pride Room, CAB, and other departments. We will be blogging about the events in more detail as they get closer. We also plan to have post-event reflections written by our Student Ambassadors, discussing the events in case you missed them. For now, we want to highlight the upcoming events put on by the Women’s Center:
A Way with Words
The Spirit of Isabella Beecher Hooker
HIV: A Life Sentence
Ella T. Grasso Distinguished Service Awards
A Talk with Duane de Four
Save Wiyabi Project
Take Back the Night
There will be even more events throughout the semester, that weren’t able to make it onto the Cultural Celebrations Calendar. So stay tuned!