Winter 2016 Activist in Residence Events Announced

Winter, 2016 AiR Events:

Activism Across Differences

Wednesday, January 20th, 3:15 – 5:00 p.m.

Women’s Studies Center Lounge (MON 207)

Activist in Residence, Sandy Williams will introduce herself and her background in activism, allow space and time for students to get to know each other, and work to build trust and safety within the group.

Layers of Diversity

Wednesday, February 3rd, 3:15 – 5:00 p.m.

Women’s Studies Center Lounge (MON 207)

Sandy will introduce concepts of difference, explore implicit and explicit bias, discuss intersectionality as an approach to activism, and explain the “Cycle of Oppression.

Rolling Up Our Sleeves: What does it REALLY take to be effective?

Wednesday, February 17th, 3:15 – 5:00 p.m.

Women’s Studies Center Lounge (MON 207)

Be ready to step out of your comfort zone as we discuss challenges to working across difference, engage with strategies for cross-issue organizing, consider empathy as an important ingredient in activism, and learn about some alternative forms of activism.

A Lesson in Right Brain Activism

Wednesday, March 2nd, 3:15 – 5:00 p.m.

Women’s Studies Center Lounge (MON 207)

During this last of four sessions, we will learn about “right brain” activism and show how creativity may help us find connections between seemingly disconnected issues. This will also be your chance to hear what our activists have been working on throughout the quarter as they present their own work.

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November Events

Our November Newsletter and full events listing can be found here.

Brief descriptions follow:


MON, NOV 2ND 10:00 – 11:30 A.M. MONROE 207


Women’s and Gender Studies majors are in more places than you might imagine. Join Women’s and Gender Studies faculty member, Jessica Willis, PhD, as she leads the discussion. Our panelists include Romeal Watson, MSW, from Career Services, Nick Franco, MA, from the Pride Center, and WGS graduate, Jaime Hollis, MS, from Gonzaga University. We will discuss opportunities and advantages of a Women’s and Gender Studies degree.


TUE, NOV 3RD 12:00 – 12:50 P.M. MONROE 207

Racism Event Photo
McNair Scholar Ariel McMillan willdiscuss negative racial attitudes on campus, micro-aggressions, and solutions to these problems. She studied campus climates around race, particularly EWU’s campus, after national events sparked a controversial article last year. McMillan focuses on the ways in which predominantly white institutions shape future decision makers and contribute to students’ negative racial attitudes. She explores environments where students outside the status quo don’t succeed at the same level as their counterparts and provides a few solutions to help us begin to resolve this local dilemma.


WED, NOV 4TH 1:00 – 2:30 P.M. MONROE 207


The decision to come out or not come out during the job search or in the workplace is a personal one. Join us as Shannon Turner, CDF presents on state employment laws, job search strategies, and useful tools for researching LGBTQ+ friendly companies. Information for transgender job seekers from the hiring process to making a transition at work will also be included.


FRIDAY, NOV. 6TH, 1 – 3:00 P.M., MONROE 207


Women’s Commission meetings are the place to bring issues of concern to women. Past agendas have included the need for a lactation room on campus, childcare facilities, sexual assault prevention programs, and safer campus lighting. Community members are invited to bring forth issues that may need administrative attention.


THU, NOV 12TH 12:00 – 12:50 P.M. MONROE 207

HK Pic 3

During Spring Break, Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean of the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences and Social Work, Pui-Yan Lam, PhD, traveled with colleagues and 18 students to Hong Kong, the home city she left over 20 years ago. First-generation college student, Marylou Diaz, who had a keen interest in Asia but knew little about Hong Kong, enrolled in the faculty-led study abroad course and visited the city for the first time.

In the months leading up to the ten-day tour, the two discussed how the Umbrella Movement forces people in the city to collectively examine their identity as Hong Kongers. While in Hong Kong, both grappled with how their own identities in terms of race, class, and gender shaped their experiences. After their return to the US, they engaged in dialogues about what they observed there. Identity, belonging, values, and privileges are the threads of their conversations. They decided to share what they learned with the EWU campus community.

Diaz is majoring in both International Affairs and Political Science with a minor in Spanish. She worked at the Asia University American Programs as an International Peer Advisor and works as a Global Ambassador at the Office of Global Initiatives. Lam is a native of Hong Kong and a citizen of the US. She left Hong Kong when it was still a British colony and has lived in the US since 1992.

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The Status of Women in Washington State: Gender, Race, Class, and Systemic Inequality


Liz Vivian brings almost twenty years of community leadership experience in the private, nonprofit and public sectors to her role as executive director of the Women’s Funding Alliance, which advances leadership and economic opportunity for women and girls in Washington State.

Women’s Funding Alliance believes that, far from being the problem, women and girls are the solution to many of the challenges currently facing families, communities and our economy in Washington State. Their report with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research on gender inequities in Washington State made big news last year.

Liz Vivian joins us now to provide details from the report. She will also discuss ways it can serve as a resource for those who work to create public policies and programs that aim to level the playing field for women in Washington. Together, we will think through next steps to forging pathways to leadership and economic opportunity.

EWU SPOKANE: Tuesday, October 20th 6:00-7:00 PM Phase 1, Room 111

EWU CHENEY: Wednesday, October 21st 10:00-11:30 AM Louise Anderson, Rm 113A, 1:00-2:30 PM Monroe 207

Persons with special needs may make arrangements for accommodations by calling Lisa at the Women’s Studies Center (509) 359-2898 seven business days in advance.

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Fleshing the Spirit Spirit Journeys: ‘Home’ as a Site of Healing and Transformation


ELISA FACIO, PhD: Director, Chicano Education Professor, Chicano Studies Executive Director, Race and Culture Studies major

Grounded in Anzaldúa’s concept of spiritual activism, this work reflects critical engagement with dominant modern-colonial dynamic, spiritual ideas, as well as the related desire for spaces that legitimate spirituality as a way of knowing and being within academia and our daily lives. The metaphor of ‘home’ is used to engage how particular places-sites-became spiritually significant in healing and transformation processes.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 12-12:50 pm ~ 207 Monroe Hall

Harriet Martineau and Victorian Sciences of Mind


BETH TORGERSON, PhD: Associate Professor, English

Thanks to cultural historians studying Victorians’ interest in mesmerism, phrenology, and mental physiology and to historians of psychology studying what some have called the “long history of psychology,” we now have a better sense of how these early Victorian sciences of mind laid some of the groundwork for modern psychology. This presentation aims to reclaim Harriet Martineau’s historical and cultural role in these early psychological discussions. After tracing Martineau’s interest in the new Victorian sciences of mind, Torgerson places Harriet Martineau’s writing within the long history of psychology, exploring the ways that she can be seen as having contributed to the birth of modern psychology.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 12-12:50 pm ~ 207 Monroe Hall

Saint, Sister, Resister? The (En) gendered Image of Sophie Scholl in German Cinema


SALLY WINKLE, PhD: Director, Women’s and Gender Studies Professor, Modern Languages and Literatures

Sophie Scholl is the cinematic face of student resistance in three German films on the Nazi past: The White Rose, The Last Five Days, and Sophie Scholl: the Final Days, even though she was only one of several core members of the White Rose student group. This presentation explores the fascination in postwar German culture and society with Sophie Scholl and how her portrayal in these films can be related to the collective memory of Germans regarding the anti-Nazi resistance. In addition, Winkle examines the significance of gender and idealization in the depiction of Sophie Scholl
as the human face of anti-fascist resistance in German cinema.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 12-12:50 pm ~ 207 Monroe Hall

Persons with special needs may make arrangements for accommodations by calling Christi (509.359.2847) at the Women’s Studies Center, seven business days in advance.

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2015-2016 Activist in Residence Announcement

We are excited to announce that our next Activist-in-Residence is Sandra Williams, Publisher and Editor of THE BLACK LENS, Spokane’s African American Community newspaper. Williams is an activist, writer, storyteller, and filmmaker, with an extensive background addressing issues of discrimination, oppression, equity, and social justice. Williams has been involved in social justice and anti-oppression work for the past thirty years. Most recently she was the Coordinator of the Pride Center at Eastern Washington University, acting as an advocate for EWU’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans* students, faculty and staff from the spring of 2010 until June of 2015.


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Congratulations 2015 WGST Graduates!

Women’s & Gender Studies would like to congratulate our 2015 Women’s & Gender Studies Majors, Minors & Gender Studies Certificate Graduates!

We invite everyone to join us in 207 Monroe Hall on June 1st from 2:30 pm – 3 pm as we congratulate our students!


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Call for Applications for the 2016 Activist-in-Residence at EWU

Are you an activist who wants to inspire students to become involved in social justice issues you are passionate about?   Consider applying to be the next Activist-in-Residence at EWU!  The Women’s and Gender Studies Activist-in-Residence program was developed so that students could learn from and build relationships with an experienced activist who is working on issues of relevance to their lives.


Activists are invited to design, develop, and implement a program in winter term 2016 at Eastern Washington University that corresponds to their specific issue(s), skills, and interests. The program is co-sponsored by a variety of campus programs and student groups to help students develop their commitment to social justice and social change on any of a number of relevant issues.  The Activist-in-Residence will be on campus for about 8-10 events, such as presentations, class visits, workshops, panels, activist projects, and organizational meetings during the Winter term, January 4 – March 18, 2016. A $4000 stipend is provided, and the possibility of a student intern can be negotiated.


Open the EWU AiR Application to apply. EWU_AiR_Application form 2016. Please complete the application form according to instructions and email to Christi Wavada at  If you have any difficulties, contact Christi Wavada at the above address. For questions about the Activist-in-Residence Program, please contact Sally Winkle at or 509-359-2409.  Application deadline:  June 30, 2015.

2016 AiR Application



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February Programs

Black Women’s Strength, Resilience and Dedication
Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015, 3-5 pm
205 Monroe Hall
Conversations with a panel of three generations of Spokane Black women moderated by Fetlewoyni Gebreziabher.  Cosponsored by Africana Studies and the Women’s Studies Center.

The Gift of Safe Sex
Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, 12-1 pm
207 Monroe Hall

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner what better to talk about than how to put on a condom. Give your partner the gift of safe sex for Valentine’s Day!  Join us as the staff from Planned Parenthood GWNI give a not so typical demonstration of how to put on a condom and other safe sex advice. Those who come will be entered into a raffle for a safe and sexy gift basket.

Women Musicians in the South African Freedom Struggle
Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, 1-3 pm
205 Monroe Hall

Through a vivid multimedia presentation offering striking video and audio examples, native South African Sheila Woodward, PhD, Chair, Department of Music; Associate Professor and Director of Music Education, will take participants through an emotional journey tracing the voice of South African women fighting their struggle for freedom through song.  Cosponsored by Africana Studies and the Women’s Studies Center.

AiR Workshop II:  Criminal Justice Reform in Spokane: Our Smart Justice Vision
Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, 3:30 – 5:30 pm
205 Monroe Hall

Panelists will discuss alternatives to mass incarceration.  Smart Justice Spokane is calling for racial equity, non-arrest & non-jail solutions, culturally appropriate mental health and chemical dependency treatment, restructuring the system and providing employment solutions.

Queer Latin American Filmmaking
Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, 1-2 pm
207 Monroe Hall

While queer issues can be found throughout the history of Latin American film, a specifically queer-marked Latin American filmmaking dates from the 1980s, and includes the Oscar-winning performance of William Hurt in the Brazilian 1985 film in English, Kiss of the Spider Woman. The dynamics of queer issues and the parameters of queer lives differ significantly from one country to the other in Latin America. In this lecture David William Foster, PhD, Arizona State University Regents’ Professor of Spanish and Women and Gender Studies, will examine the most important representatives of this production, with special emphasis on country-specific inflections of queer matters.  Cosponsored by Modern Languages and Literatures, Women’s and Gender Studies, Women’s Studies Center, The Pride Center, Film Studies, and Chicano Education.

Black is Beautiful: Afrocentric Hair and Fashion
Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, 2:30-3:30 pm
205 Monroe Hall

Rachel Doležal, MA, Africana Studies will discuss the strength and power of cultural and social expression through hair.  Six EWU students will model African-centered hair from ancient times to today’s Black fashion trends.  Cosponsored by Africana Studies and the Women’s Studies Center.

Rural American Scholarship
Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, 12-1 pm
207 Monroe Hall

This is a great scholarship but however the past, 40 percent of all applications were rejected because the applicant did not follow directions.  To help you ensure that you meet the specific guidelines of RASF, Mary Ann Murphy, director, college advancement will review the guidelines, answer questions and offer guidance for writing a successful application.

Africana Education Film:  The Marva Collins Story
Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, 3- 5 pm
207 Monroe Hall

Marva Collins is an American educator who started and ran the Westside Preparatory Center School for more than 30 years.  She proved that African American youth, wrongly labeled, as learning disabled by public schools, were victims of teaching inabilities.  In this film, Collins demonstrates that all students can succeed.  Cosponsored by Africana Studies and the Women’s Studies Center.

Combating Racism:  From Ferguson to the Voting Booth to the Border

Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, 11:00 am-12:30 pm
Showalter Auditorium

Tim Wise Reception
Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, 12:30 –2:00 pm
Showalter Rotunda

Tim Wise is among the nation’s most prominent anti-racist essayists and educators.  He is the author of a number of books addressing race and culture including White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son.  This event is being sponsored by the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences and Social Work, American Indian Studies, Chicano Education Program,  Africana Education, the President’s Advisory Committee on Diversity, the Provost’s Office, Communications Studies, School of Social Work, Sociology/Justice Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies.

Contemporary Issues in Feminist Research:   From Fairy Tales to “Kinky Fu(C)%ery:” Women, Leisure, and Fifty Shades of Grey
Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015, 12-1 pm
207 Monroe Hall

Our parents read Cinderella and other fairy tales to us as children. We now read Fifty Shades of Grey. In both cases, we chatted with girlfriends about the books, characters, and love stories. The books invaded our imaginations, relationships, dreams, and… identities?   Callie Spencer, PhD, and Karen Paisley, PhD, explore several “reads” of Fifty Shades, from participatory fan fiction, to a creative act akin to Marcel Duchamp’s “Fountain,” to a Southern women’s book club reading as resistance. Join them in discovering ways in which female readers continue to read and write these stories.

AiR Workshop III: Crime, Injustice, and the Growing Police State
Thursday, Feb. 26, 3:30 – 5:30 pm
205 Monroe Hall

Who is considered criminal in the US and how has this changed? We examine the history of repressive policies aimed at poor, working-class, and marginalized communities—especially people of color—with regard to genocide, slavery, and social control. Discussion includes jailing protestors and the growth of the prison industry, prison construction, privatization, and prison labor.

AiR Workshop IV: Approaches to Activism: Making the Road by Walking

Thursday, March 5, 2015, 3:30-5:30 pm
205 Monroe Hall

Activism and organizing are how we shift the balance of power to change policy, culture, and structures. Seasoned community organizers will discuss challenges and strategies including working in coalition across identity, mobilizing people experiencing oppression, being responsible allies across privilege, and navigating for long-term transformation while achieving shorter-term victories.

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Meet the Class of 2014

This year’s graduates pose with the books they received as graduation gifts from the Women’s & Gender Studies faculty. Check our Student Projects page to read their manifesto, written after studying the history of feminist manifestos in their senior capstone course this quarter.

Books make the best presents!

Left to right, back row: Aleisha Larsen, Jonathan 'Schmidty' Schmidt, Clover Thompson, Will Stott, Tyler Peek, Taylor Luschei; Middle: Erika Miller, Molly Fitzpatrick; Bottom: Janell Jordan, Nancy Muñoz, Fira Hedlund. Not pictured: Rashaena (Rae Ray) Weston

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Women’s & Gender Studies Blog!!

Feeling like you need to stay up-to-date on current feminist issues?

Check out our blog!!

Women’s & Gender Studies students have done an amazing job posting – Nice Work everyone!

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