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Women's Center Newsletter

The goal of the Women's Center Newsletter is to provide you with timely updates on information, support resources, and programs that are available to help support you in both your professional and personal life.  Get the newsletters directly in your inbox by subscribing below. You can also find the previous editions linked here after each publication. 

       

Did you know we have a podcast? Gen(der) Ed is a bi-weekly podcast that hosts conversations that explore the intersection of gender and other identities, and cover topics on leadership, equity, wellbeing, and healthy relationships.

The Women's Center recognizes that our current staff represents a limited perspective and set of lived experiences on gendered issues. With this podcast, we strive to highlight and promote the diverse backgrounds, accomplishments, and needs of the women in our community. Join us as we host guests from the Virginia Tech community to discuss these important topics. 

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In partnership with Hokie Wellness, VT Dining, Schiffert Health Center, Cook Counseling, Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, Hokie Fuel, and more, we are celebrating Body Matters Week from April 5th - 9th.

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April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). Join us as we recognize SAAM in our community and promote conversations about consent in our interactions in person and online. Look for us tabling on campus with giveaways and resources. Follow us Instagram @vtwomensctr to find out where we are each week!

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Women's Month 2021 is coming to an end. There have been so many incredible events all month long. Next week we will be wrapping up the month with your Keynote event, Sonya Renee Taylor.

Sonya Renee Taylor is the Founder and Radical Executive Officer of The Body is Not An Apology, a digital media and education company promoting radical self-love and body empowerment as the foundational tool for social justice and global transformation. Sonya’s work as a highly sought-after award-winning Performance Poet, activist, and transformational leader continues to have global reach. Sonya is a former National and International poetry slam champion, author of two books, including The Body is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love educator and thought leader. Her book, The Body Is Not an Apology, offers radical self-love as the balm to heal the wounds inflicted by these violent systems.

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The Clothesline Project, an effort to raise awareness of gender-based violence, is a visual testimony to the shattering effect of violence and the impact it has on society. Survivors of violence -- and friends and families of victims -- create shirts emblazoned with direct messages and strong illustrations. The shirts demonstrate the pain and suffering of the survivors, aid in their healing process, and celebrate their strength and courage to overcome the past. The shirts are hung side by side on a clothesline, as though the survivors were standing there themselves, shoulder to shoulder, bearing witness to the violence committed on a daily basis.

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Women's History Month is in full swing! Make sure to check out our website to see all of the events that are happening each week.

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Women's History Month is officially here! Make sure to check out our website to see all of the events that are happening each week. There are several programming opportunities that you can access the entire month like the Clothesline Project T-Shirt Pickup, the Newman Libraries in person and digital display Exploring The 100th Anniversary of the Admission of Women, and the Trailblazer episode on our Gen(der) Ed podcast.

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In March, the Women's Month calendar spotlights contributions and accomplishments of the past and present and envision a future of possibilities. The month's theme, Trailblazers: Women Making History, recognizes the women who led movements, broke down barriers, and began dismantling systems of oppression. We celebrate those who have and those who continue to blaze trails of opportunity and advancement for all who identify as woman and girl.

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Soma is Greek for ‘body.’ We all have one, but how conscious are we of our mind’s relationship with our body and our body’s relationship with our mind and our spirit? Strengthening the mind-body connection is the primary objective of somatic-oriented mental health practices in the U.S. including Somatic Experiencing and somatic psychotherapy. Though somatic-based mental health treatment is relatively new in the settler-colonial U.S., body-oriented healing and mental health practices are a global wisdom practiced across cultures in some way, shape and form.

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All month long on our social media platforms, we are featuring and celebrating Black women who have changed history. Follow us on InstagramFacebook, or Twitter to learn more about some of these incredible Black women.

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In honor and celebration of Black History Month, the Women’s Center will be gathering and sharing stories of achievement and joy from the Black women* in our community. During the entire month of February, we will be featuring stories shared with us on our podcast, Gen(der) Ed. Stories should be no longer than 5 minutes in length with no background noise. In order to capture the clearest and best audio, we strongly encourage you to use headphones (they do not have to be fancy or professional) and to record in a quiet space.

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Caregiver Connections are back this semester. These sessions are an opportunity for VT employees who are caregivers of children, teens, aging parents and/or family members to connect with one another around managing the demands of working and caregiving during these times of COVID-19 disruption. These are intended to be open discussions to share current information and resources, as well as to support one another.

Click below for dates, times, and zoom links. Please direct questions to Christine Dennis Smith with the Women’s Center.

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January is National Stalking Awareness Month. Stalking is a serious, prevalent, and dangerous crime. While awareness and public discussion of intimate partner violence and sexual assault have increased in recent years, stalking remains frequently misunderstood and rarely discussed.

It is essential for victims, survivors, service providers, and the criminal justice system to be able to identify and name stalking. Stalking is a unique crime that calls for particularized safety planning, investigation, charging, and prosecution, as well as the development and implementation of policies and protocols to ensure an effective response.

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Welcome back and happy New Year. While we are hoping 2021 looks a lot different, we will be here to support you through whatever this year brings. We will continue to offer programming on topics of leadership, equity, and wellbeing, as well as provide virtual support and advocacy services to those who have experienced gender-based violence.

In order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our community, all support and advocacy services will be offered virtually via Zoom. To set up an appointment with one of our advocates, send us an email at WCsupport@vt.edu or give us a call Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm at 540-231-7806.

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Planning is underway for the annual Women’s Month celebration at Virginia Tech. In March 2021, the Women's Month calendar of events will spotlight contributions and accomplishments of past and present trailblazers and envision a future of possibilities.

Women’s Month recognizes, affirms, and showcases the achievements, concerns, and diversity of women. A feminist perspective – one that encourages and advances women of all races, political affiliations, national origins, religions, ages, abilities, sexual orientations, gender identities, and income levels – underlies all our programming. The annual event occurs in March in conjunction with the National Women’s History Month. 

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The Women's Center at Virginia Tech has contracted with Chimi Boyd-Keyes to conduct an external review of our department and help facilitate our strategic planning initiatives specifically related to intersectional and anti-oppressive approaches to achieving our mission. Our mission is to promote a campus community that is safe, equitable, inclusive and support for women and that celebrates their experiences, achievements and diversity.

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VT Women Connect is hosting a lunch time networking session to bring women colleagues from across the Virginia Tech community together virtually. On December 3rd from 12:00p.m. to 1:00p.m., VT Women Connect will be offering a variety of break-out sessions. Some of the sessions include Holiday Magic from Stage & Screen, Wellness and Fitness, Childcare, and more! 

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Between the election happening yesterday, the holidays right around the corner, the general exhaustion from this semester, and the ongoing pandemic, we are emotionally exhausted right now! If you are experiencing similar feelings, check out some of the university wellbeing resources below.

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With the election less than a week away, we want to make sure you have all the information and resources you need to help you cast your vote.

While this election is vastly different from other elections in many ways, the biggest change will be that it is highly likely that we won't know who our next President Elect will be until late next week. Even though many states have become counting absentee ballots, there will likely be a delay in the results. Some experts are saying that a final count won't be available until Friday, November 6th.

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Between managing your job, caregiving responsibilities, and the stress of 2020, it probably feels like there is no time left in the day to take care of yourself. We know that our previous self-care routines may be long gone, but we are here to encourage you to find a new wellbeing practice that works for you now.

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In partnership with the Graduate School and Graduate School Assembly, we will be hosting the 7th Annual Little Hokie Hand Me Down on November 11th and 12th in Graduate Life Center Multi-Purpose Room. This program is designed to benefit Virginia Tech graduate students and families. We will be collecting unused/gently used children's items for parents and children ages 0 to 10.

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Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we have been inviting conversation through various open office hours sessions, town hall meetings, and other group meetings. One theme that has consistently come through in these conversations is that caregiving responsibilities are immensely challenging we juggle work and family responsibilities. While we have heard quite a number of impactful stories, well-defined problems, and some creative solutions in these conversations, it is clear that additional, representative data from across the university will help our understanding of the challenges being faced, and better consider what may be helpful solutions or support.

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For the past 15 years, the Women’s Center, AdvanceVT, the Graduate School, the Women’s and Gender Studies program, and the VT Women’s Alliance and Caucus have hosted a Welcome Reception for New Women Colleagues. This annual tradition is an informal opportunity for new women faculty, staff and graduate students at VT to gather as a community, begin forging connections and networks, and to share resource information, and more.

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The Women's Center and VT Engage: The Center for Leadership and Service Learning, are hosting two events via Zoom next Tuesday, September 22nd for National Voter Registration Day.

Access to Activism: Women and the Right to Vote | 4:00pm - 5:15pm

A teach-in focused on a historical and contemporary view of women’s suffrage in the U.S. Panelists will discuss how grassroots organizing and women of color helped shape the movement as well as highlighting the barriers that marginalized communities face when casting their vote. 

Read the full newsletter here.

To ensure the safety and wellbeing of our community members, we will be hosting only virtual programs this semester. Since we are unable to create equitable programming for some of our in person offerings, we have developed some new ways to engage with the Women's Center this semester.

Read the full newsletter here.

The Women’s Center recognizes the unprecedented challenges that are facing caregivers during the pandemic.  Faculty, staff and student caregivers are under incredible amounts of stress as we try to juggle our caregiving responsibilities with our work and school responsibilities. 

Read the full newsletter here.

Welcome back Hokies!

While engaging with us will look different this semester, we are still here to support you during this time. The Women's Center is available virtually Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm. To schedule an appointment or set up a meeting, please contact us via email or call the Center at 540-231-7806.

Read the full newsletter here

As we respond to the ongoing acts of racism amid a global pandemic, conversations around allyship have come to the forefront. Each of us can use our voice, our influence, our platform and our power to make a difference. This week we are sharing resources so support those looking to be a better ally.

Read the full newsletter here.

Globally, we are all experiencing varying degrees of collective trauma due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Collective trauma is when a group of people experiences a shared traumatic event.

However, other traumatic events are continuing to occur in addition to the pandemic. These events can affect individuals through firsthand experiences, but can also have reactions through bystanders, friends, relatives or rescue workers.

Read the full newsletter here.

Being a parent or guardian always comes with its challenges, but during quarantine, it has gotten much more complicated. You may still be in the midst of establishing a routine flow to your day, and summer is right around the corner. We have heard concerns from many working parents who are concerned about the summer months and what will happen if a return to the workplace happens while kids are still out of school and daycare.

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During the stress and uncertainty of this pandemic, it is important to take time to reflect and have gratitude for even the smallest things in our lives. ⁠

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Now, more than ever, self-care is essential to staying healthy and surviving this pandemic. Especially as women, we often have additional roles outside of our paying job like housekeeper, teacher, grocery shopper, and more. However it is important to remember that if we don't take care of our self first, we won't be able to show up and care for our family at 100%.

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The mission of the Women's Center is to promote a Virginia Tech community that is safe, equitable, and supportive for women and that celebrates their experiences, achievements, and diversity.

During this time, the Women’s Center at Virginia Tech remains dedicated to meeting the needs of all Virginia Tech enrolled students, faculty and staff who have been impacted by gender-based violence and are in need of support. In an effort to protect the health and safety of the Virginia Tech community, the Women’s Center will provide advocacy and support services remotely through Zoom and by telephone. 

Read the full newsletter here.