From: Tess Benser
Date: April 30, 2021
Subject: Center For Women & Gender Equity April Newsletter

Center for Women & Gender Equity in purple and gold text.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Content Warning: The Center for Women & Gender Equity supports the course of healing each individual takes after having experienced harm, and we are committed to creating a safe virtual space where our readers feel supported. Please note that the following message is regarding Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and it will contain references to , we will be discussing topics around consent which may include conversations around sexual violence/harm, intimiate partner/dating/relationship violence/harm, gender based violence/harm, misogyny, racism, racist violence/harm, examples of white supremacist violence, homophobia, biphobia, anti-LGBTQIA+ harm, and transphobia or anti-trans violence/harm. We understand that engaging with this content can be potentially triggering and/or activating for our audience members, so we invite you to take care of yourself by scrolling past this section or exiting out of this email as needed to honor your feelings around such topics.

Today is April 30th, the last day of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. SAAM is a time to raise awareness of the prevalence of sexual violence and harm, and it is also a time to reaffirm efforts to stop sexual violence and harm. Preventing sexual violence can take many forms: from engaging in training on how to be an active bystander, to examining media and culture to see how sexual violence is portrayed and the myths that surround it, to pursuing comprehensive sex education, and doing self reflective work on your own understanding of consent, boundaries, and relationships. But these are merely the tip of the iceberg, because sexual violence is all too common and it is connected to other systems of oppression. There is no one thing that needs to be done to stop sexual violence because there causes of it are interlocking systems of oppression that are deeply rooted in our society.  In order to end sexual violence, we must uproot systems of racial and gender oppression, homophobia and transphobia, ableism, and classism. 

There have been many great strides made this year to raise awareness of sexual violence as well as prevent it. 

Here as some highlights: 

  • CW&GE hosted our annual Clothesline Project in Sykes Student Union.
  • Our Peer Educator led podcast, Exploring Entanglements, continued with an episode exploring sexual geographies. 
  • WCU It's On Us hosted their spring Week of Action, which included two IN PERSON events (our first since March 2020) to encourage folks to sign the It's On Us pledge, mask up, and play a game of Sexy Bingo. 
  • Finally, our Peer Educator led series, Looking Through the Lens, debuted on IGTV to discuss media portrayal of sexual violence through the HBO limited series, I May Destroy You. 

Outside of West Chester we saw some other moves toward dismantling oppression, including: 

As we acknowledge and honor all of the great work that has taken place in this month and all year, I want to take a moment to reflect on the work still to be done. There have been strides toward justice and liberation, but have also been continued examples of pervasive oppression across the U.S. 

As we continue to work toward a future free from sexual violence and all forms of oppression, I invite you to take time to rest and recover. Social change work requires all of us. Preventing violence requires all of us. Ending oppression requires everyone, and that work cannot happen without time for rest. 

Take good care, and best of luck for the rest of your semester. 

Tess Benser
Assistant Director

Purple graphic for upcoming events


Become a Peer Mentor!

Wednesday, March 31 at 1:00pm
to Friday, April 30 at 11:00pm
Private Location (rsvp to display)
Add to Google Cal,Outlook,Yahoo,iCal

Become a Peer Mentor!
Dowdy Multicultural Center Peer Mentoring Program 2021-2022
Are you interested in:
• Mentoring first-year Students of Color?
• Serving as role model?
• Supporting students in finding resources and connections?
Voluntary commitment of 11 hours/month for the academic year
Apply today: For application and details go to:
Application Deadline: Friday, April 30

Information Sessions
Wednesday, April 14 | 12:30pm-1pm
Friday, April 23 | 1:30pm-2pm
Thursday, April 29 | 11:30am-12pm
Meeting ID: 465 570 6479 | Passcode: info21
For Questions: email or call (910)436-3273



COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic

Saturday, May 1
8:00am - 1:00pm
Student Recreation Center, 275 N Campus Drive, West Chester, PA 19383, United States
Add to Google Cal,Outlook,Yahoo,iCal

COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic



Don't Miss Your Shot: Navigating Information & Misinformation Regarding the COVID-19 Vaccines

Thursday, May 6
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Private Location (rsvp to display)
Add to Google Cal,Outlook,Yahoo,iCal

Join us for a lunch presentation to learn about the COVID-19 vaccine, how to navigate the influx of information in order to make an informed decision about vaccination, and have your questions about the vaccine answered. The first 15 students to register for the presentation by Monday, May 3rd will receive a snack pack. Students residing more than 30 miles from campus will receive them via mail.

About the Presenter: Dr. Kishana Taylor is a virologist,
co-founder of the Black Microbiologist Association, and current postdoctoral fellow at Carnegie Mellon University working on a National Science Foundation grant examining the role of monocytes and macrophages in SARS-COV2 infection and
subsequent development of COVID-19.
Meeting ID: 953 1062 3504
Passcode: WELLNESS



CTQA's Lavender Graduation

Thursday, May 6
3:30pm - 5:00pm
Private Location (rsvp to display)
Add to Google Cal,Outlook,Yahoo,iCal

Join the Center for Trans and Queer Advocacy in celebrating our trans and queer graduates. Lavender Graduation is a special ceremony for LGBTQIA+ graduating undergraduate and graduate students to acknowledge their achievements, contributions, and distinctive experiences at West Chester University.



APIDA Student Space

Thursday, May 6
4:00pm - 5:00pm
Private Location (rsvp to display)
Add to Google Cal,Outlook,Yahoo,iCal

This is open for a community of students who self-identify as Asian Pacific Islander Desi American to connect with one another.


Spring 2021 Virtual Kente Graduation Celebration - Thursday, May 13, 2021 - 7 PM - Streamed via YouTube Live

Join us as we celebrate the Spring 2021 graduates!

Search "Dowdy Multicultural Center WCU" on the day of at the time of the event or subscribe today!

Closed Captioning will be provided.
Teal graphic with Sex Education
Sex Education: Caution: Unrestricted!

Caution: Unrestricted!
is a video series created by Project Heal. It features conversations between Ignacio G Hutía Xeiti Rivera and Aredvi Azad on breaking open sexual stigma and taboos, especially for folks who have experienced sexual violence. This series is meant for adult survivors who are further along in their healing journey and are ready to engage in brutal, and at times sarcastic, truth-telling. 

Topics include conversations about survivors in denial, survivors who enjoy sex "too much," and survivors who enable, and conversations around abortion for folks who become pregnant as the result of sexual violence. 

Please visit for full content warning and descriptions. 
Rams Step Up! Skill Building graphic

Ram Step Up Skill Building: Delay

Sometimes, it is not possible to immediately intervene when a harmful event is occuring. This can happen for many reasons. Perhaps stepping in would be too dangerous for you or the person being harmed. Perhaps it could esclate the situation. Maybe the harmful event happened too quickly for an intervention to happen in the moment. 

Delay is what you can do in those moments. Check out this graphic from Hollaback on how you might practice delay. While the graphic speaks specifically about harrassment, these tips can work for many types of incidents. 

Some suggestions for how you might practice delay: 
  • Ask the person who was harmed or targeted if they are okay. Let them know you witnessed what happened and you're sorry it happened to them. 
  • Offer to accompany them to a new location or sit with them for awhile.
  • Offer them water or a snack if you can. 
  • Affirm how they are feeling. 
  • If you’ve documented the incident, ask them if they want you to send it to them or share it somewhere. 

For additional suggestions and guidance, you can check out this video from the Barnard Center for Research on Women on intervening in the event of racism or transphobia. 

Teal graphic with Advocacy in action

Advocacy in Action: Microaggressions & Microresistance

Check out this article from Faculty Focus about responding to microagressions with microresistence on Zoom. 

The article defines microresistance "as small-scale individual or collaborative efforts that empower targeted people and allies to cope with, respond to, and/or challenge microaggressions with a goal of disrupting systems of oppression as they unfold in everyday life, thereby creating more inclusive institutions."

Here are some examples the article provides on practicing microresistence: 
  • Using the chat function to affirm someome's name or pronouns if they are misgendered or deadnamed. 
  • Attribute credit accurately through chat encouragement. 
  • Direct or private message someone if you notice they were impacted by a microagression and ask if they feel comfortable with you saying something. 
  • Raise your hand or speak aloud to acknowledge a microaggression in the space. 

Want to learn more strategies for microresistence? Check out this article on microresistence in the classroom. 
Purple graphic with gold accents for WCU Faculty & Staff caregiving survey

Caregiving Survey

The President’s Commission on the Status of Women needs your input – all faculty and staff parents and caregivers are invited to complete the WCU Employee Parenting and Caregiving survey any time between April 19 – May 14. To participate, click this link. Parents and Caregivers include employees who care for children, elderly, or individuals with physical, mental, emotional, cognitive, behavioral, or developmental challenges; we want all perspectives! Confidential data gathered through the survey will inform support services and policies to meet caregivers’ needs. Questions about the survey? Contact IRB Approval #IRB-FY2021-106

Please note that this survey is only for current WCU faculty and staff. For student parents and caregivers, please check out this student survey

Teal graphic with Spring Program Videos

Program Videos:

Spring 2021 has been a busy time for the Center for Women & Gender Equity. Missed one of our awesome programs? Never fear: many of our Spring 2021 programs have been recorded and archived for you to go back and watch anytime. 


Center for Women & Gender Equity Bookclub

Breakthrough: How Feminists Changed Therapy

Looking Through the Lens

On YouTube: 

2021 Gender Justice Conference 

EqualiTea Speaker: Anti-Rape Activism at the Crossroads of Gender and Racial Justice

Making Social Media Work for Your Job & Internship Search

© Copyright 2021 West Chester University. All rights reserved.
This email was sent to Email. To ensure that you continue receiving our emails, please add us to your address book or safe list.

Thanks for this email!