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Women’s Center sponsors a month of dialogue

The Clothesline Project, set to run the week of Oct. 12, is part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

October is both Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the Women’s Center has a full slate of events planned for the Lehigh community.

"We’re hoping that members from all over the campus community will attend one or more of these events in October," says Rita Jones, director of the Women’s Center. "Our doors are open to everyone. In fact, the more diverse the crowds at these events, the more educational and interesting the conversations become."

This month, Domestic Violence Awareness Month is being observed nationwide for the 22nd year in a row. The month-long observance evolved from the "Day of Unity" that was conceived by the National Coalition against Domestic Violence in October 1981.

"In addition to educating those in attendance, our Domestic Violence Awareness Month events will allow members of the Lehigh community to mourn those who have died because of domestic violence, to celebrate those who have survived, and to connect with those campus members who are dedicated to ending such violence against women," says Jones.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) celebrates its 25th anniversary this month. Since its inception, NBCAM has been at the forefront of promoting awareness of breast cancer issues and has evolved along with the national dialogue on breast cancer. Staff members of the Women’s Center will be holding a pink pumpkin-decorating event near the end of the month.

Here’s a list of the Women’s Center’s events this month with a brief description of each:

"Sex and Sweat: Who’s the Hottest Woman?"
In this brown bag discussion, the second in a six-part female student-athletes series cosponsored by the Women’s Center and Lehigh Athletics Leadership Development, Hailey Coonrad ’09 of the women’s soccer team will lead a conversation about the media’s representation of today’s female athletes. Focusing on the core skills of individual identity development and community development, these discussions offer participants the opportunity to merge course work with experiences on and off the field or court.
Time: 12:10-1 p.m.
Date: Wednesday, Oct. 7
Location: Women’s Center (UC, Room 207)

The Clothesline Project
Begun by a group of women to raise awareness about violence against women, The Clothesline Project remains an important way to bear witness and speak out against violence against women. The Women’s Center offers the campus community the opportunity to learn about the history of the project, to view the many shirts made by members of the campus over the years, and to contribute to the project by making their own shirts (all the materials necessary to make a shirt will be available). Staff members—including members of the "Break the Silence" Sexual Violence Peer Educators, the Women’s Center and Lehigh’s counseling center—are present throughout the week to help with the project and to provide more information about the prevention of domestic violence.
Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Date: The week of Oct. 12
Location: UC Front Lawn

"Take Back the Night" march
The Women’s Center will hold its "Take Back the Night" march to encourage members of the Lehigh community to join in ending violence against all people. The event will honor those who have survived sexual, domestic and other forms of abuse. The march will include the important Speak-Out at Lower Cents to offer witnesses and survivors an opportunity to share their stories, but the 2009 Speak-Out will also include invited speakers and performers (including performances by Lehigh’s Finest step team) as well as food and drink to share. The Women’s Center encourages marchers to make signs or banners to affirm their commitment to ending sexual violence.
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Date: Wednesday, Oct. 14
Location: The march begins at Lookout Point and ends at Lower Cents

"Love Your Body" Day
Thanks to the efforts of Elisa Pennetti ’10, Maureen Shirreff, the North America creative director for Ogilvy and Mather, the advertising agency for Dove, is coming to Lehigh to speak about Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty. The campaign was launched to encourage women to embrace their unique physical, intellectual and emotional qualities. It will be an hour-long session, with 45 minutes for Shirreff’s presentation followed by a 15-minute question and answer period.
Time: 7-8 p.m.
Date: Thursday, Oct. 15
Location: Packard Auditorium

"Holistic Approaches to Empowering Survivors"
One of the student founders of Lehigh University’s Break the Silence, Alex Milspaw, who earned an undergraduate degree from Lehigh in 2007 and then a master’s degree in education from Lehigh in 2009, returns to discuss holistic healing of survivors of sexual assault. Her presentation, cosponsored by ArtsLehigh and the Women’s Center, will include information about the importance of spirituality in the healing process.
Time: 4:15 p.m.
Date: Thursday, Oct. 22
Location: Maginnes 480

"Men Can Stop Rape" training sessions
Members from the nationally-recognized Men Can Stop Rape program will present training courses to staff and faculty during this two-day event. The goal is to create a common ground for the campus and to forge and strengthen the strong ties campus members have to ending violence against women, understanding men’s roles in ending violence, and recognizing the ways in which our campus participates in the construction of masculinity. Spaces are limited. If interested, please contact the Women’s Center.
Time: 9 a.m. -5 p.m.
Dates: Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 24-25

Story by Bill Doherty

Posted on Tuesday, October 06, 2009

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