Please Join WLA for Feminism and Womanism Week

The Women’s Law Association is hosting our inaugural fall conference, Feminism and Womanism Week, this Wednesday, October 18, 2017 – Friday, October 20, 2017. We kicked off our week with the Feminist Formal last Friday, October 13, 2017, which was completely sold out and a huge success. We have partnered with a number of affinity groups on campus, including Lambda, BLSA, APALSA, MELSA, SALSA, and La Alianza, all of whom are serving as co-sponsors for the conference.

These panels aren’t just for women. “This conference is as much for women that have been marginalized because of their gender or racial identity as it is for allies – whether it’s men being allies for women or men and white women being allies for women of color,” said Paavani Garg ’18, president of WLA. “The conference also highlights our new outreach and partnership efforts this year, which are focused on creating spaces for minority women as well as including men in the dialogue.”

Our programming this week will include a panel on Wednesday, October 18 called “Why We Need Intersectionality.” It will feature four accomplished women of color, including Professor Khiara Bridges, Mia Yamamoto, Sheena Wadhawan, and Professor Soha Bayoumi. The panel will be moderated by Sarah Vasquez Lightstone, Harvard Law Class of 2019. Topics of discussion will include how we can raise awareness of intersectional issues, how men and white women can be allies for women of color, and how intersectionality impacts one’s career and advancement.

On Thursday afternoon, we will be hosting “Hey You, Ask a Feminist!” in Belinda Hall. This event will involve informal conversation to bust myths surrounding feminism and discuss how the womanist movement can work in tandem with feminism. During that session, we will be handing out free t-shirts that say “This is What a Feminist Looks Like” and “This is What a Womanist Looks Like,” and we will have a photo booth for individuals to take photos in the shirts.

On Thursday evening, we will have a reception in the Student Orgs Room for students, alumni, and professors. The reception will include a taco bar, and is meant to be an opportunity for students to continue the dialogue and interact with professors and alums about feminism and womanism in an informal setting.

Finally, we will finish the week with a second panel on Friday, October 20 called “Men as Gender Allies.” This panel will include four speakers: Ambassador Swanee Hunt, Alex Trouteaud, Gaurav Garg, and Professor Katina Sawyer. The panel will be moderated by Isabel Finley, Harvard Law Class of 2019. Panel topics will include how we can bring men into conversations surrounding gender equity, how men can help to raise awareness of and prevent sexual assault and harassment, and how men can serve as proactive allies and members of the feminist and womanist movements.

We hope you can join us at these events this week.

Jillian Goodman is a 2L. She is the conference director for the Harvard Women's Law Association.

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