March 23, 2021

Shining a Light on Violence Against Women and Gender Justice

This week, the Center for Women and Gender Equity (CW&GE) shines a light on violence against women and gender justice with two free programs. Email for additional information.

Clotheslines ProjectThe Clothesline Project

Between March 24 and April 2, The Clothesline Project will be on display in Sykes Student Union. The campus community is invited to stand in solidarity with survivors of interpersonal violence including sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, and stalking. This living arts display was created by members of our community impacted by interpersonal violence. Walk through the display and/or leave a message to honor and support survivors and their loved ones. Information on how to identify and avoid violence and comfort survivors will be available. For more information or to get involved contact the staff at This event will be both in-person in Sykes Student Union and via Instagram here: @wcu_cwge

Gender Justice Conference

On Wednesday March 24 and Thursday, March 25, the center hosts its first-ever Gender Justice Conference in a virtual format. WCU students, faculty, staff, and members of the community are invited to engage with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to disrupt gender oppression. Participants will critically examine social justice issues through an intersectional lens and be encouraged to apply what they learn into their daily lives and in their communities. Click here for more information and Zoom links to individual sessions.

The first 75 WCU students who register and attend the conference, will win a free copy of the Sexual Citizens book that is the subject of the keynote presentation. It is not too late to register to win a book and participate in this important conversation!

Gender Justice ConferenceThe opening session on Wednesday from 12 to 1:30 p.m. features a conversation between CW&GE peer educators and keynote speakers Jennifer S. Hirsch of Columbia University and Shamus Khan of Princeton University. Hirsch and Khan are authors of Sexual Citizens: A Landmark Study of Sex, Power, and Assault on Campus, one of NPR’s best books of 2020. In Sexual Citizens, Hirsch and Khan offer the language of sexual projects, sexual geographies and sexual citizenship to examine the social roots of campus sexual assault. Hirsch and Khan have a remarkable eye for nuance — at every point in their exploration of campus culture they identify the ways complex intersections of race, class, age, gender and sexuality shape experiences with violence. Although the authors’ analysis is of a social ecosystem where experiences of harm are a regular feature, they offer a set of bracing recommendations for everyone in the community — students, families, teachers, policy makers, and higher education leaders — to develop and take collective action to create sustainable social change that disrupts the patterns of harm and violence.

“The Gender Justice Conference is important to me because it has allowed me the opportunity to engage in important conversations not only with my friends but on a whole new platform that’s accessible to all,” says Sasha Alvarado, a WCU student scheduled to graduate in May 2022. “Our hope is to keep the conversation going and bring knowledge to our campus and community on what it means to be a sexual citizen.”

Graduating senior Dana Pfeiffer shares, “I am so grateful to have this opportunity to be a part of the keynote session at our first annual Gender Justice Conference. I think our conversations with the authors of Sexual Citizens has the potential to be impactful for so many students. The authors’ framework has so much power to change the way we all think about sexual assault and the influence the college campus has on those events.”

The Gender Justice Conference includes 10 additional thought-provoking and inspiring sessions featuring WCU students, alumni, faculty, staff, and members of the community. Click here for more information and Zoom links to register for individual sessions. A full conference program can be found at this link. ASL/CART provided; for other access needs, please contact

The Gender Justice Conference will be an annual event. The 2021 Conference is hosted and sponsored by the Center for Women & Gender Equity, the Center for Trans and Queer Advocacy, the Dowdy Multicultural Center, the Center for Civic Engagement and Social Impact, the Office of New Student Programs, the Office of Student Leadership & Involvement, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, WCU Parent and Family Relations, and Her Campus at West Chester.

Visit the Center for Women and Gender Equity website for more events and additional information.

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