Women's Center

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News From the Women's Center - April 2012

Women's History Month kept us busy last month. We hope that you continue to participate as we move on to Sexual Assault Awareness Month for April!

Women's History Month in Review


March was full of events raising awareness about women's education and women's empowerment. On March 13th, we hosted a viewing of the documentary, "MissRepresentation," followed by a panel discussion with Dr. Kristin Moran (Communications), Dr. Noelle Norton (Political Science), and Dr. Tom Reifer (Sociology). The event invited participants to reflect upon and discuss ways to empower girls and women to seek positions of power within the media industry and politics. To learn more about the movement, visit missrepresentation.org.

missrep1 missrep4


Body Image in the Media

As part of our High School Outreach Program, girls from High Tech High School International joined USD women in exploring the influence media has on our perceptions of body image and sexuality.

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

2011 Woman of Impact winner, Maria Estrada joined friends of the Center for dinner and discussion about the role of empowerment within education. Ms. Estrada shared her personal story of empowerment through education. Participants then discussed ways to empower themselves and others. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner is an event hosted throughout the year where participants can explore gender-related issues through informal discussion.

maria estrada
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner guests and amazing woman and guest speaker Maria Estrada.


Vagina Monologues

Over 50 people participated in discussion and attended the performance at a local theatre this year.

vagina monologues ali
vagina monologues

Thank you for attending and supporting these events! See you next March!

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

The goal of Sexual Assault Awarenss is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and the negative impact it has on individuals and the community as a whole.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)is a nationally recognized month of awareness which started with organized protests in the late 1970s called Take Back the Night in England. These rallies spread to the United States quickly. In the 1980s, there was a high interest in organizing more events to raise awareness about sexual assault. This culminated in the naming of a Sexual Assalut Awareness Week by the National Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NCASA) in the late 1980s in April. Between the 1990s and 2000, April became the designated month in which groups organized events. Eventually, SAAM was first observed nationally in April 2001.

This month, the Women's Center is setting aside the week of April 16 to April 20 in celebration of Sexual Assault Awareness. During Sexual Assault Awareness Week (SAAW), we will be hosting and participating in several events in which we learn more about how these acts of violence occur, how to stop them from occuring, and honor and give support to survivors of sexual assault.

Please join us in the fight against sexual assault. These traumatic incidents can be stopped if we work together to learn and take every possible step to stay safe.

Check up on upcoming events at our SAAW homepage!


Take Back the Night






by Josie Gomez, Programmer


“Mother, daughter, sister, friend. Help make the night safe

This is one of many chants that will be heard on the night of
April 16th, 2012 as women and men on USD’s campus partake in the
annual Take Back the Night march.

Take Back the Night happens around the world. Women and men are standing up and speaking out against sexual violence. This night is known internationally as a visible way to take a stance against violence against women. It began because of the anxiety women face walking alone at night and continues because women, to this day, do not feel safe walking alone at night. Over the last thirty years in the U.S. Take Back the Night has focused on ending sexual violence in every form. Thousands of colleges, universities, and women’s centers sponsor events all over the United States every year.  Although voices of women all over the country and even the world are shattering the silence surrounding sexual violence against women, there is still a long way to go. Sexual violence is in our movies, our music, and the daily news where we hear descriptions of more abuse, violence, and rape. The mission to end sexual violence for everyone is a beacon of hope for all people who have been affected by violence. We have come a long way, but our march is far from over.

This information is courtesy of www.takebackthenight.org
For more information about Take Back the Night and Sexual Assault
Awareness Week at USD, please visit the Women’s Center in SLP 420 or online at www.sandiego.edu/womenscenter


Equal Pay Day

by Alyssa Knauer, Office Manager

This year, Equal Pay Day falls on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. This day represents, on average, the amount of days into 2012 that women have to work in order to make what thier male counterparts made in 2011. On average, women earn $.077 for each $1.00 men earn, and interestingly enough, this discrepancy only make nominal strides each year. Beyone this, women of color statistically earn less than this. In 2010, African American women earned 67.7%, Latinas earned 58.7%, and Asian Americans earned 90% of all men's earnings in 2009.

While many are aware that this inequality exists, the root of the problem is often up for debate. Beyond sexism and our ingrained social system, small discrepancies in starting salaries widen over time and fail to close the gap. I recently learned in the "Start Smart Salary Negotiation Workshop," held last December, that women are typically less likely than men to negotiate thier salary. It is critical that women graduating from college understand the importance of negotiating a starting salary and recognize that the number will follow them throughout thier career. Bonuses, promotions, and future salaries are almost always a percentage of one's starting salary.

However, it is not only the responsibility of women to narrow the gap. The majority of political and business leaders are men, and these men must empower and support equality with thier female counterparts as well. It is essential that policy creates a more equal playing field, with laws that encourage a women to seek positions of leadership while also maintaining other responbilities. It is a fight for everyone, but as the opportunities are large, the future is bright!

"...to be nobody-but-myself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make me everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting." - e.e. cummings

In this newsletter...

Women's History Month in Review

  • MissRepresentation
  • High Schoolers Explore Body Image in the Media
  • Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
  • The Vagina Monologues

Sexual Assault Awareness Week

Take Back the Night

Equal Pay Day

Dr. Gail Dines: "Racy Sex, Sexy Racism"

Last month, the author of Pornland: How Porn has Highjacked our Sexuality and acclaimed speaker and acivist Gail Dines visited our campus to discuss the history and modern-day prevelance of racist images in the media.

gail dinesIf you missed the talk, it's not too late to learn more. Rent Dr. Dine's book Pornland in the Women's Center library today!

The 2012 Forum Report from "55:45" is out!

The 2012 Forum Report capturing the themes and lessons from the “55:45 Forum on the Status of Women at USD” is available here and on the website.

5545Thanks again for participating in our forum!

Get Involved with Sexual Assault Awareness Week!

Here are some of the exciting things happening during SAAW!

  • Make a t-shirt for the Clothesline Project in the Women's Center on Thu 12. Come in at any time and create a t-shirt that sends a message against sexual violence!
  • Check out the SLP Exhibit Hall to see "She said 'No.' I listened" Photo Exhibit where USD's very own men were photographed with thier own messages in support of women and ending sexual violence. Mon 16- Fri 20.
  • Hear stories and support the survivors of sexual assault during the Take Back the Night Vigil and Rally on Thu 19 at 7pm in front of the UC.

Check the website and our media for regular updates!

Apply to be on the Women's Center Leadership Council for Next Year!



If you are interested in being more involved at the Women’s Center next year, visit our web site next week for information and application materials for the Women’s Center Leadership Council

Under the guidance of the Director and Graduate Assistant of the Women’s Center, the six Leadership Council Representatives will help direct the implementation of the Center’s strategic plan.  Council positions are a year-long commitment, meeting bi-weekly in order to develop, implement, and assess actions steps addressing the Women’s Center’s six core strategies: Community, Education, Leadership Development, Safety, Social Justice, and Wellness/Health/Counseling.