Wilaya Viewing 9/22

There have been a lot of great things going around campus lately, and hopefully many of you have noticed that is Hispanic Heritage month. Outside of 252, there is a lovely display highlighting Hispanic Heritage. If you have not seen it, please go check it out.


Today in lieu of our normal round table there will be a viewing of “Wilaya“. It is a drama that is in both Spanish and Arabic, with English subtitles. Come join us for the viewing at 2:30 in room AA 160. There will be a discussion after the film that will be moderated by Prof. Lama Hamdan. Hope to see you guys there! And stay tuned for some more exciting events coming up in the next few weeks.


Our board meeting went very well last week. It was nice to see familiar faces, and to start putting in the groundwork for what should be an exciting year.

Some things to look out for this year, is ongoing series on transgender issues. Please look out for these topics, the last Tuesday of each month. Many people may have questions about what is transgender? Or may just be looking for a safe place to talk, this is the perfect place. We hope to see many faces come out and join us.

We will also be doing Red Flag month again, so please stay tuned for some exciting events associated with that.


Last but not least, please come to 331 today for our weekly round table at 2 pm!

Mad Max Love

Charlize Theron - photo from Vanity Fair

The other week I went to see Mad Max; if I am being honest, I went opening night and squeezed into the very packed theater, and left feeling as though this was one of the better movies I have seen in a very long time (sorry Lego Movie; I still love you though).

I was excited to the see the movie, and had been eagerly waiting to see it since what I will call early April. I was not surprised to see it, but there were/are some grumpy men claiming that the movie is feminist propaganda. To that I say, too bad! But if you are curious, you can read their complaints here.

Charlize Theron was phenomenal, and I was thoroughly in love with her as Furiosa. In fact I just loved the women in this film. They felt real to me, and I became invested in them. These felt like women I could know, not the typical flat characters that I find in other films and books. They were more than glorified eye candy. I won’t give away too much for those who have not seen it, but like my beloved comic Rat Queens, (check that out, if you haven’t) there is something very refreshing about seeing women being portrayed as women. Despite that these women who were slaves and represented these idealized versions of women, there is a fight against this. I think this is why I am so amused by the complaints about this movie being feminist propaganda, or how there are too many women in this film. Their attitudes and the way women are represented in media, is exactly why this film is being celebrated. The women in this film dare to defy being decoration or set pieces within this post apocalyptic world and the film. I would argue that if the women were just sex slaves in the background, there would not be an uproar about how there are too many women in the movie. As a friend of mine jokingly said in response to the complaints, “How dare you ladies go around having thoughts and opinions and things?” He jokes, but it certainly rings true, at least whenever women cross that line into “the man realm.” Gamergate anyone?

More from Vanity Fair

Also, there were some pretty sweet, real explosions that occur in the movie. So go see it!

Hello Giggles also pointed out Tom Hardy, and the amazing faces he makes when people ask him ignorant questions:
Tom Hardy

That face is priceless, and can people please stop asking about why there are women here and there, in supposedly “male” things. Just no.

(images from Vanity Fair)

The Fearless Female and the Freedom to Be Happy

Looking for something to do tomorrow, 3/24?

The Fearless Female and the Freedom to Be Happy

Strong Lives Lead to Happy Lives

Where: AA 196
When: 12:30 -1:30

Where: AA 331
When 2:00 – 3:00

strong life photo!

“College students want many things: fun, friends, success, and an opportunity to find their own way toward a fulfilling, happy life. Dr. Erin Foley teaches students how to build a STRONG LIFE. She delivers messages aimed at helping students go after their opportunities with strength, confidence and an eye toward what’s possible.

Sponsored by the Student life Office, Dr. Foley will be conducting two programs: “The Fearless Female and the Freedom to Be Happy” and “Strong Lives Lead to Happy Lives”. ”

The Women’s Center

It is Women’s History month, and frankly there are not enough days to cover all of the awesome that women have achieved and are achieving, from the likes of Marie Curie to our grandmothers who made things work, even when they appeared to be impossible (my grandmother stayed home with eight kids and they all lived to tell about it and everyone came out mostly unscathed), or a random woman we run into doing something we love that inspires us. Ladies do a lot!


I was thinking about highlighting different women who are doing cool things now, but then I thought about the women I interact with on this campus, and the women that they interact, and that struck more of chord with me. We have some truly gifted women on this campus, who breathe life into everything they do.

Since the beginning of the semester, we have had both the “Women Helping Women” and “Elect Her” on this campus, both of which were wildly successful. Not only did some amazing Faculty and Staff help coordinate the events, but our students came out and made the events memorable. The beginning of this year has been exciting, and is setting a great foundation for more great things to come throughout the year.

Continuing on the momentum, we have a display that near AA 252 for Women’s History Month, which is a collection of books and pieces of art work, that come from the Faculty, Staff, and Students here on the Alexandria Campus.


The books in the in display, have been written by women who have inspired us to participate in groups like the Women’s Center, and share the invaluable knowledge and insight from that these authors have imparted upon us. In turn this has led to classes and projects that have inspired students, and their works of art in the display, inspire us.


We have some powerful, and creative women on this campus, and I look forward to seeing the things they do in the future. I would also like to thank Prof. Martin for putting this together!

A Little Bit of Hope

The news is often filled with terrible, awful things, which to be fair these things are going on in the world, but it gets a little depressing at times.

So today, I just wanted to share some things with you, some people rather, that have turned some rather horrific and unfortunate situations into opportunities to fight for not only themselves, but for others who may not have found their voices yet.

Hope is a powerful thing:

The Hunting Ground

Urusula Burns

Many of us have seen Xerox boxes around campus, holding the precious paper we use for copying and printing, but did you know that the CEO of the Fortune 500 company is Ursula Burns. This week we are looking Ms. Burns in our Black History Month series.

ursula burns
Why you may ask?

We are all aware of the minimal female presence in the STEM fields, and women of color are even rarer. Ms. Burns managed to knock down those hurdles back in the 1980’s by getting a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University(Xerox), when it was even more of a rarity. She is also the first black female CEO of a Fortune 500 Company.

Ms. Burns is an inspiration, and has managed to break both gender and racial barriers in the Stem field. For more on this powerful, check out the video, where she talks about her upbringing, and the challenges she faced to get where she is today.

Elect Her

This past Friday, the AAUW (the American Association of University Women) hosted their Elect Her event on the Alexandria Campus. Their elect her program focuses on training college women to run for student government. We had 50 students turn out for the event!
elect her

We are very proud of our students who participated, and are happy that the AAUW was able to come out and continue empower our students! Thank you for everyone who helped put this together, and to all those who participated.

Check out Elect Her for more information on the program.

Rita Dove

As many of you know, it is now February, really it has been February for about a week, and it came far too quickly for my liking, but what can you do?

February is Black History Month, and typically there is a lot of focus on Civil Rights Leaders, who dedicated blood, sweat, and tears to gain equality. This year, I would like to highlight some of the amazing black folks who have had great achievements or contributions, and also look at some up and coming people who are doing some amazing things. Without the struggles of yesterday, we would not have the path we walk today.

Today we highlight Rita Dove. If you like poetry, you may love her, if you have not seen any of her stuff, please come down to the library and check her stuff out.

rita dove 2010

Why is she so phenomenal? She was a Poet Laureate, as well as a Pulitzer Prize winner. She is also a professor at UVA. She has several collections published including, Mother Love, American Smooth, and a personal favorite of mine, Sonata Mulattica.