Women’s Center supports different causes through events

Many events held at the Center for Women’s Studies provide opportunities for students and faculty to show their support for various causes.

Center Coordinator Emily Kelley said the events are not held to get money or recognition, but to bring attention to important world issues.

Here are two events happening this semester students can check out if they are looking to show support for a cause.

The Clothesline Project

Oct. 17-18

This event is held in honor of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Taking place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. primarily in the Guillot University Center Atrium, participants can decorate blank shirts to raise awareness of domestic violence.

The shirts will hang on clothesline around the Memorial Amphitheatre as a display and will be available to take for free after the event ends.

The project started in 1990 on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, but has since gone global.

Kelley said the center stopped having the event for a while, but in 2011, Women’s Center intern Kyle Smith brought it back as his intern semester project.

The Fair Trade Market

Nov. 27 – Dec. 15

Students may sometimes wonder what kind of labor goes into making the items bought in stores.

To give buyers relief from these potential worries, as well as a new place to shop on campus besides the bookstore, a market will be set up in November. Sojourns, a fair trade store in Birmingham, will be in charge of setting it up in time for students returning from Thanksgiving break.

All items are fair trade, meaning workers from Third World countries with a fair and honest wage produced them instead of child labor.

“Many of these items were made by women who are working to pull their families out of extreme poverty, which the World Bank defines as living on less than $1.50 a day,” Kelley said.

Items include purses, jewelry, baskets and ornaments, and range from very low to high in price.

Kelley said she and Lynne Rieff, history professor and center director, brought the event to the center as a way of adding to their Bead for Life store, which raised money for Ugandan families in poverty.

“We wanted to give people an option to purchase items in good conscience,” Kelley said.

Kelley said past customers have done their Christmas shopping in the market. Ten percent of profits go toward the center to support Pride’s Pantry and other center productions, and the rest to Sojourns.

For more information on these events, contact the Center for Women’s Studies.