Registration open for 1st ‘Womxn Up’

Logan Raschke, Managing Editor

Students can register for free to attend Eastern’s first Womxn Up conference, an educational and engaging series of conversations about woman empowerment.

The conference is split into three main parts: an opening speech, separate “break out” sessions and a closing speech.

Crystal Brown, assistant director of the Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteerism, said communication studies professor Marita Gronnvoll will discuss women empowerment in the context of “taking up space” during the opening speech.

“The topic is about taking up space because if you think of society today, at lot of times it’s that impression of women don’t stand up, there’s that glass ceiling, they’re told to just be quiet and take a back seat, so whatever that means to you and how you identify with taking up space — being visible, having a voice — we wanted to have our conversation to kick it off,” Brown said.

For the closing speech near the end of the conference, Brown said Carole Collins Ayanlaja, professor of educational leadership, will close out the conference with a speech on feminism and leadership.

In between the opening and closing talks, attendees will disperse in a number of “break out” sessions that discuss different topics in women empowerment.

The sessions include:

• Fueling the female body

• Building the sisterhood

• Running for office

• Women of color

• Intersectionality

• Sexual/vaginal health 

• Negative self-talk

• Student leadership panel

Sophie Cieslicki, graduate assistant for the office, said besides providing an education on woman empowerment to students, the purpose of the conference is to give women a sense of community.

Anyone is free to participate in the conference; Brown and Cieslicki both stressed the importance of using the “x” in “Womxn Up” to explain that women are also people who identify as such, and they are welcome into a community of women.

Cieslicki said being inclusive is important because with other woman empowerment events in the country, some minority groups get alienated.

“Those minority populations are either overlooked or disregarded, so it’s important that we do recognize that they do have all the same issues as all women and include them in this conversation and community,” she said.

The conference is set for March 28 from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m at the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

Students who would like to attend the Womxn Up conference can register for free by visiting the Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteerism’s page on Eastern’s website and clicking on the “Womxn Up” tab.

The Womxn Up conference is organized by The Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteerism, and it is sponsored by the Panhellenic Council and the Sexual Assault Counseling and Information Services.

Logan Raschke can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]