Celebrating the Herstory of the Women’s Movement

Queer Feminism

Originally posted on the Fenway Focus blog.

In commemoration of Women’s History Month, Fenway Health’s Women’s Health Team, the Lesbians of Color Symposium Collective, Flashback Sunday: Elders of Color, Older Lesbians Organizing for Change, and Rally presented a screening of A Moment in Her Story: Stories from the Boston Women’s Movement. Directed by Catherine Russo, the film provides an exploration of major challenges faced by the Second Wave Women’s Movement Boston activists of the late 60s and early 70s. Through 22 interviews with leaders of the movement, the movie documented activists advocating for issues surrounding domestic violence, reproductive health, local politics, and more. Much like today, feminist activists who possessed multiple marginalized identities, such as LGBTQ, racial minority, and working class women, faced resistance in the mainstream movement and created their own feminist subgroups to embrace their diversity.

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Event Puts Spotlight On Health Care Needs Of LGBTQ Women Of Color

Panel Photo
(l-r) Jessica Flaherty, Jennease Hyatt, Iman Berrahou, Madina Agenor, and Tanekwah Hinds.

Originally posted on the Fenway Focus blog.

On Saturday, February 11, the Fenway Women’s Health Team hosted the event “Our History: HIV and Queer Women of Color” in collaboration with Lesbians of Color Symposium, Boston Black Pride, and The Fenway Institute. The event featured a screening of the film, Bumming Cigarettes, a panel of community health advocates, and a presentation by researchers – all of which centered around the voices of queer women of color in sexual health. Through the film, Tiona McClodden, an award-winning black lesbian filmmaker, explores a brief and intimate meeting between a young black lesbian woman in the process of taking an HIV test and a middle-aged black gay HIV-positive man. The panel that followed the film screening included individuals from diverse backgrounds in the HIV and sexual health fields: Iman Berrahou, Researcher and Harvard Medical School Student; Madina Agenor, Assistant Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Jessica Flaherty, Manager of HIV/AIDS Prevention Programs at The Fenway Institute; and Jennease Hyatt, HIV/AIDS Regional Resource Consultant at the Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services.

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Equal Pay Day

Equal Pay

If you’ve been glued to your favorite feminist blogs and outlets, then you know that Tuesday, April 12 was Equal Pay Day. This represents the day that women’s earnings catch up to men’s earnings. Well, for white women. White women are paid 78%, that is 78¢ to a $1, of man’s salary, according to the American Association of University Women (AAUW). The wage gap increases for women of color as African Americans (63%), Latinas (54%), and American Indians and Alaska Natives (59%) earn disproportionately less than white men. For Asian American women (90%), it is important to note their diversity as various ethnicities face bigger wage gaps than white women and men of the same ethnicity. Other points of intersectionality increase the wage disparity as well. As women get older and gain more advanced degrees, the wage gap increases in comparison to their male counterparts. Not to mention gendered earnings differ by state. Let’s not forget that the gender wage gap also affects trans women, whose gender identities are marginalized in the workplace and overlooked on Equal Pay Day. Continue reading

Favorite Album of 2015: Back to the Woods

Angel Haze

I am tempted to call 2015 the return of Angel Haze, an agender rapper who prefers the pronouns they. But they never left the rap game. Since 2011, the Detroit native rapper has released multiple mixtapes, including King, Reservation, and Classick, where they opened up about suicidal thoughts, sexual abuse, and depression. The critical acclaim of their mixtapes lead to a 2012 recording deal with Universal. After delays with the record label, Angel Haze leaked their debut album Dirty Gold. They also experienced personal losses after ending a high profile relationship, overdosing, and visiting a psych ward twice.

In September, Angel Haze released the mixtape Back to the Woods, inspired by the pain of the past few years and a representative return to their roots. Continue reading

Queer Fashion as a Political Statement: Verge: Queer Fashion Presentation

Verge Fashion Presentation

On October 2, dapperQ, a style site for masculine presenting women and trans-identified individuals, collaborated with bkln boihoodPosture Magazine, and D.Y.D.H Productions to organize the Verge: Queer Fashion Presentation.  The Institute of Contemporary Art hosted the event in Boston as a part of the museum’s First Friday series. The organizations previously joined forces for a similar event in New York City during New York Fashion Week. Online magazines and blogs, such as Huffington Post, Autostraddle, Refinery29, and more, featured the New York event in various articles.

Verge Boston differentiated itself by choosing the medium of a fashion presentation, rather than a traditional fashion show with models walking down a runway, to engage the audience with the designers’ clothes and models. Besides choosing a daring medium, the Verge: Queer Fashion Presentation also embraced queer fashion as a form of political activism. Continue reading

The Second Annual Wellesley Community Diversity Summit

Continue the Conversation

This past summer, while working for the Office of Partnerships for Diversity and Inclusion, my mentor introduced me to the Second Annual Wellesley Community Diversity Summit.  World of Wellesley started the event last year to engage the community in discussions on diversity and inclusion. The president of World of Wellesley, Michelle Chalmers, collaborated with other community organizations, including the Wellesley Police Department, the Council on Aging, and Babson College, to develop the event.

As a black working-class Wellesley College alumna who has lived in the town of Wellesley for four years, this event quickly caught my interest. Continue reading