Feminist Friday empowers women to fight for what they believe in through activism

Caelin Mills

Kent State’s Women’s Center hosted the second Feminist Friday event of the semester at the Williamson House, which focused on “Activism: From Passion to Purpose.”

Graduate student Brianna Alpaugh explained the importance of the monthly discussions.

“Everyone can come in from the Kent State community and join in enriching conversation about different issues that we’re facing in today’s society,” Alpaugh said.

Friday’s event centered on activism and the ways women can get involved and take action in what they believe in.

“We’re talking about what they’re having a hard time with currently, relating to activism,” Alpaugh said. “Anything they’re frustrated with, which could be family and friends, talking to them about certain things, especially in the post-election climate that we’re in right now.” 

Suzanne Holt, professor of women’s studies, facilitated the event with words of guidance.

“We all lived through a pretty traumatic year. I think we’re looking around thinking, ‘where are we?’ We’re finding ourselves in a place where we don’t know who the enemy is,” Holt said.

She called for women to stand together and be advocates for what they believe in.

“We need each other, like it or not. The spirit, the direction, the possible liberation of feminism was always together,” Holt said. “There’s very little I personally can do to change the world but together we could.”

Ellen Euclide, diversity research analyst for the university’s Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, used a quote from social activist Dorothy Day to explain the importance of unity: “I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.”

“Sometimes when we get caught up in distancing ourselves from people, we waste a lot of energy and we lose a lot of potential friends,” Euclide said. “I think, if we just respect the dignity of individual people because they are people, we understand that people are doing the best with what they’ve got.”

Euclide’s speech resonated with Holly Burdick, a public health graduate student.

“I took away that I need to start respecting and understanding people’s opinions that, before now, I thought were just bad and wrong, and now I know I need to be able to ask them where they’re coming from and why they feel the way they feel, so that we can come to a resolution,” Burdick said.

The event aimed to heal some of the tension and division after the election.

“I think that if we could have meetings like we had today, where people are explaining why they feel like they’re for (President) Donald Trump, and why people feel like they’re against … Trump,” Burdick said, “then we can come to a middle ground.”

Caelin Mills is the student politics reporter, contact her at [email protected].