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Six Ways to Celebrate Women on International Women’s Day

Credit: Annastaysia Savage 2015

By Maggie Cousin

I grew up in upstate New York keenly aware of gender issues and yet, I had never even heard about International Women’s Day until I lived in China in the early 2000s. I remember being in my early 20s, in my first year in the Peace Corps, teaching at a college in rural Southwest China, and being summoned to an all-faculty assembly. My Chinese was still limited so I wasn’t quite clear on what exactly we were celebrating but I happily accepted the arm full of flowers offered to me. Then, I took my place at the front of the assembly with all of the other women faculty. Over the next hour, it dawned on me. This was a celebration - a celebration filled with songs, poems, and speeches about the power of women and how we should be lifted up and revered. I did not understand many of the words that day, but I absolutely understood the spirit. Later, I asked many questions of my students and faculty peers about...

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The Influence of Inherited Racism

by Dana Mariani-Lada

People can be in situations, not actively chosen by the individual, where they learn racist behaviors and attitudes. It is my belief that, regardless of where or how we learn about racism, we each have responsibility for identification, acknowledgement and dismantling it. Inherited racism is the term that I use (actually, I think I’m coining it with this post). My definition is informed by my own lenses, my experiences. It is the idea that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race that is consciously or subconsciously transferred from an authority figure to an individual at early stages of life through adulthood. The individual, who receives prejudiced and/or discriminatory communication from an authority figure may, and often, believes these attitudes are appropriate. It is important for individual growth and development to identify what attitudes have permeated your upbringing and make an effort to identify, evaluate, and...

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My Connection to LGBTQ+ History and the Road Traveled

In October 1998, Matthew Shepard was found nearly dead, hanging from a fence just outside of Laramie, Wyoming. Matthew was 21 years old. His murderers said that he made sexual advances toward them. They robbed and brutally beat him. Matthew died of his wounds six days later in a Fort Collins, Colorado hospital.

Just two years before, I was living in Fort Collins, CO. I was pursuing a master’s degree, had a full-time assistantship as coordinator of multicultural education and training, and had an internship in the Human Rights Advocacy and Education Office, a department of the City of Fort Collins. My work involved listening to complaints of discrimination in public accommodation, housing, and employment. There was also a huge amount of listening, educating, and advocacy. I was given, early in my life and career, a window into others’ realities in ways that helped broaden my awareness and perspective. I learned that many LGBTQ+ people had been living with threats and...

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