Campus Action Corner

(From The Campus Lantern – March 27, 2014)

As I have stated in previous installments of “Campus Action Corner,” I am currently taking part in an internship called Campus Action through Planned Parenthood of Southern New England with another Eastern student, Deanna Jimenez. As interns, our jobs are to be voices for reproductive justice on Eastern’s campus. Reproductive justice mixes reproductive rights with social justice – we advocate for freedom in reproduction and reproductive health for every social class, gender, race, sexual orientation, age, religion, etc.

First off, I would like to plug an event that Campus Action is hosting along with the National Organization for Women (NOW) and the History Club. On Monday, March 31st, we will be holding a National Women’s History Month Panel from 1-3PM in the Johnson Room in the Smith Library. Panelists include Eastern Connecticut State University professors and a representative from Planned Parenthood. Topics being covered include the history of women and feminism, reproductive justice, and sexism. After the panel discussion, the audience will also have the opportunity to take part in a Q+A session with the panelists. There will also be lots of free Cafémantic food. It’s going to be an enlightening, enjoyable event and we hope to see you all there!

With the end of March in mind, there are a few dates in April to keep on your radar that pertain to reproductive justice. To start with, April is GYT (Get Yourself Tested) Month and STD Awareness Month. The GYT campaign is co-sponsored by Planned Parenthood and MTV, and aims to encourage young folks to push against the negative stigma of STD testing. According to GYT’s official website, http://www.itsyoursexlife.com/gyt, the campaign “is about knowing yourself, and knowing your status, while carving your own path in life.” Campus Action is going to be collaborating with the Black Student Union (BSU) to hold an event in which free STD-testing will be available for Eastern students. The tentative date for the event is Thursday, April 10th, so mark your calendars!

National Volunteer Week is April 6-12. According to Points of Light, an organization that is dedicated to volunteer service, the purpose of the week is to inspire, recognize and encourage people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities. National Volunteer Week is “about demonstrating to the nation that by working together, we have the fortitude to meet our challenges and accomplish our goals.” There are many volunteer opportunities here at Eastern; be sure to contact the Center for Community Engagement (CCE) to volunteer at some point during this week!

World Health Day 2014 is on Monday, April 7th. According to the World Health Organization’s website, the theme of World Health Day this year is protection against vector-borne diseases, such as malaria and dengue. Common vectors that transmit such diseases are mosquitoes, sandflies, and ticks. You can easily be protected against vector-borne diseases by “sleeping under a bed-net, wearing a long-sleeved shirt and trousers and using insect repellent” (http://www.who.int).

April 15-21 is National Minority Cancer Awareness Week. The week was established on April 8, 1987 by the U.S. House of Representatives Joint Resolution 119. It was explained in the Congressional Record that “[w]hile cancer affects men and women of every age, race, ethnic background, and economic class, the disease has a disproportionately severe impact on minorities and the economically disadvantaged.” The goal of National Minority Cancer Awareness Week is to increase awareness of prevention and treatment among populations that are at greater risk of developing cancer (www.socialworkers.org).

April is also National Minority Health Month. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health (OMH), during the month of April, awareness will be raised “about the health disparities that continue to affect racial and ethnic minorities.” The 2014 theme of National Minority Health Month is “Prevention is Power: Taking Action for Health Equity.” This theme “is a call to action, a charge for all of us to unite towards a common goal of improving the health of our communities” (www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov).

In addition, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, the purpose of the campaign is to “raise awareness about sexual violence and educate communities and individuals on how to prevent it.” During April, SAAM encourages young folks to use their unique voice to discuss how everyone can impact our future and prevent sexual violence. To learn more about SAAM, their official blog can be found at http://www.nsvrc.org/blogs/saam. For a campus reference, Starsheemar Byrum of Eastern Connecticut State University’s Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) can be contacted at any time at her email, byrums@easternct.edu, to talk about sexual violence and abuse.

Deanna and I will be on campus this year putting on different events centered on reproductive justice. For each event, we are going to be collaborating with a student club on campus, the National Organization for Women (NOW). NOW meetings are Mondays at 6PM in the Student Center in room 107. We’re excited to work together with everyone on campus for the remainder of the semester, and we look forward to hopefully seeing you at NOW meetings and Campus Action events! Feel free to email us at ecsucampusaction@gmail.com for more information.

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Campus Action Corner

(From The Campus Lantern – February 27, 2014) 

As I stated last in last semester’s installments of “Campus Action Corner,” I am currently taking part in an internship called Campus Action through Planned Parenthood of Southern New England with another Eastern student, Deanna Jimenez. As interns, our jobs are to be voices for reproductive justice on Eastern’s campus. Reproductive justice mixes reproductive rights with social justice – we advocate for freedom in reproduction and reproductive health for every social class, gender, race, sexual orientation, age, religion, etc.

There are a few dates in March to keep in mind that pertain to reproductive justice. First off, March is National Women’s History Month. The National Women’s History Project (NWHP) states that the purpose of National Women’s History Month is to recognize “the achievements of women in all facets of life – science, community, government, literature, art, sports, [and] medicine.” Many women, especially multicultural women, are overlooked in mainstream American history, so National Women’s History Month aims to write these women back into history (www.nwhp.org). Deanna and I are planning on holding an event commemorating women in history; we’ve yet to pick a definite date for the event, but we will keep you posted.

March is also National Endometriosis Awareness Month. According to the Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey (RMA) website, endometriosis is “a disorder in which the endometrial tissue, or the inner lining of the uterus, migrates to areas outside of the uterus, most commonly the ovaries and Fallopian tubes.” Endometriosis can be a painful, fatal disease so it is important to spread awareness to support those who suffer from it.

March 8th is International Women’s Day. According to the official International Women’s Day website, the holiday has been observed since the early 1900s. Traditionally, men honored the women in their lives by giving them flowers and small gifts. The deeper meaning of the holiday is to commemorate the achievements that women have made in history, including greater legislative rights, rights to attend university, and overall more visible public women role models for young folks. In the United States, however, women still do not have pay equality with men and women are not present in politics or business professions as much as men. Furthermore, globally and nationally, “women’s education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men” (www.internationalwomensday.com). International Women’s Day honors women – all that they have overcome, and all that they are still fighting for.

March 10th is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. According to the Office on Women’s Health (OWH) website, the purpose of this day is “to offer support and hope, reduce the stigma of HIV/AIDS, and empower women and girls to embrace the theme ‘Share Knowledge. Take Action.’” There are a few actions that can be taken in order to embrace the theme: Get tested and know your status; educate your peers; seek care and treatment if you are HIV-positive; prevent new infections; host and participate in meet-ups across the country; and invite others to participate in National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (www.womenshealth.gov).

In addition, March 10th is also National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers. According to Planned Parenthood’s website, the tradition started in 1997. March 10th is the “anniversary of the assassination of Dr. David Gunn, the first abortion provider murdered.” The purpose of the day is to “show your support for safe and legal abortion services and the heroes who provide them” (www.plannedparenthood.org). The day is an important one, in order to honor not only Dr. David Gunn, but every individual who provides abortions to folks. Deanna and I are planning on tabling in the Student Center on this day. We will have a card for folks to sign to show their gratitude for abortion providers.

Finally, March 28th is Back Up Your Birth Control Day. According to the official website, “Back Up Your Birth Control” is a national campaign to expand access to emergency contraception (EC) by increasing public education and awareness.” The day has been observed since the early 2000s, and the campaign is a project of the National Institute for Reproductive Health.

Deanna and I will be on campus this year putting on different events centered on reproductive justice. For each event, we are going to be collaborating with a student club on campus, the National Organization for Women (NOW). NOW meetings are Mondays at 6PM in the Student Center in room 107. We’re excited to work together with everyone on campus again this semester, and we look forward to hopefully seeing you at NOW meetings and Campus Action events! Feel free to email us at ecsucampusaction@gmail.com for more information.

Campus Action Corner Pt. 3

(From The Campus Lantern – December 5, 2013) 

As I stated in the last two installments of “Campus Action Corner,” I am currently taking part in an internship called Campus Action through Planned Parenthood of Southern New England with another Eastern student, Deanna Jimenez. As interns, our jobs are to be voices for reproductive justice on Eastern’s campus. Reproductive justice mixes reproductive rights with social justice – we advocate for freedom in reproduction and reproductive health for every social class, gender, race, sexual orientation, age, religion, etc.

In last month’s installment of “Campus Action Corner,” I talked about dates to keep in mind in November; there are also a few important dates in December related to reproductive justice. Sunday, December 1st was World AIDS day. According to the official World AIDS Day website, the purpose of the day was “for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died.” A new club on campus, the Black Student Union, will be tabling on Friday, December 6th in Webb Lobby from 12-6PM. Stop by to pick up pamphlets, pins, and ribbons and to learn more about the AIDS virus and other sexually transmitted infections. There will also be free HIV testing in the Student Center, courtesy of Health Services.

Tuesday, December 10th is International Human Rights Day. According to the United Nations’ website, in honor of its 20th anniversary, the theme of the day this year is “20 Years: Working for Your Rights.” This theme puts “emphasis on the future … [while] identifying the challenges that lie ahead.” International Human Rights Day is celebrated all over the world, including “at the headquarters of the High Commissioner’s office in Geneva, in New York and in more than 50 other countries.”

Deanna and I will be on campus this year putting on different events centered on reproductive justice. We would like to thank everyone who came to our last event of the semester, which was an Obamacare information session. We had a great turn-out and the crowd had such insightful questions and comments. We’re excited to work together with everyone on campus again next semester, and we look forward to seeing you at our events! Feel free to email us at ecsucampusaction@gmail.com for more information.

Campus Action Corner Pt. 2

(From The Campus Lantern – October 31, 2013)  

As I stated in the last issue, I am currently taking part in an internship called Campus Action through Planned Parenthood of Southern New England with another Eastern student, Deanna Jimenez. As interns, our jobs are to be voices for reproductive justice on Eastern’s campus. Reproductive justice mixes reproductive rights with social justice – we advocate for freedom in reproduction and reproductive health for every social class, gender, race, sexual orientation, age, religion, etc.

In last week’s installment of “Campus Action Corner,” I talked about October dates to remember; there are also some dates in November related to reproductive justice to keep in mind. First off, November is Native American Heritage Month. According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the U.S. Department of the Interior, it is a month-long effort to gain “recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S.” Also, from November 25th through December 10th it is the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. The main goal of those 16 days is to raise “awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international levels” (16dayscwgl.rutgers.edu).

Municipal elections are being held on Tuesday, November 5th this year. You can check your local town hall’s website, or stop by in person, to find out where voting locations are. Wednesday, November 20th is Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR). Its purpose is “to memorialize those who have been killed as a result of anti-transgender violence.” TDoR brings “attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community” (www.glaad.org). Monday, November 25th is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women 2013. According to the United Nations’ website, “[w]omen’s activists have marked 25 November as a day against violence since 1981.” On that date in 1960, “three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic,” were brutally assassinated “on orders of Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo” (www.un.org).

Deanna and I will be on campus this semester putting on different events centered on reproductive justice. Our next event will be disproving the myths and setting the facts straight about The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, which helps the 19 million young people like you who may currently lack health coverage potentially gain access to it. We’re excited to be working together with everyone on campus this year, and we look forward to seeing you at our events! Feel free to email us at ECSUcampusaction@gmail.com for more information.

Campus Action Corner

(From The Campus Lantern – October 17, 2013)  

I am currently taking part in an internship called Campus Action through Planned Parenthood of Southern New England with another Eastern student, Deanna Jimenez. As interns, our jobs are to be voices for reproductive justice on Eastern’s campus. Reproductive justice mixes reproductive rights with social justice – we advocate for freedom in reproduction and reproductive health in every social class, gender, race, sexual orientation, age, religion, etc.

Going alongside with reproductive justice, there are some dates that you should keep in mind. October is both Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s website, during the month of October, “events in communities and regions across the fifty states will culminate in a powerful statement celebrating the strength of battered women and their children.” According to the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) website, October is the specified month for “raising awareness and educating individuals” about breast cancer. NBCAM dedicate themselves to keeping people informed about breast cancer year-round as well.

October 11th was National Coming Out Day (NCOD). According to the Human Rights Campaign’s website, the point of NCOD is to “celebrate coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or as an ally.” NCOD was started 25 years ago on the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.

October 14th-20th was the World Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) Week Without Violence. According to YWCA’s website, the week was initiated almost 20 years ago “to mobilize people in communities across the United States to take action against all forms of violence, wherever it occurs.” Violence affects everyone in society; an average of “24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States” (www.cdc.gov).

October 15th was National Latin@ AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD). The NLAAD campaign works to build capacity “for non-profit organizations and health departments in order to reach Latino/Hispanic communities, promote HIV testing, and provide HIV prevention information and access to care” (www.aids.gov).

Finally, the second to last week of October, the 21st to the 25th, was LGBTQ Ally Week. According to the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Ally Week first started in 2005. “Ally Week is a week for students to engage in a national conversation and action to become better allies to LGBT” communities (www.glsen.org).

Deanna and I will be on campus this semester putting on different events pertaining to reproductive justice. Our next event will be disproving the myths and setting the facts straight about The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. We’re excited to be working together with everyone on campus this year, and we look forward to seeing you at our events!