Women’s studies sponsors scholarship fundraiser

"The Women Aloud fundraiser drew a crowd close to 100 students, faculty and staff in its 22nd year of the event to raise money for scholarships for women studies students. The Women Aloud Scholarship was awarded to junior women studies major Allyssa Hosten.

"Communications professors Christine Hirsch and Jane Winslow emceed the event that featured students, faculty and staff who recited poetry. A presentation was also given by four students who went to India over winter break to study programs that help sex workers after taking the course "Sex trafficking and solution to sex trafficking."

"Lisa Langlois, art professor and adviser to the Women’s Center, Lisa Glidden, political science professor and hair of the Women’s Studies Advisory Board and women’s studies major Julie Schofield organized the event.

"The presentation on dignity for sex workers was given by history professor Geraldine Forbes and her students Amanda Addinton, Allyssa Hosten, Alicia O’Grady and Chenshen Wang.

""Prostitution and sex work is not on the top of feminist agenda," O’Grady said. "In India, the exchange of sex for money is not illegal but soliciting and brothels, pimping, or any other way of living off the earnings of a prostitute are illegal. The fact that women [have] fewer opportunities for education and work, and suffer disproportionately from violence has made both sex work and trafficking feminist issues."

"Wang spoke of the sex workers union in India’s Dunbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee, which provides services for children of sex workers.

""Sex workers have become peer educators, police the red-light districts to prevent trafficking and work to educate their children so they will have career choices," Wang said.

"Another presenter was Tammy Wilkinson who read a poem by political science professor and chair of the Women’s Studies Advisory Board Lisa Glidden entitled "I Didn’t Know." Dean of the school of liberal arts and sciences Rhonda Mandel read the poem "You Tell Me How to Be a Girl in 2010" by Eve Ensler.

"Winslow closed the fundraiser by singing "The Mountain Song" by Holly Near and leading the audience in the chant "We are strong and loving women" by Nan Brooks. The chant read "We are strong and loving women. We can do what must be done. Knowing, growing, changing, healing. We will do what must be done." Winslow also taught the audience sign language to go along with the chant.

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