Friday, July 1, 2016

Halfway There!

Today was a very relaxed day after all our hard work throughout the week. We're halfway done with our 2 week summer program here at Brown and we're feeling mixed feelings of accomplishment, relief, excitement and sadness. A lot of us in the Women and Leadership class have only known each other for a week, but it feels like it's been a year. Everyone is so open, brilliant and fun to be around.
Morning walks at Brown
After eating breakfast at the Ratty, we walked to class and Tina started our day off with some announcements about our action plans and our agenda. So far, I have some ideas about my action plan and I'm pairing up with Krystal because we have similar ideas. 

We didn't stay in the classroom for long. After all the announcements and action plan papers were passed out, we went on our Student Campus Tours to visit the Brown Center for Students of Color (BCSC), the LGBTQ Center and the Sarah Doyle Women's Center. A lot of us also presented our Life Maps in each place. These Life Maps ranged from poems to posters.

In the BCSC, Anthony Mam gave us a lot of information about the BCSC's history and life. A lot of students go there to hang out, sleep and study in this safe place. He showed us around the building and upstairs, there were rooms for Black, Asian, Latino and Native people. If I were a student at Brown, I would definitely try to go to this space often and intern.
Inside the BCSC
In the LGBTQ Center
Our next stop was the LGBTQ Center. It's a small space but it has a nice view upstairs of the Main Green. Kelly presented to us how their center is also a safe and inclusive space welcoming people of any gender. They share resources and staff with the Sarah Doyle Women's Center, which we visited right after, to educate and give support on gender and sexuality issues. In the Sarah Doyle Women's Center, Gail also gave us information about their center, its gallery and its goals in empowering women. We also got a chance to listen to Phoebe, a rising senior at Brown, about what she likes about the center. I truly appreciate that Brown is a safe and supportive environment for people of all identities. I'd totally want to attend this university. My friends and I are all loving it. 
Sarah Doyle Women's Center
The lovely Women and Leadership class ate pizza at the Sarah Doyle's Women Center. The slices were huge so I only took one. They also had cookies and soft drinks. While we were all together in the room, we each discussed our action plan ideas and paired up with others for meetings. Our Life Map presentations were continued and I presented my drawings at that time.
Making buttons
Kelly also stopped by during our lunch with the button maker. We could make our own custom buttons. It was so much fun and a great bonding experience with the other ladies in my class. Fern shared her colored pencils with us and we were just having a blast making buttons with cute designs and inspirational quotes.
Making more buttons
Free pens from the centers!
In our class afternoon, we watched the film Miss Representation. It featured various women and men speaking up about the sexism and unfair portrayal of women in American society and the media. It was my first time watching it and I felt a range of emotions from disappointment to empowerment. Although women are constantly demonstrated to be sexual objects and are constantly judged for their physical appearance rather than their intelligence and leadership skills, we can step up to represent women in positive ways to society. This is an idea everyone in my class will definitely be bringing back to our communities and inspiring others to do.

There was no workshop today, so we all headed back to our dorms to rest for a while. We planned on getting Indian food, but my roommate and I accidentally overslept and missed our dinner. When we woke up, we were really disappointed because neither of our alarms went on. It's okay though because it was a much needed rest. This weekend, we will definitely be making the most out of our time here in Rhode Island. 

On a final note, blogging while the rain is pouring outside is very relaxing. My friends and I will also be bonding in our dorms doing henna and other interesting things.
My cute new buttons

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