Women and Gender Studies event celebrates heart of feminism

On Feb. 24, the Women’s and Gender Studies Program hosted their annual Yes! I’m a Feminist event in the Cistern Yard. The event, held for the past four years, is a fundraiser for student research and travel, as well as visiting faculty for the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. It also celebrates feminism in general and the accomplishments students and faculty. 

Several attendees gathered in the Cistern to celebrate feminism (photo by Leslie McKellar)

Students and residents gathered in the Cistern to celebrate the Women’s and Gender Studies program and discuss key feminist issues. (Photo by Leslie McKellar)

One of the event’s primary sponsors was Tell Them, a web-based nonprofit organization dedicated to reforming South Carolina’s reproductive health policies. Other sponsors included Charleston City Paper, DHG Women Forward and Sugar Bakeshop.

The fundraiser was free and open to the public, with a large turnout. Attendees  gathered underneath the oaks in the Cistern where they could enjoy refreshments and socialize. Pres.Glenn McConnell was also in attendance. Live music was performed by College alumna Leah Suarez and her band, De la Luz. 

Leah Suarez and her band De la Luz (photo by Leslie McKellar)

Leah Suarez and her band De la Luz perform at Yes! I’m a Feminist. (Photo by Leslie McKellar)

Overall, the event was a huge success. Over $18,000 were raised for the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.

While the atmosphere was festive, the event also sought to spark serious conversations about  why feminism is vital in society today.

“Feminism is important because it teaches women to have autonomy,” said Caroline Harkins, a junior public health major at the College. “[Feminism] is not about women being aggressive,” she said, “but assertive.”

The event is also crucial for local organizations like Girls Rock!. “Girls Rock! is an organization started by College of Charleston students,” said member Anjali Naik. “Events [such as these] have helped build community and resources for us to take action on and off the campus.”

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