This was our third year of hosting We Step into the Light at Cornell. We Step into the Light is a project that raises awareness about sexual assault, relationship and gender-based violence, and stalking through art created for “thrivers,” which is a term that has been chosen to replace the term "survivors". Volunteer thrivers are paired with volunteer artists, and together they create a work of art celebrating the thriver, who lives a full life beyond the experience of violence.
The artwork focuses on the thriver’s hobbies, goals, and ambitions instead of on the trauma that the thriver experienced, emphasizing that although a thriver’s assault makes up part of who they are, it does not define them as a person. Additional photos and videos from this year’s showcase can be found on the event's Facebook page.
The WRC held our annual event to celebrate the accomplishments and aspirations of women globally with renown speakers, performers and and an award ceremony for leadership in our community. This year we partnered with the Graduate School, Student Assembly, GPWomeN & South Asian Council to highlight the region of South Asia through our speakers, performers and cuisine.
Laci Green is the creator and host of the largest sex education show on the internet called Sex Plus! Sex+ consists of a biweekly video series, daily blogging, university lectures, and community activism.
The project currently reaches 5 million people each month in over 100 countries. She also hosts 2 other web shows: a science news show for the Discovery Channel and a sex education series for Planned Parenthood.
The WRC helped organize the Cornell sub-group for the Ithaca SlutWalk, held on Sept 24, 2011. Over 50 Cornellians united against slut-shaming, victim-blaming and rape. We met up with others from Ithaca College and the Ithaca community for a speakout against rape and victim-blaming on The Commons. Over 200 people turned out for the first-ever Ithaca SlutWalk!
In collaboration with the Tompkins County NOW chapter, the WRC hosted a talk by Terry O'Neill, President of the National Organization for Women, on Sept 26, 2011. The National Organization for Women is the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States. NOW has more than 500,000 contributing members and more than 500 local and campus affiliates in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Since its founding in 1966, NOW's goal has been "to take action" to bring about equality for all women.
Ms. O’Neill began her feminist activism in the 1990’s and has since led a prominent career in feminist legal theory, political organizing, and leadership in NOW. She was elected president of NOW in June 2009. Prior to her election, she had previously served as the president of several NOW chapters, as NOW’s membership vice president, and she had served on the NOW National Board twice.
She spoke about the disproportional impact of the economic crisis on women, the curtailing of reproductive choice in America, and NOW's strategy to gain marriage equality in all 50 states.
The WRC and the Women's Law Coalition brought journalist and author Michelle Goldberg to speak about her book The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World.
In this groundbreaking work of investigative journalism, Michelle Goldberg exposes the global war on women’s reproductive rights and its disastrous and unreported consequences for the future of global development
Women’s rights are often treated as mere appendages to great questions of war, peace, poverty, and economic development. But as networks of religious fundamentalists, feminists, and bureaucrats struggle to remake sexual and childbearing norms worldwide, the battle to control women’s bodies has become a high-stakes enterprise, with the United States often supporting the most reactionary forces.
In a work of incisive cultural analysis and deep reporting, Michelle Goldberg shows how the emancipation of women has become the key human rights struggle of the twenty-first century. The Means of Reproduction travels through four continents, examining issues such as abortion, female circumcision, and Asia’s missing girls to show how the battle over women’s bodies has been globalized and how, too often, the United States has joined sworn enemies such as Iran and Sudan in an axis of repression. Reporting with unique insight from both the rarefied realm of international policy and from individual women’s lives, Goldberg elucidates the economic, demographic, and health consequences of women’s oppression, which affect more than half the world’s population.
In collaboration with Women in Public Policy, Panhellenic, ALANA, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, and Diversity Alumni Program, the WRC welcomed attorney Colby Bruno from the Victim Rights Law Center to speak at Cornell about Title IX, sexual assault on campus, and the VRLC's mission to give legal remedies to suvivors outside of the criminal justice system.
Ms. Bruno is the Managing Attorney at the VRLC and supervises and oversees the statewide direct client representation at the VRLC, including the Rape Survivors Law Project, the pro bono attorney panel of the VRLC.
Author of two books, Sex and Bacon: Why I Love Things that are Very, Very Bad for Me and Indecent: How I Make it and Fake it as a Girl for Hire, Sarah Katherine Lewis read from her latest book Sex and Bacon about her lusty appetite for both food and sex.
In these short essays, she offers raunchy tales from the front lines of the sex industry along with some of her favorite recipes and experiences in adventurous eating.
Jessica Valenti – called the “poster girl for third-wave feminism” by Salon and one of the Top 100 Inspiring Women in the world by The Guardian – is the author of three books: Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman’s Guide to Why Feminism Matters, He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut…and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know, and The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women which is being made into a documentary by the Media Education Foundation.
She is the editor of the anthology Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape, which was named one of Publishers Weekly’s Top 100 Books of 2009. Jessica is also the founder of Feministing.com, which Columbia Journalism Review calls “head and shoulders above almost any writing on women’s issues in mainstream media.” Jessica won the 2011 Hillman Journalism Prize for her work with Feministing.