Sharing Stories of Feminist Activism

Kate Drabinski is a lecturer in Gender and Women’s Studies and director of the WILL Program at UMBC.

Kate Drabinski, UMBCOne of the core courses for majors in UMBC’s Gender and Women’s Studies program is our Studies in Feminist Activism class, and it makes sense that we would ask all students to take this one.

After all, our program is the result of steady and dedicated activists inside and outside the academy who insisted—and still do—that human knowledge demands that all voices, experiences, research questions, answers, and ideas be heard. Gender and women’s studies programs, teachers, and students have always been “breaking ground,” and this course makes that explicit, teaching students histories of feminist activism in many arenas, from 19th century labor politics to today’s struggles for public housing and community justice.

This semester, with a BreakingGround course grant, the class is using digital tools to tell the stories of UMBC’s newest feminist activists. Our students have started a blog exploring their own relationships to activism and telling the stories of activists who inspire them. Other students are producing short digital stories that also will be featured on the blog. Later in the semester, students will use these digital tools to share their experiences in organizing their own projects on and off campus, and to tell the histories of important activist movements that still resonate today.

The students’ blog will become a permanent home for Studies in Feminist Activism at UMBC, updated yearly with the tales of emerging activists. Follow along with us at http://umbcactivism.wordpress.com/!

Contact the author, Kate Drabinski, at drabinsk@umbc.edu.

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