Reflections on Domestic Violence Awareness Month
As Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) comes to a close, the Women’s Center reflects back on a month of events that focused on intimate partner and relationship violence. On October 18, 2017, the Women’s Center brought Lorraine Acker as the keynote speaker for DVAM.
Acker conducted a workshop entitled, “In the Company of my Sisters: Establishing Critical Space for Womyn of Color.” During this workshop, Acker modeled sister circle methodology and helped participants think through how to create sister circle spaces for supporting women of color within various campus spaces.
Graduate student María Tudela stated “Meeting Dr. Lorraine Acker was an experience I will always remember in my journey as a graduate student and in my formation as a scholar. The workshop was a space not only for learning and engaging, it was a location for reflecting and critical thinking. We were asked challenging questions that encouraged me to navigate deeper within my psyche to understand on a more transformative level the realities and discomforts involved with addressing the disparities that women of color experience on college campuses. I learned that creating critical spaces for transformation and growth is a composite of multilayered processes which require constant hard work, innovation and reflection. Participating in the workshop showed me that cultivating critical spaces is neither easy nor simple. However, I think in this absence of simplicity – where communication, collaboration and reflection exist – the potential for permanence and visibility lies.”
Additionally, reflections from NC State Assistant Director for Community Outreach and Engagement Marcela Torres-Cervantes reminded us that creating a critical space on campus is necessary. Torres-Cervantes reflected, “The workshop with Dr. Lorraine D. Acker was a much needed reminder to take a moment and check both my intentions and impacts when working with students, especially with women of color. Being in community with other women as we discussed the importance of sister circles and scholarship centered around us was magnificent. The only thing I would have changed would have been to have more time together. As a recent graduate and a forever student, I loved the opportunity to be back in an environment of scholarship and learning. Dr. Acker was captivating in thought and discussion; she pushed participants to be mindful of their language in the space. I am grateful for this workshop and I look forward to more chances to reflect and improve on my work.”
Later in the evening, Dr. Acker delivered the month’s keynote address, “Faces in the Crowd: Black College Women and Relationship Violence.” To read about the keynote, check out the previous articles in Diversity Digest and The Technician.
If you missed the Women’s Center’s DVAM programs and events including our Lunch and Learn with Kiran, who spoke about domestic violence in the South Asian community, and/or our workshop about intimate partner violence in the GLBT community, check back often for programs and events focused on interrupting systems that perpetuate violence within various communities.
Join us for Supporting Survivors 101 on November 9, 2017 and Stalking 101 on November 21, 2017. Don’t forget to bookmark April for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, when we will have Take Back the Night on April 4, 2017 and another month full of educational programs.
Angela Gay is the graduate programming assistant in the Women’s Center. She is currently in her second year of the Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development (ELPHD) Scholar Leader Higher Education doctoral program.