November is one of the best times of the year for me — because it’s the time of the annual National Women’s Studies Association conference, taking place this year in Atlanta. The NWSA is home to the Women’s Centers Committeeand we host a daylong
pre-conference as part of the conference. What that means is that I spent all of yesterday (from 8 a.m. until around 11 p.m.) in the company of my fabulous colleagues from women’s centers around the country. We learned from each other, laughed, cried, celebrated our collective achievements over the past year, ate, drank, and caught up. It was an amazing day, as it always is.
Doing women’s center work is not always easy — we see a lot of awful things and can often feel as if our work isn’t making a difference (can you say pay gap?). Particularly for those of us working in “one-woman shops,” we can be isolated on our campuses (I am fortunate to have great colleagues at UMKC, but I worked in a one-woman center in Texas and remember how isolating it was) — so being to come together and spend a few days with people who “get it” is truly a gift. It’s what keeps me going throughout the rest of the year. And to anyone who still scoffs at social media, I tell you that the ability to be virtually connected between our annual meetings is also wonderful.
So, to my sisters in women’s centers — thank you for your work and your friendship. It’s an amazing community and one I am continually grateful to be part of.