Author Archive | Percival Haas

Yes! I’m a Feminist: Give Your “YES!”

YES! I'm a Feminist Banner in Red

“Yes! I’m a Feminist.” is celebrating eight years as an annual event organized by the WGS Community Advisory Board in support of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at The College of Charleston. While this year has kept us at a distance, we have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to find a creative way to celebrate our “wins” with our most loyal and generous supporters and to invite our global community to the party.

This year, our annual fundraising event will be completely virtual. With COVID-19 as a deciding factor, we have instead poured our energy into creating a video that encapsulates the culmination of our hard-fought past, acknowledges our present-day reality, and looks onward to a brighter, more feminist future. We are, if nothing more, celebrating the mere fact that we’ve survived one of the most arduous years in recent memory, while preparing for the vital work ahead.

With this video, we hope you see yourself in the imagery, hear yourself in the words and feel a sense of pride in what we have accomplished, together. We also hope you are moved to deepen your resolve and to give what you can to support an unprecedented academic program in a grand institution that is committed to challenging the status-quo, getting into good trouble and bending the arc toward a more just world – for all.

Today through Thursday, January 28 – CofC Day! –
We are campaigning for feminist futures
and a more just world for all.

Our goal this year is to raise $25,000 to fund our Student Opportunities Fund, directly supporting specific programs that enhance the experience of our students, including access to revered speakers and mentors, unique opportunities for professional development and mentorship, and educational offerings that support our community at-large. With your donation, Yes! I’m a Feminist and the Women’s and Gender Studies program will continue to help students with tuition, programming, study abroad, and expanded research and internship opportunities. Your support has had an enormous impact on what we have been able to accomplish, together.

Watch our video on YouTube:


HIGHLIGHTS from Academic Year 2019-2020 include:

  • Pivoted to 100% online instruction of over 500 students in WGS classes in a matter of days due to COVID-19. Held a virtual graduation celebration for Spring 2020 graduates.
  • Successful faculty search and hiring of Elizabeth Velásquez Estrada, Assistant Professor, for the Fall 2021 semester.
  • Welcomed Mariah Parker on campus for “Cultivating Courage” lecture and hip hop event at The Royal American – named “one of the young, radical women of color rescuing the Democratic party
  • Virtually hosted esteemed women’s historian Anya Jabour (University of Montana) for Women’s Equality Day (8/26) lecture Sophonisba Breckinridge, the Suffrage Movement, and Social Justice
  • Hosted campus-community book club around Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All, culminating in a virtual event with Professor Martha S. Jones, the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor at Johns Hopkins University.
  • Hosted more than a dozen virtual events in the fall 2020 semester for students, faculty, staff, alums and community members. All events have focused on our anti-racism commitments.
  • Launched the Student Advisory Committee – a diverse group of student leaders in WGS to advise program decisions
  • Expanded the Community Advisory Board with highly respected women and advocates for feminist values in the Charleston community
  • Secured the Ketner-Crunelle LGBTQ+ Endowed Scholarship – a first ever LGBTQ+ scholarship at the College of Charleston

On behalf of the College of Charleston’s Women’s and Gender Studies Community Advisory Board, students, and faculty, we graciously THANK YOU for supporting this exceptional, ever-growing program for over eight years! Through the WGS major and minor, students are able to devote themselves to the study of identities, power, and intersectionality in different cultures, contexts, and time periods. We discuss complex cultural issues – from historical to contemporary controversies – and teach students to think on their feet to develop a range of analytical approaches. Our students are the future. And the future is now.


GOALS for the 2020-2021 Academic Year on behalf of the WGS Community Advisory Board include:

  • Produce the 8th Annual Yes, I Am A Feminist! event, raising a minimum of $25,000 to directly support the WGS mission and programs.
  • Deepen existing community relationships and procure new strategic partnerships across the Lowcountry, state of South Carolina and the region.
  • Expand recruiting, programming and advocacy efforts continuing to offer a leading-edge curriculum and high-impact experiential learning for students and opportunities for community engagement.
  • Increase Student Opportunities Fund to $25,000, assisting students who need financial support to participate in study abroad, unpaid internships, research and creative activities, and advocacy or activism in projects that advance social justice.

We invite you to contribute to our only fundraising event of the year by supporting all of the extraordinary programs created for and by WGS students. We invite you to celebrate the life of Alison Piepmeier, whose legacy lives on in the mission and contributions of a small and mighty academic program that reaches well beyond the classroom. We invite you to deepen your resolve and invest in your community that supports a more just world. We invite you to…


Yes I'm a Feminist Banner reading "Give Your YES!" (click to donate)

Donations can also be made by check and mailed to:
Women’s & Gender Studies, College of Charleston, 66 George St, Charleston, SC 29424


College of Charleston’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program Community Advisory Board:

Callie Shell, Chair (‘83), Amanda Bunting Comen (‘01), Margaret Pilarski (‘07), Barbie Schreiner (‘13), Leah Suárez (‘05), Ali Titus (‘10)

T.E.A. with WGS: Winter Book Club – JOIN NOW!

Winter-themed flyer for Bettina Love book club - text reproduced below.

JOIN NOW: T.E.A. with WGS Winter Book Club – We Want To Do More Than Just Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom by Bettina Love

This special TEA with WGS book club will meet monthly in January and February in preparation for a special virtual visit with author Bettina Love in March! Open to all CofC faculty and staff – space is limited, so sign up soon to pick up your free copy before winter break! 

Monthly meetings: Monday, January 18 @ 10:00am, Thursday, February 11 @ 4:00pm 

Sign up now: 


College Today Article on New LGBTQ+ Scholarship & Recent WGS Grad

screenshot of article

READ NOW: New LGBTQ+ scholarship housed in WGS! This College Today write-up features Linda Ketner and recent WGS grad Tanner Crunelle (‘20), and highlights the Ketner-Crunelle LGBTQ+ Endowed Scholarship, which will celebrate its first recipient in the 2021-22 academic year. Use the button below to read the full article.

Martha S. Jones Book Talk and Q&A – 12/2

Book Talk flyer in red and yellow featuring photograph of author and cover of book (event details reproduced below)

Martha S. Jones Virtual Book Talk and Q&A – December 2, 2020 at 5:30pm on Zoom

Join WGS, the Avery Center, CofC Libraries, African American Studies, History, HSS, and Political Science for this special virtual book talk with author Dr. Martha S. Jones! In this conclusion to this semester’s book club and read-a-long of Dr. Jones’s book, Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality For All, Dr. Jones will join us for a virtual discussion and Q&A over Zoom.

Pre-register for the Zoom event here:

Student Spotlight: Jody Bell

Tell us a little bit about yourself! What are your pronouns? Your hometown? Your major(s)/minor(s)?

My hometown is Greenwich, Connecticut.  I use she/her/hers pronouns and I am majoring in Finance with a minor in International Studies.

What areas/aspects of WGS do you find the most engaging? OR what are you most passionate about?

I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t involved in some sphere of activism. Whether that was protesting atop my mother’s shoulders when I was 5-6 years old, or organizing walkouts in middle school. However, when I turned 15 something shifted, and I didn’t quite feel content with volunteering or protesting. I was experiencing some serious burnout, and I kept thinking of ways that I could maximize my impact and activism in more efficient ways that aided hundreds or thousands of individuals in need. 

At that time I had a few friends with undocumented parents, and I was in the process of researching what they should do in case of parental deportation. In this process I realized that this was my opportunity to maximize my impact and deliver aid to thousands instead of a few. That’s why I released my first venture; In Case of Deportation ( I took all of the research I compiled, and released it in an online format that was holistic enough to help any individual with undocumented parents learn about their next steps.

It was this shift from a more “follower” centered activism role to a leadership position that really ignited my passion and made me understand what I was truly capable of. It lit a fire in me that has seeped into my perception of myself, and motivated me to just keep producing new, innovative, and sometimes unorthodox ways of engaging in activism. 

photograph of Jody Bell speaking at a "Girls with Impact" event

Tell us about any extracurricular work you’re doing, or any involvement you have on campus with clubs or organizations.

I still have a major focus on the undocumented/mix-status communities. Most of the work I’m doing currently is drawing awareness to this issue here in South Carolina, where immigration is not a major focal point. So, I am going to be a TedX speaker about this topic this March, and I am currently working to create a college-student-specific branch of In Case of Deportation. 

Given the events of this past summer, I have also committed to educating myself about the Black Lives Matter movement, and doing what I can to begin activism work within that sector. I engaged in an independent research project with Honors Faculty Professor, Lancie Affonso, and freshman, Brandon Alston, to assess equity within the College of Charleston’s maintenance and dining staff. Through this research, we learned that these groups are predominately Black (60.3%) and are at the absolute frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through examining employee benefit packages, risk mitigation work, and community spread in the areas that employee’s live, we are working to uncover how our campus offers a microscopic view of systemic racism, and thus describes how the Black population is disproportionately affected by COVID-19. 

What does being a Ketner scholar mean to you?

Currently I have no financial support for my education. I already work two jobs to pay for my cost of living, however, the Ketner scholarship has greatly alleviated the financial burden of my tuition. Without this scholarship I would most likely need another job, and thus wouldn’t be able to devote my time to the activism initiatives that I am passionate about. Quite frankly this scholarship has given me the financial freedom to aid my community through my work.

What are your plans for the future?

While I am currently just a sophomore, I have pretty big plans! I do interpret activism through an unorthodox lens — hence why I am majoring in Finance. I hope that once I graduate, I can go into the wealth management field (specifically ESG investing), and aid individuals in sustainable asset management solutions. In less finance-y terms, I want to help people invest in companies that are actively doing good in their communities; this way we can help people accumulate wealth while supporting businesses that aim to do good for the world. 

However, these are just my post-graduation plans. As I mentioned before, I am financing my own education, so once I work in finance I hope to attend law school with my earnings. Specifically, I want to do human rights law; fighting discimination on a case-to-case basis and making a career out of the pursuit of justice.

“How NOT to Blow Up the Holidays: Learn to Avoid Food Fights & Keep the Peace with WGS” – 11/23

Holiday themed event flyer with flying foods surrounding the text (reproduced below)

Join WGS next Monday, 11/23 from 3:00-4:00 on Zoom for a special event to learn strategies to navigate difficult socio-political discussions with you fami8ly members over the holidays. Facilitated by Vivian Appler (THTR), Kris De Welde (WGS), Melissa Hughes (BIO), and Julia McReynolds Pérez (SOCY/ANTH).

Join us on zoom:
Passcode: 488512

Student Spotlight: Sarah Claire Mullis

Tell us a little bit about yourself! What are your pronouns? Your hometown? Your major(s)/minor(s)?

I am from Greenville, South Carolina. My pronouns are she/her/hers. I am a Women’s and Gender Studies major, and I’m minoring in anthropology and psychology.

Why did you choose to study WGS?

I first wanted to go into a social science field and just tailor my electives around my interests in sustainability and WGS. It didn’t take me long to realize that I was only truly passionate about my WGS courses. They were the ones that made me crave knowledge, seek action, and reevaluate my individual perspective. I decided I wanted to spend my time learning about things that made me passionate, so I became a WGS major! Its interdisciplinary perspective promotes a holism that takes students further than most majors.
Sarah Claire Headshot

What areas/aspects of WGS do you find the most engaging? OR what are you most passionate about?

I am particularly interested in/passionate about reproductive justice, and race/gender/sexuality and environmental studies. I have a lot more to learn, but I am interested in plant medicine as a method for emotional and physical healing. There is a movement called rewilding I am really interested in as well.

Tell us about any extracurricular work you’re doing, or any involvement you have on campus with clubs or organizations.

I am on the leadership board for Alliance for Planet Earth and the new WGS Student Advisory Committee. I’m also the current Alison Piepmeier Endowed Scholarship recipient.

What does WGS mean to you? Why should every CofC student take at least one WGS class before they graduate?

WGS courses are important because they provide a perspective students really can’t get from any other discipline. They show that there is more to life than meets the eye, and they teach students how to look below the surface at the true issues facing individuals and populations.

What are your plans post-graduation?

WGS teaches you things that can be applied in every aspect of life. Studying minorities and injustice builds more empathetic, intuitive people, and this can be used regardless of what you are doing. I am interested in becoming an herbalist (plant medicine) and doula. I hope to use plant medicine to provide people with access to low-cost medicine that can also be emotionally healing. Specifically, I am interested in promoting herbal resources related to family planning/reproductive health. But I still have a lot more to learn.

“WGS in the Garden” with the Student Advisory Committee – 11/18 @ 5-7pm

WGS in the Garden event flyer featuring a bright blue sky, picket fence, and birds - text reproduced below

Join the WGS Student Advisory Committee for WGS in the Garden – a special, socially distant meet-and-greet event for WGS majors and minors. Get connected and enjoy the atmosphere of Stern gardens with kindred spirits in WGS on Wednesday, 11/18 from 5-7pm.

GSECond Thursday: Salary Negotiation Workshop

Salary Negotiation Flyer with piggy bank (text reproduced below)

Thursday, November 12 at 4:00 – GSECond Thursday: Salary Negotiation Workshop

Join WGS, GSEC, and the Career Center for a Salary Negotiation Workshop! Don’t leave money on the table – learn how to negotiate a salary for a new job! Gain confidence in your negotiation style through facilitated discussion and role-play, and learn about the wage gap, including its long-term consequences, and what you can do to help. Use this link to register on Handshake! 

T.E.A. with WGS: “Education for Liberation: Beyond Diversity & Other Metaphors”

Blue and black T.E.A. with WGS flyer (text reproduced below)

Thursday, November 12 from 9:00-10:30am – T.E.A. with WGS: Education for Liberation: Beyond Diversity and Other Metaphors

Join WGS for the latest T.E.A. (Teaching to Engage and Activate) workshop, facilitated by Transformative Teaching Collective members Kristi “kaj” Brian (WGS, GSEC) and Drisana McDaniel, former WGS Community Advisory Board member. 

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