Archive | WGS Events

A Conversation with Abby Stein

Abby Stein

Join Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies and WGS on Thursday, Feb. 17th for A Conversation with Abby Stein at 7PM in Arnold Hall or on Zoom! Register at

Abby Stein is a Jewish educator, author, speaker, and activist. She was born and raised in a Hasidic family, attended Yeshiva, and completed a rabbinical degree in 2011. In 2012, she left the Hasidic world to explore a self-determined life. In 2015, Abby came out as a woman of trans experience. Since then, she has been working to raise support and awareness for trans rights and those leaving the ultra-Orthodoxy. Her book Becoming Eve: My Journey from Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi to Transgender Woman, is a coming-of-age memoir that examines identity, gender, and religion through personal experience.

From the publisher, Seal Press:

“The powerful coming-of-age story of an ultra-Orthodox child who was born to become a rabbinic leader and instead became a woman

Abby Stein was raised in a Hasidic Jewish community in Brooklyn, isolated in a culture that lives according to the laws and practices of eighteenth-century Eastern Europe, speaking only Yiddish and Hebrew and shunning modern life. Stein was born as the first son in a dynastic rabbinical family, poised to become a leader of the next generation of Hasidic Jews.

But Abby felt certain at a young age that she was a girl. She suppressed her desire for a new body while looking for answers wherever she could find them, from forbidden religious texts to smuggled secular examinations of faith. Finally, she orchestrated a personal exodus from ultra-Orthodox manhood to mainstream femininity-a radical choice that forced her to leave her home, her family, her way of life.

Powerful in the truths it reveals about biology, culture, faith, and identity, Becoming Eve poses the enduring question: How far will you go to become the person you were meant to be?”

WGS Book Club Presents: Conversation with the Authors of “Where is the Justice? Engaged Pedagogies in Schools & Communities”

Where is the Justice Book

Women’s & Gender Studies in partnership with the Sustainability Literacy Institute at CofC are hosting a virtual conversation with the authors of “Where is the Justice? Engaged Pedagogies in Schools & Communities” on Friday, Feb. 11th at 1PM. Zoom meeting ID and passcode are on the flyer. We look forward to you joining the discussion, and keep reading to learn more about the book!

From the publisher:

This inspirational book is about engaged pedagogies, an approach to teaching and learning that centers dialogue, listening, equity, and connection among stakeholders who understand the human and ecological cost of inequality. The authors share their story of working with students, teachers, teacher educators, families, community members, and union leaders to create transformative practices within and beyond public school classrooms. This collaborative work occurred within various spaces—including inside school buildings, libraries, churches, community gardens, and nonprofit organizations—and afforded opportunities to grapple with engaged pedagogies in times of political crisis. Featuring descriptions from a district-wide initiative, this book offers practical and theoretical resources for educators wanting to center justice in their work with students. Through question-posing, color images, empirical observations, and use of scholarly and practitioner-driven literature, readers will learn how to use these resources to reconfigure schools and classrooms as sites of engagement for equity, justice, and love.

Book Features:

  • Provides a sound approach to deeply taking up the work of justice and engaged pedagogies.
  • Presents linguistic, cultural, theoretical, and practical ideas that can be used and implemented immediately.
  • Includes reflective questions, found poetry, lesson ideas, storytelling as narrative, and examples of engaged pedagogies.
  • Shares stories from a district-wide initiative that embedded engaged pedagogies within classrooms, counseling offices, and libraries.
  • Showcases original artwork and images in full color by Grace D. Player, one of the coauthors.

About the authors:

Valerie Kinloch is the Renée and Richard Goldman Dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Education and president of the National Council of Teachers of English (2021–2022). Her books include Race, Justice, and Activism in Literacy Instruction. Emily A. Nemeth is an associate professor in the Department of Education at Denison University. Tamara T. Butler is executive director of Avery Research Center, College of Charleston. Grace D. Player is an assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Connecticut.


Jane: An Abortion Service Film Screening & Panel Discussion

Jane: An Abortion Service

Join WGS in partnership with WREN, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, Carolina Abortion Fund, and Soda City Bail on Sunday, Feb. 27th for a film screening of “Jane: An Abortion Service.” This movie is a fascinating political look at a little-known chapter in gender justice movement history. The film tells the story of “Jane,” the Chicago-based women’s health group who performed nearly 12,000 safe illegal abortions between 1969 and 1973 with no formal medical training.

Following the film is a panel discussion featuring Meredith Matthews, Field Organizer with Planned Parenthood South Atlantic; Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler, Director of Engagement with Carolina Abortion Fund; Cora Webb, Program Director with We Are Family; and more! The panel discussion will focus on abortion justice and reproductive rights.

Seating will be outdoors at the Stern Center Garden and limited in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Masks will be required.

Follow the QR code to register or the following link:

Learn more about the panelists below. Image descriptions are provided thanks to Effy Francis.

Meredith Matthews

Image Description: A mint colored image graphic with hot pink accents, containing a close up photo of Meredith Matthews, a Black woman with dark brown hair in locs wearing round tortoiseshell glasses and winged eyeliner. She is smiling with an open mouth while looking at the camera, resting one hand against her temple. Her name is in hot pink, with the following text in black font: “Meredith Matthews (she/her) Originally from Walterboro, SC, Meredith has lived in Charleston for the last 7 years. Meredith credits her rural upbringing and the positive influence of strong Black women for her passion in public policy and advocacy. While studying Political Science in college, she became mother to son, Ulysses who continues to inspire her commitment to serving the community. She is currently a Field Organizer with Planned Parenthood South Atlantic and chair of the Lowcountry Sexual Assault Response Team (SART). Meredith is motivated by the need to protect historically marginalized communities and centering all intersections of Black identity in the conversation of social justice.”

Cora Webb

Image Description: A mint colored image graphic with hot pink accents, containing a waist-up photo of Cora Webb, a Black person wearing a white shirt, bright green hair scarf, and small, round hoop earrings. She is smiling widely at the camera, with arms folded across her chest. Cora’s name is in hot pink, with the following text in black font: “Cora Webb (they/them/all pronouns): As a graduate of the College of Charleston, double majoring in Women’s and Gender Studies and Public Health, Cora Webb has developed a deep commitment to community advocacy and actively seeks to build communal care networks. Throughout her college career, she assisted with designing and implementing informative events that aimed to properly represent different cultures and advance the campus community’s understanding of gender, sexuality, and identity. As Program Director of We Are Family, Cora continues to prioritize community engagement while addressing community needs.”

Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler

Image Description: A mint colored image graphic with hot pink accents, containing a headshot photo of Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler, a white woman with long, dark brown hair, wearing a black top. She is smiling at the camera with an open mouth. Justine’s name is in hot pink, with the following text in black font: “(she/her) is the Director of Engagement for the Carolina Abortion Fund. Born and raised in Wilmington, North Carolina, she served as a CAF campus intern while attending UNC-Chapel Hill as an undergraduate. After earning her BAs in American History and Women’s and Gender Studies (her thesis focused on post-Roe challenges to abortion via the Supreme Court) in 2017, she volunteered as a helpline casework for CAF before joining the Board of Directors in 2018. Prior to joining staff in 2021, she earned her MA in Jewish Folklore with a focus on the Yiddish language and Holocaust resistance music from UNC-Chapel Hill.”

Tessa Torgovitsky

Image Description: A mint colored image graphic with hot pink accents, containing a headshot photo of Tessa Torgovitsky, a white person with shoulder length, light blonde hair, wearing large, dark brown glasses and a forest green shirt. They are smiling with a closed mouth at the camera. Her name is in hot pink, and the following text is in black font: “(they, them & she, her) is a queer, Jewish, anti-racist feminist born in the nation’s capital. They moved from DC to South Carolina to attend the College of Charleston, where they received a B.A. in Women’s & Gender Studies. Tessa now works at the Carolina Youth Action Project! CYAP is an abolitionist organization that centers political education and community organizing to build power among girls, trans youth, and gender nonconforming youth. Tessa is one of their Campaign Organizers, working specifically around the Sex Education Beyond Abstinence Campaign.”


Image Description: A mint colored image graphic with hot pink accents, containing a headshot photo of Anjali, a brown person with long, black hair and a nose stud, wearing a sapphire blue collared shirt, and a large, beaded, chain link style necklace. They are looking at the camera with a neutral facial expression, head tilted to the side. Behind them is a patterned wall of colorful lottery tickets. Anjali’s name is in hot pink, with the following text in black font: “(they/them) is the singer, electronic producer, and new media artist behind Diaspoura. Diaspoura’s sound and speech has brought forth a fresh perspective to the media of a poor, brown, and gay South. Their newest music, web art, and events discuss artist exploitation and solidarity.”

Astasia Williams-Bertles

Image Description: A mint colored image graphic with hot pink accents, containing a bust shot photo of Astasia Williams-Bertles, a white woman with long, light blonde hair, wearing a black top. She is smiling at the camera with mouth closed. Her name is in hot pink, with the following text in black font: “(she/her) is an Assistant Public Defender in Berkeley County, South Carolina. Astasia practices criminal law, representing juveniles in the Family Court and adults in General Sessions. Astasia is a member of the Reproductive Justice Lawyers Network, the Charleston County Bar Association, the South Carolina Bar Association, and South Carolina’s Young Lawyers Division. Astasia earned her Juris Doctorate from the Charleston School of Law in 2021. During her time in law school, she was the co-founder and co-president of CSOL’s Student Chapter of If/When/How: Lawyering For Reproductive Justice. She was the 2020 Elaine Fowler recipient, highlighting outstanding academic achievement, leadership and philanthropic potential, a strong commitment to the legal profession, and the promotion of diversity and inclusion. Astasia graduated from the New York Institute of Technology in 2018, earning her bachelor’s degree in political science summa cum laude, where she played collegiate soccer. In her spare time, Astasia enjoys painting and staying active with her pitbull, Nova.”



VIEW NOW: “Inspiring Women Letterpress Prints: Voices Across Her/story” – Virtual Art Exhibit!

As a part of our celebration of Women’s History Month, the Inspiring Women Letterpress Prints: Voices Across Her/story virtual art exhibit is right here on our blog! Use the links below to view the exhibit, and don’t forget to tune in to the signature event featuring letterpress printers who contributed to the exhibit on 3/23 (more details and flyer below).


Art Exhibit Panel flyer

Women’s History Month 2021

March is Women’s History Month!

Women’s History Month is intended to commemorate, honor and make visible the contributions of women throughout history (or better yet, her-story). But, being visible does not always equate to being legible, or being heard.

This year WGS at the College of Charleston is theming our programming in celebration of our first woman Vice President, Madame Kamala Harris, who now famously quipped to her rudely interrupting debate opponent, “Excuse Me, I’m Speaking.”

Our programming looks back and also forward, intending to make visible and legible those women and femme-identifying rebels, agitators, knowledge creators, artists, and visionaries who trailblaze for equity and justice – historically and in present day. Join us in celebrating HER-stories!

WHM event calendar

READ NOW! Upcoming WGS event featuring Dr. Bettina Love – Write-Up in the College Today!

Preview image of article in the college today

WGS Research Colloquium – Thursday, February 25 at 5:00pm!

colloquium flyer featuring pictures of speakers

Please join WGS as we hear from our newest faculty affiliates about their current research projects on February 25th, 5:00-6:30pm, via Zoom:

Students, Faculty, Staff, and Community Supporters are all welcome!

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: 


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:

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