Archive | WGS in the Community

What IFF?: Creating Communities for Change with Mika Gadsden

The new episode of What IFF? features the Women’s & Gender Studies’ Community Leader-In-Residence, Tamika Gadsden. As a well-traveled activist and grassroots mayoral candidate, Mika calls attention to current issues impacting CofC students and the Lowcountry. Learn how to be more active in your democracy through the support of local organizations, historical archives, and community relationships as catalysts for change!

Also learn more about What IFF? on Wednesday at Feminism in Motion! Bria, this season’s podcast creator and producer, will be presenting about the podcast. And hear more from Mika who will be saying a few words as well!

Feminism in Motion is being held in Stern Center Ballroom on Wednesday, April 19th from 3PM-7PM. Drop-in or stay the whole time; we hope to see y’all there!

READ NOW: “Late Professor’s New Book Leaves a Lasting Legacy”

Photograph of Alison Piepmeier's new book cover + text

Click the banner image above or the button below to read the write-up on the late Alison Peipmeier’s new book, Unexpected: Parenting, Prenatal Testing, and Down Syndrome, which The College Today‘s Amy Mercer writes “offers interviews with parents of children with Down syndrome as well as scholarly research, weaving a narrative that is both deeply personal and academic.”

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)

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.

WGS in The College Today: “Edit-a-Thon Sheds Light on LGBTQ Life in the Lowcountry”

screenshot of the College Today article page

Have you read the recent article in The College Today about the “edit-a-thon” for the LGBTQ Oral History project? You’ll notice the Intro to WGS course (WGST 200) is mentioned, along with our very own Christy Kollath-Cattano (WGS Associate Director, Professor of Public Health) and WGS student Grayson Flowers. How neat is that? Read the full write-up in The College Today using the button below.

SAVE THE DATES: Mariah Parker Campus Visit & Community Performance 2/27-28

Signature WGS Event bridging Black History Month and Women’s History Month: Mariah Parker, February 27th, 5pm, Rita 101: Cultivating Courage: From Experience to Political Action for Justice.  

mariah parker flyer

Join us for TWO evenings of educational, politically progressive, and inspirational events featuring Mariah Parker who will deliver an evening lecture on campus (2/27), and then a performance at the Royal American (2/28) with local activist Mika Gadsden and artist Benny Starr.  

LF flyer

While some members of our campus community will be honoring former Ambassador Nikki Haley with an award on 2/27, we will join in defiance and in community to be inspired by Mariah, a young, Black, openly queer, community organizer, recently elected city council woman in Athens, GA who is also a Ph.D. student in Linguistics (at UGA) and rapper. She is emblematic of courage in politics! Mainstream media outlets have characterized Mariah as part of the wave of young women of color “rescuing the Democratic party and “expanding the parameters of black leadership.” See attached flyers for information and a list of all our many campus sponsors! 

International Pronouns Day & Spirit Day Events, 10/16-17


International Pronouns Day

Second Annual Observance: October 16, 2019

International Pronouns Day seeks to make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace. Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity, but many transgender and gender nonconforming people are regularly called by the wrong pronouns, which causes erasure and marginalization.

International Pronouns Day occurs on the third Wednesday of October each year, and in 2019 is scheduled for Wednesday, October 16, 2019. The College of Charleston has officially endorsed International Pronouns Day, joining hundreds of groups around the world, including groups based in Australia, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Rwanda, Singapore, the UK, the USA, and individual registrants in a variety of additional locations such as Denmark, Hong Kong, and Mexico. The full list of endorsers is online at:

To recognize International Pronouns Day, WGS, MSPS, GSEC, Out Front, Prism and our local LGBTQ+ youth organization, We Are Family, will be conducting outreach on Cougar Mall, and hosting educational events on Wednesday and Thursday of this week (see info below!).

Show your support by posting online using the #PronounsDay hashtag, encouraging create supportive institutional policies and practices, and creating awareness on our campus and in the Charleston community. “Trans and gender nonconforming people, especially Black folks and those perceived to be feminine, are often harmed by many forms of interpersonal and systemic violence. An action as small as respecting names and pronouns can begin a conversation about justice and about creating the workplaces, educational environments, and communities where we all thrive,” said Shige Sakurai (they), the campaign’s founder and the creator of the educational website. “For me, it’s a spiritual undertaking, and it’s about wellbeing. We have to end assumptions and erasure and the harm they create.”

“Intersecting forms of oppression deeply impact transgender communities. These actions are part of the larger work of creating and sustaining inclusive and supportive communities for everyone,” said Luca Maurer (he), a campaign Executive Board member, about this observance.


International Pronouns Day flyer

October 16 – International Pronouns Day! Tabling & “Flash Fashion Shows” in Cougar Mall and Maybank

Join GSEC, We are Family, Prism, MSPS, and WGS as we table for International Pronouns Day! Stop by and learn more about the College’s commitment to the International Pronouns Day initiative and pick up free swag, including awesome pronoun buttons to wear!

Spirit Day 2019 Flyer

October 17 – Spirit Day 2019 – Phluid Project & Youth Panel – 5:00-7:00pm, Stern Ballroom  

Join GSEC, We are Family, Prism, MSPS, and WGS for an event for GLAAD’s Spirit Day celebration! Wear purple to show solidarity with anti-bullying towards LGBTQ+ youth and enjoy a panel guest hosted by Preston Souza and Alex O’Hanley from the Phluid Project and a special fashion show performance.  

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