This week's featured feminist is Alexandria White, the interim director fo the Center for Inclusion and Cross-Cultural Engagement. White moved around a lot when she was young. She was born in Chicago, spent time in Atlanta, and graduated from high school in Grenada, Mississippi. She is very passionate about education. "As a woman of color," she says, "education has given me access and options. I often tell my students that someone can take your job, house or status but they can never take your education."
White thinks of her mother as the essence of a feminist, and a major influence for her. "She always taught me to think critically, be independent and embrace change. I have five brothers, so I grew up with a lot of masculinity all around me. My mother would tell me to go outside and play with the boys. Go play and be free. This shaped me to know that my gender does not limit me. I can run and play with the boys and beat them at their own game."
White's favorite feminist thinker is bell hooks. She discovered her in a college sociology class. Another great feminist author that White mentioned is Nikki Giovanni, the black Appalachian poet, activist and thinker. About Giovanni, White says: "She is blunt and candid about her struggles as a black feminist in a world who was never ready for her voice."
Professionally, White says that she is just grateful to see students every day. "They motivate me to be a better professional and challenge me to think critically."
White has worked on numerous projects while at the university. One of her favorite projects was the Women of Color Health Expo, an event held in The Grove to bring awareness to health issues that target women of color at a higher rate. For example, African-American women have a higher rate of fibroids. The event was open to the University of Mississippi and Oxford community.
"I have a passion for travel because it helps people learn about themselves," says White. In 2017, The Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement took a student delegation to Washington D.C. During the visit, White visited the National Museum of African American History and Culture. "This was in fact one of the most memorable projects I was involved in. We selected an array of students some of them had never flown on a plane, some had never visited Washington D.C., and some were just excited to be a part of this experience."
The Week Ahead
EMPOWER: More Music • More Empathy
UM Music Professor Nancy Maria Balach will perform a recital that is focused on women’s stories, experiences, and empowerment. The self-reflective program will incorporate various genres of music by established and up and coming composers. Nancy Maria will be sharing the stage with pianist Amanda Johnston and other outstanding musicians. A reception will follow. 7:30 PM, Nutt Auditorium
Are you Ready? Dialogue Series: Let’ Start the Conversation Are you ready for a unique, engaging dialogue series? Join us as we discuss the intersection of Latinx and LGBTQ+ identities. The interactive dialogue will celebrate the contributions of members of both the LGBTQ+ and Latinx communities. Topics such as the aftermath of the Pulse Nightclub shooting will also be discussed. Julian Randall, an Ole Miss graduate student, will facilitate the discussion. 6 PM, 209 Bryant Hall
UM Allies Training for Students
UM Allies training is a 3 hour workshop that will teach students about LGBTQ+ identities, issues that are faced by individuals in these communities, and how to be an effective Ally. The workshop will also cover important terminology and available campus resources. Students can pre-register HERE now until October 8, 2018 at Noon. 4 - 7 PM, Isom Center Conference Room, A 14 ~ 3rd Floor Lamar Hall
Lambda is an LGBTQ+ support group that meets weekly. We understand the struggle and frustration that many individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ have to face. We recognize the emotional, mental and physical impacts of discrimination, rejection, and negative attitudes on the mind and body. Our goal is to provide a supportive and safe environment for disclosure, to allow individuals to talk openly about concerns without the fear of judgment or bias, and help develop positive coping strategies (e.g., self advocacy). 5:30 PM, 210 Peabody
Hispanic Heritage/ LGBTQ History Month Book Reading Set against the backdrop of the Obama presidency, Julian Randall’s Refuse documents a young biracial man’s journey through the mythos of Blackness, Latinidad, family, sexuality and a hostile American landscape. Mapping the relationship between father and son caught in a lineage of grief and inherited Black trauma, Randall conjures reflections from mythical figures such as Icarus, Narcissus and the absent Frank Ocean. Not merely a story of the wound but the salve, Refuse is a poetry debut that accepts that every song must end before walking confidently into the next music. 5 PM, Off Square Books
Hispanic Heritage Series: Summer 1993 Six-year-old Frida moves in with her aunt and uncle after her mother passes away. The rich, saturated tones of this beautiful film belie the troubles Frida has in adjusting to her new life. Sponsors: The Spanish Film Club Pragda.com; The Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, The Center for Inclusion and Cross-Cultural Engagement, Alpha Lambda Delta, Modern Languages. 6 PM, 127 Lamar Hall
Sarah Talks: RuPaul Before Supermodel: Starrbooty and the Politics of Racial Drag
In this lecture, Dr. Michael Bibler (English ~ LSU) will discuss RuPaul’s early career and her creation of the personas Starrbooty and Miss Rachel Tensions, who both inhabited spaces that took white constructions of black respectability literally. He will also discuss early controversy about whether Ru’s drag was “black enough” to contemporary controversies about trans identity. Noon, Tupelo Room, Barnard Observatory
LGBTQ+ Faculty & Staff Networking Social
The Division of Diversity and Community Engagement cordially invites faculty and staff to a networking social in honor of LGBTQ+ History Month. For additional information or disability accommodations, contact email@example.com or (662) 915-2933.
5:30 PM, Farrington Gallery, Bryant Hall
LOU Pride Collective Concert
Local musician Mattie Thrasher and band And the Echo headline a concert to celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month. 9 PM, Proud Larry's