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Women’s Empowerment Week 2017

Molly Murphy, Student Life Department Writer

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Senior Hannah Ginsberg and a committee of 33 created Women’s Empowerment week last year, with a goal “to empower the people of SMA to take ownership of their lives, identities, and passions, and give them the space and opportunity to take action about the things they care about.” With such a powerful and proactive SMA community it seemed like the perfect way to expand the annual International Women’s Day Assembly, hosted by Women’s Equality Club. Hannah noted that she and her partner in the project, Harper d’Andrea, “knew that if we all got together and used all of that power, we could make a difference.” Through the creation of this student-run week of events, the voice for students and women in the SMA community has only grown stronger.

Women’s Empowerment Week was kicked off with the second annual WEW assembly, where this year’s theme “I Matter. She Matters. WE Matter.” was introduced. While last year the focus was centered around the SMA community, this year the WEW team aims to extend actions of empowerment and sense of community on a global scale. Assembly committee lead Isabel Williams stated that this goal worked to, “[introduce] empowerment as an idea that can be used differently in different experiences” to which WEW Director, Maria Gray added “and to celebrate these differences.” Throughout the week there were various workshops, and guided discussions focusing on topics such as: consent, identity, Period. , and women in different career fields. On Friday they ended the week with a GirlsUP event in the commons, where letters were written to senators to help to encourage action on women’s issues. To get the most possible out of this amazing student led week all you needed to do was come to events with a present and open mind. The hope was that students would be willing to learn about others’ perspectives, and continue to carry forward and make a difference with what they learn. This year, WEW mainly worked with the non profit Period. (previously Camions of Care) to distribute menstrual care products to the underserved communities around Portland and the worldwide . At the packaging event they were able to pack 343 care packages to distribute in our own community, and all of the discussions and workshops available only boosted the educational experience of the week. WEW is all about empowering students at SMA to be champions of positivity and action on women’s issues.

If you would like to get involved with WEW, Applications for leadership roles will come out before the end of this year, and next year at the activity fair there will be committee member applications. WEW encourages and welcomes all to apply and hopes that each and every position will encourage leadership and education!

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The student news site of St. Mary's Academy
Women’s Empowerment Week 2017