Community Action Projects in 2012

WM Sports Equality: Our project's goal was to raise the interest in and awareness of non-mainstream sports as a way to improve gender equality and physical fitness in our community at the College of William and Mary and across the Internet. Instead of just protesting the mainstream media's inequality, we have created a separate and activist blog to cover the issues other sources ignore. In an attempt to captivate a wide audience we focus not just on feminist issues but also on the humorous and joyous side of sports, too.

Uniquely Beautiful: Our project centered around creating a body image blog on HerCampus, and implementing a sticker campaign on campus inspired by Marie Claire's "What Makes Me Beautiful" column. Our intention was to create an atmosphere of positivity and acceptance on campus.

Taste the Rainbow: We organized a week of events and speakers to raise awareness of the LGBTQ community on the William and Mary campus. More information is on our Facebook page.

The Real Project: Our project is an exploration of the representation of women's bodies in the media, and a discussion of the internalization of these unrealistic standards. We screened two documentaries, Killing Us Softly 3 and Killing Us Softly 4, and organized discussions to follow.

Behind Closed Doors: How to have a Healthy Hook-Up: Our project focused on challenging the hegemonic views on gender and sexuality that dictate how students approach hook-ups. We achieved this by generating an open forum where students voiced their concerns and  ask questions about the hook-up culture. To answer these questions, we had a representative from Avalon come who was also able to give additional information about having healthy relationships.

Sisters for Sisters: Our CAP focused on bridging the gap between William and Mary’s two councils that govern sororities on campus: Panhellenic Council and National Pan-Hellenic Council.  Our CAP surveyed Greek sororities to understand the disconnect between NPC and NPHC recognized sororities on campus. After analyzing the results of the survey, our CAP group started a petition to encourage the establishment of an all-inclusive Greek Council and created a Facebook group to foster a Pan-Greek community.

Media and Women’s Self-Perception: This project informed the campus about how the standards of beauty set by the media affect our self-perceptions and our obsession with physical appearance. We launched a flyer/sticky note campaign that drew attention to women’s obsessions with their bodies as well as advertise for our second event, the screening of the film Miss Representation. This film focuses on how women are portrayed in the media, and was followed by a discussion of women and media. 

Raising Trans* Awareness: The Raising Trans* Awareness CAP focused on inspiring activism for Trans* rights through education. Educational flyers were posted around campus to educate the general student body and advertise for a form on Trans* issues. The group then hosted several speakers to lead a forum for over thirty students to learn about and discuss Trans* identities and foster a dialogue about Trans* issues.

LYS (Love Your Self): LYS was specifically created in honor of NOW’s (National Organization for Women’s) 25th Anniversary of their Love Your Body campaign. The goal of our project is to encourage women to create their own ideas of beauty and deviate from the societal conception of beauty.

Election Debate on Women's Issues in Politics: We organized and moderated a friendly debate between William and Mary Young Democrats, College Republicans, and Students for Liberty. The three groups shared their party platforms and individual ideas concerning a variety of women's studies issues in politics, including immigration laws, reproductive justice, LGBTIQ rights, and healthcare coverage. We hope that this debate inspired the audience to think critically about the upcoming 2012 election and the effects that voting can have.

Male Sexual Assault Awareness: The issue we decided to focus on was raising awareness on campus about the reality and frequency of male sexual assault and abuse. We screened the film, Boys and Men Healing, which coincided with Sexual Assault Awareness Week and held a brief discussion after the film. Additionally, the film will now be incorporated in training new One in Four members on campus. We also created a pamphlet, which was submitted to and will hopefully be adopted by the Office of Health Education.

Beyond Orientation: Our group did a series of events to promote awareness of LGBTQ issues in the Greek community. The two with the most impact were our film screening of Defying Gravity and our No-Homo pledge, which is to stop derogatory language against LGBTQ identified people.

Finding Your Voice to Find Your Way: Our mission was to encourage the student body to speak up about the day to day issues they find most important.  Everyone has an opinion, and everyone deserves to be heard.  This Wall is meant to empower those whose voices have been suppressed.

"I am a Feminist Because..." : This group worked to fight the stigma and stereotypes surrounding the term 'feminist' by creating a photo project for members of the William and Mary community to participate in.  Participants had their picture taken with a sign stating "I am a feminist because..." with their personal reason listed.  Photos were then uploaded to our Facebook page, which people could like and then view and comment the pictures.

Detecting Colorism: This group explored notions of white privilege and the ways in which this privilege influences our perception of body image and beauty. Through a three pronged approach that incorporated an awareness campaign, a film screening, and a petition, our group worked to detect, define, and deconstruct Colorism both on our campus and in society as a whole.