The Friends of Women's Studies Prize for Student Activism, funded by membership fees and generous donations from the Friends of Women's Studies, recognizes individuals, groups, or campus organizations who have done outstanding feminist activist work outside the classroom context during the previous academic year.
The winner of the prize in 2012-13 is GSWS major Elizabeth Scott '14. Elizabeth has dedicated herself to the prevention of sexual assault and the promotion of sexual assault awareness both on campus and off. As a member of H.O.P.E. (Health Outreach Peer Educators) and president of their Sexual Aggression/Healthy Relationship Branch, she led efforts to make the organization more inclusive. Among other initiatives, Elizabeth introduced gender-neutral facilitation and LGBTQIA scenarios to the group in order to increase their range of effectiveness. She also led an effort to facilitate a continuing education workshop for the United States Navy, meeting with focus groups on a weekly basis for six months. Elizabeth has served on the W&M Student Assembly as the Undersecretary of Sexual Health, and has also worked off campus with Project SAVED, a summit on teen dating violence in the Williamsburg/James City County community. Finally, Elizabeth also writes a blog called "Things I Like Include ___," which addresses feminist personal and political issues on and off campus. (Our favorite was her entry on the politics of breast augmentation!) She is truly an impressive activist (not just a "student activist") and we are proud to make this award to her! This is not the first time that Elizabeth has won a Women's Studies Award: in summer 2012, a Carol Woody Real World Internship Award supported her work with the Teach for America Summer Institute in Cleveland, Mississippi.
Past winners include Laura Andrew, Kim Green, K.B. (Kathleen) Brower, Casey Sears, Cherie Seise and Constance Sisk. They worked on issues such as women's labor, LGBTQ issues, substance abuse, agricultural sustainability, reproductive rights and sexual health education.
Students and faculty are invited to nominate individuals, groups, or campus organizations. Self-nominations will be accepted. Nominations for 2012-13 are due on Monday, April 8, 2013 by 5 pm and should be submitted electronically to [[jmholly,Jenny Holly]], Academic Program Coordinator for GSWS. Subject line should say: Activism Prize: Individual or Group Name. Each nomination should include the name and contact information of the nominee, and a one to two page letter describing the efforts and achievements of the person or organization during the year. This prize is supported by the Friends of Women's Studies and the GSWS Prizes Committee will make the selection. The successful applicant will receive $100 and a plaque commemorating their achievement.
The Friends of Women's Studies program promotes community involvement in Women's Studies events and with Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies faculty and students. It honors women's voices and fosters a more inclusive, transformative understanding of women and their experiences.