Rocxxy 2014 has begun!

SBAI’s Rocxxy summer internship in feminist leadership and activism has begun! We have doubled the number of interns from our pilot program last summer (that makes 8!), and our interns are working with a handful of new sites.

We currently have interns working with: Alternatives for Battered Women, The Center For Youth and The Susan B. Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership, The Gay Alliance of Genesee Valley, The Genesee Valley Chapter of the NYCLU, Girls Rock! Rochester Summer Camp, Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York, and The Young Women’s College Prep Charter School.

Roccxy Interns Christian Nelson (left), Margaret Speer (center), and another NYCLU intern during their first week on the job at the Genesee Valley Chapter of the NYCLU

Rocxxy Interns Christian Nelson (left), and Margaret Speer (center) during their first week on the job at the Genesee Valley Chapter of the NYCLU

Last Saturday, Rocxxy took a trip to the Susan B. Anthony House and toured the museum and house with a wonderful, informed, and passionate guide.  Interns learned about some of Rochester’s rich history of social activism and progress, and about Susan B. Anthony’s tireless commitment to creating a more just world. We ended the tour by joining together in saying “Failure is Impossible!” Reminding everybody that despite setbacks in working towards positive social change, whether on their own or with an existing non-profit organization, failure only occurs when a person stops trying.

Interns are back at their sites now, and we can’t wait to hear about their second week on the job!

Since SBAI has a lot to do this summer, we’ll be taking a short break from blogging (we’re sorry!), but we’ll be back in full swing by September!

Rocxxy's first field trip to tour Rochester's Susan B. Anthony House and learn about her activist history

Director of Rocxxy, Angela Clark-Taylor and Rocxxy interns on their first field trip to tour Rochester’s Susan B. Anthony House and Museum

Madalina Ciocanu is working with Girls Rock! Rochester

Madalina Ciocanu working with Girls Rock! Rochester

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Kimberly and Beck, and Transition-Related Health Coverage for a Healthier Rochester

At this point anyone who keeps up with Rochester news has heard about The Buzz 98.9′s “Morning Buzz” segment with Kimberly and Beck last Wednesday, but for those of you who missed it we’ll briefly recap the story: Two morning drive radio show hosts made a handful of misinformed and extremely transphobic comments on air (listen here). They were discussing a trans woman on a local softball team and the City of Rochester’s decision to include transition-related medical expenses to city workers’ health care plans.  The Rochester community stepped up, started a petition, and spoke out against the hate speech broadcast over the airwaves, and two days later both hosts of the show were fired from the radio station. Kimberly and Beck have just issued a formal apology.

We are so glad that Rochester has chosen to include transition-related expenses in their coverage of city employees, and we are pleased that The University of Rochester recently made a similar decision to include transition-related healthcare in its student healthcare plans beginning in the 2014-2015 year. John Cullen, Outreach Coordinator at the Susan B. Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership spoke to The Democrat and Chronicle about the new plan:

“Students who are enrolled in the student healthcare plan will be eligible for services including hormone therapy, medical and psychological counseling, and gender affirmation surgery. ‘It’s a medical necessity,’ he said. “It will also help promote a more inclusive environment and a more healthy and productive student body.”

We are proud to be among the fifty-some Universities in the United States to extend their healthcare benefits in this direction, and we hope that more will soon follow suit! We hope that last week’s egregious radio broadcast, Rochester’s new healthcare benefits, and the University’s new student healthcare benefits will push individuals to learn about the importance of  transition-related health care benefits as well as the difficulties faced by trans* communities. According to a report by the National Center for Transgender Equality and The Task Force, “Injustice at Every Turn,” :

  • Transgender people are four times more likely to live in poverty.
  • Transgender people experience unemployment at twice the rate of the general population, with rates for people of color up to four times the national unemployment rate.
  • 90% of transgender people report experiencing harassment, mistreatment or discrimination on the job.
  • 22% of respondents who have interacted with police reported harassment by police, with much higher rates reported by people of color.  Almost half of the respondents (46%) reported being uncomfortable seeking police assistance.
  • 41% of respondents reported attempting suicide, compared to 1.6% of the general population.

When these unfortunate numbers are considered with findings from a recent Pew poll which suggests that only 8% of Americans say they personally know someone who is transgender, it becomes clear how important it is for the media to get it right when discussing transgender related issues. You can help combat derogatory speech as well as the spread of misinformation. If you would like to become better versed, this FAQ page on GLAAD’s site can be a good place to start.

We hope you join the University and City of Rochester in creating a healthier and happier community!


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Congratulations Class of 2014!

Thanks to all of the students, staff and faculty that made the 2013-2014 a wonderful year!

You may have noticed that the SBAI blog has been fairly quiet over the past couple of weeks. We have been busy gearing up for summer: sending off our senior students, tying up the loose ends from spring semester, preparing for our annual “If I Had a Camera…” photo exhibit, and inviting into our classroom the eight wonderful students who are participating in the Rocxxy Summer Internship Program in Feminist Activism and Leadership (more on them soon!)

Last weekend, Sunday May 18, we celebrated commencement in the Welles-Brown Room with a small, but lovely, ceremony.

Serenity Sutherland receiving her Graduate Certificate from Jennifer Creech

Serenity Sutherland receiving her Graduate Certificate from Jennifer Creech

While this year we had no graduating majors, we were pleased to send off three Women’s Studies minors: Alyson Baker, Mara Hyatt, and Katie Adams. As Director Honey Meconi says, “SBAI minors are just majors in waiting.” We believe that a student chooses to minor in Women’s Studies only because they are unable to fit the major into their schedule, or they already have too many majors! We can count on Women’s Studies students to be incredibly active both in the classroom and the community.


Katie Adams and Marie-Joelle Estrada

In addition to receiving her minor certificate, Katie Adams also received the SBAI award for Independent Research, an annual award presented to the student who has completed the best undergraduate research project in gender and women’s studies during the academic year. SBAI’s award was not the only recognition that Katie’s “A Study of Women’s Experiences With Hooking-Up” received. She also received the Deans’ Award for Social Science for this sophisticated and insightful research. Congratulations, Katie!

Emily Sumner received the SBAI Community Connections Award, an annual award presented at to the student whose work in gender and women’s studies has contributed most significantly to the local campus or Rochester community during the academic year. This year, Emily co-founded the University of Rochester Survivor Empowerment Group (UR SEGway) which has been active in offering informational meetings for students to become better versed in issues relating to sexual assault and rape culture, as well as lectures and gatherings to discuss body positivity, how to combat gender-related violence in our society, how to promote consensual sexual activity, and more. This group successfully engaged a broad group of students and raised awareness on campus about these topics. We’re glad to have Emily for another year at the University of Rochester!

Angela Clark-Taylor, Jennifer Creech and Honey Meconi

We were so happy to award Graduate Certificates in Gender and Women’s Studies to SBAI’s Program Manager Angela Clark-Taylor who is a student with The Department of Educational Leadership at the Warner School of Education, and to one of our Graduate Conference Chairs, Serenity Sutherland, a student in The Department of History at the University of Rochester.

The Dissertation Award is awarded annually to the most distinguished dissertation in gender and women’s studies at the University of Rochester. This year Rebecca Burditt, a student in the Visual and Cultural Studies Program and a beloved adjunct professor here at the SBAI, was our honored recipient.

Congratulations to all of you! We wish all of our students the best of luck and invite you to stay in touch!

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Submit Photography to “If I Had a Camera…”

Inspired by “If I had a hammer…I’d SMASH Patriarchy” the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies and The Art and Music Library at the University of Rochester in conjunction is pleased to announce a call for feminist photography! We encourage students, faculty, staff, and Greater Rochester community members to submit work. We are looking forward to seeing submissions from you!

No previous photography experience is necessary, but we are accepting photography only. All work must be original, ready to hang, and pertinent to the theme: Re-Imagining Film and Media Through a Feminist Lens.  Examples could include: images of violence, sexism, or misogyny in film/media re-imagined through a feminist lens; a critique on these images; or creating a space through photography for women in male dominated space. We encourage thoughtfulness and creativity in your submissions.

The deadline to submit is Friday May 23, 2014. Submissions can be dropped off at the Susan B. Anthony Institute at the University of Rochester. The show will run June 2 – 27 in The Art and Music Library at the University of Rochester with a reception on June 6, the first Friday in June.  A prize of $100 will be awarded to the best submission! For more information contact Jane Bryant at or (585) 275-8318.

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Angela Clark-Taylor Recieves RESOLVE Award Nomination!

Last week RESOLVE of Greater Rochester’s first “Resolutionary Award” was presented to a member of the community who has demonstrated a commitment to preventing violence against women. We are pleased to announce that Angela Clark-Taylor, SBAI Program Manager, was nominated for the Resolutionary Award alongside a wonderful group of community members.

The Resolutionary Award was presented to Amy Schwartz of The Empire Justice Center for her continued efforts to help victims of domestic violence. Congratulations and thank you Amy!

The other nominees were Kyle Orton from University of Rochester, Jeff Pier of RESTORE, and Joan Fyfe, a Stephen Minister from Webster United Methodist Church.

Allison O’Malley, Executive Director of RESOLVE, says the nominees are “everyday heroes – those that stand tall in our community as allies promoting safety, cultivating change in attitudes and beliefs, and inspiring others to join in our mission to eradicate all forms of violence against women and girls.” “As much as RESOLVE is committed to making our community safe for women and girls, we cannot do it alone… Through this award we wish to recognize the contributions of extraordinary individuals who demonstrate the impact that one person can have toward forging a path toward a brighter future that is safe and just for all its members.”

Learn more about RESOLVE of Greater Rochester, Inc.


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New WST Summer Course “Women in Law”

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New Summer Course!
Looking for a way to incorporate the SBAI into your summer? There is still room to enroll in this new WST summer course! The course may not be offered next summer, so we hope that you take advantage of this opportunity.

Course Number: WST 248
Course Title: Women in Law: As Defendants, Practitioners and Victims
Course Description: This course will explore the role of gender in criminal and civil law from the lens of defendants, practitioners and victims. The class will used mixed methods and include research, film and guest lectures. Court watching will be required as will writing exercises. Topics include, but are not limited to: domestic violence, criminal law, human trafficking, specialty courts, professional development, and being good consumers of media regarding women and law.
Credits: 4.0
Meeting time: Mondays and Wednesdays 9:00 am – 12:45 pm
Course Dates: Monday, May 19th – Friday, June 27th
Location: Lattimore 540

About The Professor

Dr. Cerulli is the Director of the Susan B. Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership and the Laboratory of Interpersonal Violence and Victimization (LIVV), Associate Professor of Psychiatry, at the University of Rochester.  The National Institute of Mental Health awarded Dr. Cerulli a five-year grant to conduct a randomized control trial in Family Court to assess whether enhanced mental health enables intimate partner violence (IPV) victims to better navigate safety. 

Professor Catherine Cerulli

Professor Catherine Cerulli, JD, PhD

She was also to the Co-Principal Investigator on a National Institute of Justice award to assess whether victim participation in prosecution impacts their subsequent safety.  She was formerly an Assistant District Attorney in Monroe County, New York, where she created a special misdemeanor domestic violence unit in 1995. She has been working on issues surrounding domestic violence and child abuse for almost three decades, in a variety of capacities.  Dr. Cerulli currently has funding from the Center for Disease Control to work with a national IPV hotline to help address the intersection of violence and mental health. She works internationally to ameliorate violence against women and currently is assisting with a project addressing the health and welfare of sex workers and trafficking victims in Laos. She is a founding and current Board Member for the Crisis Nursery of Greater Rochester, Inc., a grass roots organization providing emergency respite care for greater Rochester area families with young children.


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3rd Annual Rainbow Lecture Tonight!

We are looking forward to this evening’s Rainbow Lecture with Kristen Renn, PhD, Professor of Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education at Michigan State University. Dr. Renn will present “Creating Environments for LGBTQ College Student Success”. The lecture will take place at 5:00 pm in the Welles-Brown Room of the Rush Rhees Library. For information on parking at the University, please visit the visitor parking page of the University website.

Dr. Renn’s research centers on identity in higher education, with current projects focusing on bi and multiracial college students, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender college students, a national study of new professionals in student affairs, and a study of women’s higher education institutions around the world. We are so pleased to have her with us today and hope that you will join us for the 3rd annual Rainbow Lecture!

The Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies would like to acknowledge the generous support of the LGBT Fund for Greater Rochester for the 2014 Rainbow Lecture.

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Out in Reel Film Series begins April 10!

We will kick off the Out in Reel LGBTQI Film Series with a screening of Intersexion on Thursday April 10 at 7pm in Hoyt Auditorium.

“Intersexion looks beyond the shame and secrecy that defines many intersex births, and explores how intersex people ‘with their very different bodies’ navigate their way through childhood, adolescence, relationships and adulthood, when they don’t fit the binary model of a solely male and female world.
-About Intersex. (2012).

We will continue Out in Reel next Wednesday with Diagnosing Difference, and the following Wednesday with Shoulders to Stand On. The Shoulders to Stand On screening will feature a panel organized by the University of Rochester’s Pride Network. More details will be available soon. For film and screening details please see the poster below.

The Out in Reel series is one of many LGBTQI Awareness Month events. For a complete listing of LGBTQI Awareness Month events at the University of Rochester please see our “April is LGBTQI Awareness Month!” post.

Out in Reel Film Series

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Women in Translation

Women in Translation, a Reading The World Conversation Series Event will take place Thursday, April 10 at 6 pm in the Welles-Brown Room, Rush Rhees Library. The event is free and open to the public.

Bulgarian authors Albena Stambolova (Everything Happens as It Does) and Virginia Zaharieva (Nine Rabbits) will join Danish author Iben Mondrup (Justine) and her translator Kerrie Pierce, to discuss their writing and careers – both in their home countries and abroad.

Women in Translation


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Black Queer Affection


“Black Queer Affection” with Abdi Osman is tomorrow (Wednesday April 9) at 5:00 pm in the Welles-Brown Room.

Abdi Osman is a Somali-Canadian multidisciplinary artist whose work focuses on questions of black masculinity as it intersects with Muslim and queer identities. Osman’s video and photography work have been shown in Canada and internationally in both group and solo exhibitions. He holds an MFA in Documentary Media from Ryerson University, and B.A. in African Studies from the University of Toronto. Previous work has been supported by a grant from the Ontario Arts Council. His photographs are also in private collections and the Art Bank of the Canada Council for the Arts. Some of his work was in the year-long group show DiaporaArt: Strategy and Seduction by Canadian Artists from Culturally Diverse Communities at Rideau Hall. Abdi was a 2010 artist-in-resident at the McColl Centre for Visual Arts in Charlotte North Carolina. Most recently in 2012, he was a fellow at The Interdisciplinary Center for Culture and Creativity (ICCC) at the University of Saskatchewan.

This event is sponsored by the Frederick Douglass Institute for African & African-American Studies, the Art & Art History Department, and the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender & Women studies.

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