We are so incredibly thrilled to be officially announcing today that UNH’s Women’s Studies Program (now a full DEPARTMENT at UNH, woot woot!) has officially joined as a Feminist Oasis Institutional Member! We know some of our members have gotten a little heads up on this exciting news, but part of our announcement today is totally new — we’re going to team up for a Feminist Self-Care event in the fall which will be for the entire UNH community! Can you even handle it?
Here’s an excerpt from the press release we sent out today (and if you’re a member of local media who didn’t get it but would like to be on our press list, please contact us!)
May 9, 2019 — Durham, NH // Feminist Oasis announced today that UNH’s Women’s Studies Program has joined as the inaugural member of their new Institutional Membership program.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Feminist Oasis in offering feminist self-care and bring more resilience efforts to campus,” said Siobhan Senier, coordinator of the Women’s Studies Program. “We are particularly excited to partner with Feminist Oasis and bring events to UNH that serve our students.”
Feminist Oasis pitched a new business-level member tier as a finalist in UNH’s Social Venture Innovation Challenge in October 2018. Using feedback from that process, Feminist Oasis created the Institutional Member level, with universities, businesses, organizations, schools and other teams in mind to help institutions start or continue their social justice efforts within their institutions.
While businesses or any teams of over 10 people are welcome to join, Founder Crystal Paradis says she’s focusing on universities and colleges first.
Why focus on academic communities?
“Media consumption, urgent headlines and pressure to perform at increasing levels are on the rise — and in no place is this more evident than a university campus in 2019,” says Paradis. “For folks committed to equitable, intersectional feminist values, these pervasive cultural messages reveal themselves to be products of systemic structures. There’s a lot out there on ‘self-care’ but what is often missing, and which we believe is core to feminist values in practice, is a community-supported element.” An example of this community-supported self-care approach is their monthly “Get Cozy + Creative” events, where attendees are encouraged to “wear your cozies” and “BYOP (bring your own project” and just hang out and get creative — often on individual projects but in a friendly and fun group setting.
This increased need for resilience-building experiences in the academic world is one reason that universities are a natural fit as Feminist Oasis members. Another is the high level of interest in the intersectional feminist movement among college and university students. “We’ve already been asked by multiple students how they can start a Feminist Oasis chapter on their campus.” Paradis says.
Feminist Oasis will be increasing on-campus and near-campus events and providing free access for Women’s Studies program students, staff and faculty to attend popular series such as Get Cozy and Creative events; Feminists, Waffles, Work workshops and coworking sessions; feminist-themed community conversations and large “Feminist Self-Care” event in the fall for the entire UNH community.
UNH’s Women’s Studies Program will also be a partner in piloting a student chapter model, to explore sustainable models of student life and activism.
Paradis is thrilled Women’s Studies is the first Institutional Member and hopes to bring on at least five more Institutional Members in 2019.