Sitting Down With Barbara Ehrenreich– An Intern’s Experience

Over a week ago I was given the opportunity to attend a luncheon with a woman who wears many hats at once– she is an activist, scientist, journalist, and bestselling author.  However, I do not believe that this brief summary can entirely do her justice. Her name is Barbara Ehrenreich, and much of her work is centered around issues of inequality.

Walking up to the second floor of the East Lansing Marriott, and knowing I would be the only student present, I was surprisingly calm (and thrilled) despite my concerns heading into the meeting. Did I know enough about Barbara? What will we talk about? Will I have any input? Is the luncheon covered by the university? Should I order an appetizer or a meal?

Classic intern.

Thankfully, my futile thoughts were put to rest almost immediately. As everyone arrived we went around giving brief introductions of ourselves. I was surrounded by ten women, all of whom were from different Michigan State University departments and different organizations in the East Lansing and Lansing area. To my left was Cindie, executive director of the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing (also my boss) and to my right were several MSU professors. Barbara was directly across from me.

The next two hours flew by as we, a group of feminists, scratched the surface on an array of issues. Much of the conversation was built around a mutual and genuine interest for everyone’s thoughts on everything we discussed– topics from abortion, transgender rights, the minimum wage, the overwhelming (and unfortunate) need for 24 hour day care centers, and so much more. I sat there amazed by the way in which the discourse took place. Everyone was so knowledgable, respectful, and thought-provoking. I realized in that moment, that it was these women that I had the privilege of meeting that are leading important dialogues that people everywhere need to be engaged in. “I bet our waiter is learning A LOT today,” Cindie joked to me. Heck, so was I.


Later that evening I attended the speaking engagement with Barbara that was held at Michigan State’s Snyder-Phillips RCAH theatre. It is hard for me to articulate the topics that were discussed and the questions that were asked (physics was was an area that sent my wheels turning faster than I could manage).

Although I was unable to wrap my mind around several of the concepts we discussed, one thing was certain. Barbara was a woman who had questions and would do anything to make sure she found answers. To me, this driving curiosity and hunger for the truth in a person is admirable. How can we all strive to find these answers? What would the world look like if we all started searching?

The good news is that spaces are being created for these conversations to happen.  And with each thoughtful, provocative dialogue that is had, we are one step closer to action in making the world a more equal, better place.

I went home that night with questions, answers, inspiration, excitement, and to my inquisitive and nerdy pleasure, a bag full of signed books.


Updated In Her Cups Bras for a Cause Information!


Let’s recap!

The In Her Cups Bras for a Cause Art Auction will be on Friday, November 13th at The Runway in the Knapp’s Centre at 6:00pm.

What is the event all about?

The In Her Cups Bras for a Cause Art Auction is an event to help support and empower women who have been affected by cancer, domestic violence, and other traumatic events. Artists, community members, organizations, companies, and individuals submit  bra artwork to be auctioned off at the event. The ladies of the Mitten Mavens Roller Derby team and cancer survivors will be modeling the bra creations for the live auction. There will be both a live and silent auction!

All proceeds raised go to programs and services at the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing, specifically the Cancer CARES program. The Cancer CARES program provides individual services, employment, counseling, and support services for women in cancer treatment and her family.

Reminders & Updated Information

  • All art entries should be received by 5:00pm on Monday, November 9th
  • Ticket prices:
    • $25 for one
    • $40 for two
    • Be a sponsor for $50 and get a VIP seat next to the runway


Tickets can be purchased by following this link. Call the Women’s Center at 517-372-9163 if you have any additional questions!

In Her Cups Bras for a Cause Art Auction: November 13, 2015

BeFunky Collage5_CROP


Mark your calendars! The In Her Cups Bras for a Cause Art Auction will take place on Friday, November 13th from 6:00-8:00pm. The event will be held at The Runway located in the elegant Knapp’s Centre downtown Lansing (check out their website here:

Promoting both cancer and domestic violence awareness, the art auction donations received will help benefit the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing and our Cancer C.A.R.E.S. program.


The Mitten Mavens Roller Derby Team will be returning once again to model the bra art along with survivors, making the presentation of the submissions one of the most empowering and fun parts of the night. 


There are many ways for you to be involved in the event! Unleash your creativity and submit a bra to be auctioned, attend the event, or be a sponsor. If you would like to submit a bra, you may find the linked Submission Details & Entry Form below. If you have any questions about the event, call us at 517-372-9163.

Tickets will go on Sale October 1st and can be purchased over the phone or through the website.

2015 In Her Cups Entry Form

Buy Tickets Here


Capital City Dragon Boat Race – Yes, it is for you!

The Women’s Center of Greater Lansing took over the hosting of the Capital City Dragon Boat race (CCDBR) in 2014. Dragon boating in the U.S. was started around raising money for charities that support breast cancer survivors. A large portion of any proceeds that we raise from the CCDBR go to our Cancer C.A.R.E.S. program. Cancer CARES help support anyone who is living with cancer and their family access support services to help them deal with cancer. We also have a wig and prosthetic bank, a clothing closet, employment services and opportunities for men and children to meet with one another and talk about what it’s like to have a parent or partner with cancer.

A dragon boat hold 20 people: 18 paddlers, a drummer and a flag catcher. ANYONE can participate in dragon boating. It was started with breast cancer survivors! If you want to know more about the CCDBR please go to the website:

HE LAUGHS III – JULY 11 – MSU UNION – Dinner, Comedy, Dancing


An extremely gracious anonymous donor has financed a catered evening at the MSU Union Ballroom. For a relatively small donation to the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing, you’ll receive a grand night of dinner, comedy and music.


The He Laughs III comedy show will have you laughing, tapping your toes and itching to get out of your seat to shake what your mama gave you.
Because of this wonderful donation, expenses are low which means that a majority percentage of your donation will go directly to the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing.


Metro Melik of Lansing Made will be hosting the He Laughs III event on Saturday July 11th, 2015 at the MSU Union Ballroom. Doors open at 5:30 PM. The night begins with a cash bar, then dinner at 6:30 PM. Four fun guys will perform comedy beginning at 8:00 PM. And the dance floor will be open from 9:30 – 11:30 PM.


We encourage you to take advantage of this special night of giving to benefit the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing. They need your help. And we are sure you’ll enjoy good food, a good laugh and an excuse not to go to the gym because you left your workout on the dance floor. See you Saturday July 11th at the MSU Union Ballroom for He Laughs III benefiting the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing.

For ticket information please visit

A special thank you goes to Ventatti for waving their processing fees for this event. Ventatti is a local event ticket sale company started by MSU Students.