#GoRed For Women- National Heart Month

National Wear Red Day

Maybe you made it your new year’s resolution to focus on your health & fitness– maybe you didn’t. Regardless if you vowed to make your exercise and nutrition habits a priority in 2016, February is here to remind us all of what is often known as the “silent killer”: heart disease. February is National Heart Month, and we want YOU to be informed and ready to participate.

Fortunately, the American Heart Association created Go Red For Women to “empower women to take charge of their heart health”. Their website, www.GoRedForWomen.com provides women with vital information, support, and ways to get involved. Throughout the month, we’re going to be learning about heart health tips, myths, statistics, and more to share with you.

Why should you care? Heart health is easy to overlook, as we often associate heart disease with old age mostly plaguing men. However, according the the American Heart Association, heart disease is killing 500,000 women each year. That’s 1 in 3 women. Heart disease needs the attention of ALL women, regardless of age. Today, we’re going to start by simply defining what heart disease is.

What Is Heart Disease?

Heart disease, or cardiovascular disease, is a wide range of conditions that affect the heart and is typically linked to what is called atherosclerosis (when plaque builds up on the walls of the arteries). The build up of this plaque can cause blood clots and can lead to heart attack or stroke. Other conditions that fall under this definition are blood vessel diseases, such as coronary artery disease; heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias); and heart defects you’re born with (congenital heart defects), among others.

How Does This Affect You?
Heart disease affects women differently than it affects men. Most women who die suddenly of heart disease have no previous symptoms. Because symptoms for men and women differ greatly, they’re often misunderstood. The media has misconstrued women to believe that the cardinal sign of a heart attack is extreme chest pain. In reality, women are somewhat more likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain, more so than chest pain.

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To reach your greatest potential, focusing on your health is essential. For more information on heart disease and ways to prevent it, keep an eye on our website and social media accounts throughout the month of February.

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Two New Groups Starting Tonight!

The Grief Group is meeting tonight from 5-6:30pm.
A Greater Love: Learning to Accept – an open support group for adults with disabilities focusing on empowerment and self-advocacy, realizing your full potential and acceptance of your disability. This is an open dialogue, safe, supportive and nurturing group. Whether you’ve been recently diagnosed with a disability or have been living with a disability for a long time, you will find something new in this group!
Meets Wednesdays 3:30-5:00 PM
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Help Women and Their Families Who Are Struggling with Cancer!

DONATE HERE: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/helping-women-survive-cancer/

We all know someone who has been diagnosed with cancer. How well they navigate treatment and recovery depends on the support they receive during the process. Help make their journey more successful with your support of Zena’s Club-Cancer CARES program today!

We need a minimum of 40 different donors who donate on the GLOBAL GIVING site to help us raise $5,000 during the month of December! How can you help? Donate yourself and challenge your friends, family and co-workers to match your donation. Donation levels start at $20 and every single donation helps meet ourgoal.

The Women’s Center has added a new program. Zena’s Club – Cancer CARES will provide a warm, inviting and caring environment for women and their families who are dealing with cancer, providing emotional support, employment services, support groups and resources outside of a medical setting. ZC3 is designed as a place where spouses/partners, kids and survivors can meet with others in their situation for support; kids can talk to other kids whose parent is going through treatment (why is my mommy bald? did your mommy get bald?) and spouses or otherfamily members can support each other, ask questions and access resources.

ZC3 is the first community based program to address the critical psycho-social needs of women with cancer and their families. Thanks to YOU, ALL of the ZC3 services are FREE. 

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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!