1710-1712 E. Michigan Avenue, Lansing, MI 48912 womenscentergl@gmail.com (517) 372-9163

One Billion Rising – a world-wide flash mob

Around the world, people were moving and grooving in an effort to end violence against females.

V-Day, a global activist movement, focuses its attention on ending violence towards women and girls. For its 15th anniversary on Feb. 14, 2013, billions of people joined together in the event One Billion Rising to end violence against women.

Watch a rising here.

This was a global event intended to combine efforts to bring attention to ending rape and sexual violence towards women and girls. It became the largest, mass-action event ever to stop violence against females. Intentions accomplished.

“It has brought together coalitions of groups and individuals that have never worked together before; brought in all kinds of new people and groups and associations and masses of men who are not aware of the issue but are now working on it; brought violence against women, through our numbers and efforts to the center of the discussion,” playwright Eve Ensler said in a press release.

Women and their loved ones went to high-profile locations and broke out in a flash mob performance, like this one in Peru. A dance was choreographed to Break the Chain specifically for One Billion Rising. Some also envisioned and created their own dance number to perform.

Learn the dance (step-by-step) here.

For two days people in over 200 countries were connected through movement while participating in One Billion Rising.

In a press release Ensler said, “…it is in our connectedness, in our stomping feet and uncontrollable hips that the path and energy will be created to bring in a new world. We will galvanize the will and the passion of everyone rising around the world to create change.”

Get involved with V-Day here.


By Katy Barth



Open House January 10, 2013 4-7pm

Stop by next Thursday, January 10, grab a snack and talk with our graduate and undergraduate interns about upcoming programs, services we have to offer or visit the Professional Clothes Closet.

RSVP’s are not required but are nice so we have a count for food.


Assertiveness Workshop For Women

Do you feel guilty when you say no? Are you letting your kids or other family members get away with anything they want? Do family members impose on you? Do you know the difference between assertive and aggressive responses to situations?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, WE WANT YOU!

We are offering a series of three workshops to help you:

  • practice being assertive
  • set appropriate boundaries
  • develop positive communication strategies with others
  • and other communication difficulties you may have

Workshop starts January 10 and will meet from 5:30-7:30 here at the Center.

To register, please call the Women’s Center at 517-372-9163.
Additional sessions will be held Wednesday, February 20, and Wednesday, March 27, same time and place. FREE!

Silvana’s story: “The place where I found a way”

It was a cold winter day two years ago that I walked out my door wearing a black winter coat and bright apple green scarf and hat. I knew there was a Women’s Center in town and maybe they would help. What I needed the most was to talk to women. I knew they would understand.

I showed up at the Women’s Center and talked to the intern. Cindie was in the office and invited me to sit and talk. As I started explaining that I needed help because I was new in the city, my first son had left home for college, my husband at the time had left after finishing his Doctorate degree and my youngest son was still with me and I needed to figure out what to do with my new reality I began to cry. Cindie immediately understood that I needed someone to talk to.

That morning I stumbled over words of sadness, despair and a feeling of hopelessness that I could not bear on my own anymore. During the last six years I had been a doula, a woman who helps women during birth and postpartum. My whole family was doing a huge sacrifice because my husband was going to school. I had to work to make ends meet so I was commuting from Pittsburgh to Lansing until I could establish my doula business in town. My children missed me and I missed them. It was very painful but I thought it would get better. Time went by and I could not introduce the idea of postpartum doulas in the community so I kept going back to Pittsburgh. In the end everything fell apart. I could not hold the family together because I was too tired to be able to do so and that cold winter day I was trying to build a new reality.

They were there for me, Cindie and the intern, listening, and I felt they cared. I also felt I could trust them because I know what people who help look like. I had been one of them not long ago. I had been helping other women go through difficult times also and I had learned how important it was to have that support in times of difficulty.

After listening patiently, they invited me to attend the “Job Seekers” group. I went there and I met other women like me. They were women in their midlife trying to find alternative ideas to create their own unique change in midlife. Each one of us needed to find a way of being productive in a creative sort of way.

I attended the meetings for a few weeks and I realized that what I wanted the most was to go back to school to get a bachelors degree. Doing all the paperwork took a few months because I’m an international student but in the end I started classes. Meanwhile I had graduated from the “Job Seekers” group and started attending the “Not So Happy Endings” group. There again I met other women dealing with ending relationships. I attended the group meetings for about a year and a half. We created a great bond, listened to one another and survived our personal separations in company. To me it was very important to have that kind of support. It makes me feel that my load is not so heavy when I can share my feelings with other women. Finally I graduated from that group when I got divorced. One more time I was ready to move on and go on with my life.

Nevertheless, life has ups and downs. A few days ago I started feeling some changes in my body and I called Claudia, the “Not So Happy Endings” group moderator, to ask her about those changes I was experiencing. She suggested that I should participate in a new group called “Traveling Tips for the Mid-Life Journey.” It was another brilliant idea created at the Women’s Center. One more time they have listened to women and have provided what we need. I attended the first meeting already and I found what I was looking for. The meetings provide a space where women can talk about the emotional and physical changes of midlife. One more time the Women’s Center created an idea that will help women find a way, their own unique creative way to continue this beautiful passage called life.

Monica’s story: “I can flourish”

I came to my appointment with Manuela one Saturday afternoon mid-winter for help with my resume.

Having recently received multiple rejections, I was a real a nervous Nellie. To start off the appointment she suggested I relax. Then she asked me to talk about my current job. After listening compassionately, she offered some suggestions for how to remedy my problems at my workplace. Then she turned to my resume and confirming my fears (and the reason I was there), said “It needs some work.” She asked a few clarifying questions about my experiences and shared with me what she saw as my strengths.

At that moment, 40 minutes into our appointment I started to cry. I was crying because she was providing validation of who I am and what I have to offer that I didn’t believe mattered. I left her office that day with a clear understanding about what I needed to do to properly sell myself with my resume and the support to follow through with it.

Looking back, I see that I was suffering from a fear of asserting myself as the valuable employee that I am. Without the ability to sell myself I was languishing on just the hopes that someone might discover me someday and offer me a position. Manuela at the Women’s Center helped me take my future into my own hands and succeed. This is not trivial assistance. It is life changing. This week I accepted a position at MSU that really suits me. I’m thrilled to once again be working among peers in an environment where I’ll be challenged and where I can flourish. I have an opportunity that will open so many doors and where I am back on my rightful course. I am a highly educated professional who has a formidable network of supportive friends and family. But I was languishing and I needed help. The help I got from the Women’s Center with my job search was completely unlike help I’ve gotten before. It was much, much better.

Originally posted Spring 2008.

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