For the last four years, the “Yes! I’m a Feminist” party has been a special celebration on the College of Charleston campus. And this year, the event promises to be extra special.
Kicking off Women’s History Month, the fifth annual Yes! I’m a Feminist Party is being held in honor of the late Alison Piepmeier, the first director of the College of Charleston’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program and the woman who first initiated the event in 2012 to raise money for the program.
This year, the fundraiser also represents the opportunity to complete the endowment for the Alison Piepmeier Scholarship – as well as the opportunity to introduce the first recipient of the scholarship.
The Alison Piepmeier Yes! I’m a Feminist Party will be at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, in the Cistern Yard. Hosted by the Women’s and Gender Studies Community Advisory Board, the event is free and open to the public and will feature festive drinks and deserts, live music from vocal songstress Leah Suárez ’05 and an opportunity for progressive and active dialogue for all.
“When we began this event five years ago, we wanted it to be an affirmation of feminism and an introduction to the students already identifying as feminist activists,” says Amanda Bunting Comen ’01, chair of the Women’s and Gender Studies Community Advisory Board. “For women and men who identify as feminists, this is just a party to reconnect or introduce ourselves.”
This year’s event stays true to Piepmeier’s original vision for the party: not only to raise money for the WGS, but also to connect students and faculty with supportive community members and to leverage progressive support in Charleston for students doing critical research and activism.
“The financial and emotional support of the community allows our students to expand their work and take on opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise be available to them,” says Cara Delay, director of the WGS.
In years past, the event has generated $16,000 to $20,000 in support of student travel to conferences, faculty recruitment and development and student scholarship. This year, the gifts will support the Alison Piepmeier Scholarship, ensuring that even more students are able to receive financial support.
To be awarded annually to a full-time student who is either majoring or minoring in women’s and gender studies who has demonstrated a record of feminist activism and leadership, the Alison Piepmeier Scholarship was founded a week after Piepmeier’s passing last December after a six-year struggle with brain cancer. As a professor of English and of women’s and gender studies, Piepmeier created the College’s WGS and directed the program for a decade. She was a beloved activist, advocate, mentor, mother and friend whose legacy will live on through the Alison Piepmeier Scholarship at the College of Charleston.