The annual “Yes! I’m a Feminist” event raises funds to support WGS students through scholarships, travel grants for conferences, and expanded research, activism, and study abroad opportunities. The event is also a fundraiser for the Alison Piepmeier Scholarship, which is awarded annually to a full-time women’s and gender studies major or minor at the College who is a campus-community activist and leader. The endowed scholarship has been awarded to five students to date and is in honor of the late Piepmeier, who founded “Yes! I’m a Feminist” during her tenure as director of the Women’s and Gender Studies program.
“Now, in our tenth year as a degree-granting major, our curriculum and the field of Women’s and Gender Studies could not be more relevant” says Kris De Welde, current director of the WGS program. “As long as we have structural inequalities related to gender, race, ethnicity, citizenship status, sexual orientation, physical ability, social class, nationality, and so on, we will need WGS to unpack, critique and dismantle these oppressive structures and mindsets. Our students engage directly in the study of these issues historically and in current day, being mindful of the imperative for change.”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the is year’s “Yes! I’m a Feminist” event is being held as an online campaign. The fundraiser launched on Jan. 14, 2021, and runs through Jan. 28, 2021, coinciding with CofC Day, the College’s annual day of giving.
“As a graduate of CofC, I cannot stress enough the importance of the WGS program in our current world and climate – not just to the College, but to the communities our students represent worldwide,” says Callie Shell ’83, chair of the WGS Community Advisory Board. “Now is the time for CofC and the alumni community to support diversity, acceptance and inclusion. Your support is everyone’s future.”
WGS goals for the 2020-21 academic year include:
- Produce the 8th Annual Yes, I Am A Feminist! event, raising a minimum of $25,000 to directly support the WGS mission and programs
- Deepen existing community relationships and procure new strategic partnerships across the Lowcountry, state of South Carolina and the region
- Expand recruiting, programming and advocacy efforts continuing to offer a leading-edge curriculum and high-impact experiential learning for students and opportunities for community engagement.
- Increase the Student Opportunities Fund to $25,000, assisting students who need financial support to participate in study abroad programs, unpaid internships, research and creative activities, and advocacy or activism in projects that advance social justice
“Many of our students are deeply curious about how they can intervene in the disproportionate gendered and racial impacts of coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. political chaos, and growing demands for broad-based justice,” says De Welde. “Funds donated to WGS help to support students directly in exploring research opportunities, nonprofit internships and community-based activism to engage in those very interventions and explorations.”
Donations can be made online at give.cofc.edu/WGS and can also be made by check and mailed to: Women’s & Gender Studies, College of Charleston, 66 George St., Charleston, S.C. 29424.