This year, the College of Charleston Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) Program’s 10th annual Yes! I’m a Feminist (YIAF) fundraising event will return to an in-person celebration. The WGS Program and the WGS Community Advisory Board (CAB) are excited to celebrate feminism and the program’s achievements over the past 10 years. Free and open to the public, YIAF will take place on Nov. 4, 2022, from 6-7:30 p.m., at the College’s Stern Center Garden at 71 George St.

“We, as a program, are deeply engaged with and interested in promoting the feminists and social justice activism/advocacy both on and off campus,” says Kris De Welde, WGS Program director and professor. “YIAF is a celebration of these actions and an opportunity for the campus and community to come together under the expansive umbrella of feminism to hold space for each other, support each other and celebrate.”

This year’s goal is to raise $50,000 for the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. The funds will support the WGS Student Opportunities Fund and the new Community Leader in Residence Program (CLR), as well as help expand various WGS scholarship opportunities, including the Alison Piepmeier Scholarship, which is named after the founder of Yes! I’m a Feminist and former WGS director.

In 10 years, the WGS Program’s accomplishments include expanding the Community Advisory Board to add highly respected advocates for feminist values in the Charleston community and launching the Community Leader in Residence (CLR) Program, an initiative that aims to deepen the connection to the community by engaging students directly in local issues of importance and of relevance to WGS. The CLR role will open to applicants in early November and will be filled by a community leader/activist who will mentor WGS students on community issues, organizing and advocacy, as well as provide public lectures or workshops.

“WGS partners with community organizations for events, student internships, political mobilization and more,” says Amanda Bunting Comen ’01, WGS community advisory board member. “The CAB wants students to have more access to the knowledge that community leaders in Charleston possess, so having someone in the Community Leader in Residence role will be a great way to formalize these relationships.”

Coming together to celebrate feminism is especially important during this tumultuous time for equal rights. “We need each other,” says De Welde. “We are stronger together, and we have much to learn from being in community with each other.

“The struggle for justice is not linear,” she adds. “YIAF is an inter-generational event that unites faculty, community leaders and students in celebration of all things related to social justice. The solidarity that can be sparked in such spaces gives me hope for better futures.”

Register for YIAF through the event’s website. Donations can be made online at this secure CofC site and by check and mailed to: Women’s and Gender Studies, College of Charleston, 66 George St., Charleston, S.C. 29424.