Raise Your Voice

  • First Lady Sue Snyder with Honors College Students
  • Anita Hill with former dean Carla Koretsky and honors college students standing in front of a white pillar.
  • Soraya Chemally talking to students about the posters to be wheatpasted
  • Gloria Steinem and Erin Caspers
  • Gloria Steinem with Medallion Volunteers

Raise Your VoiceIt's hard to ignore the groundswell of voices currently advocating for a safe and supportive environment in which to study, work, live and love. This new social justice movement confronts street and workplace sexual harassment, rape on college campuses, and ineffectual responses to marginalization, bullying and abuse. Raise Your Voice introduces WMU and the Kalamazoo community to nationally known artists, activists, writers and scholars actively working to end hostility and violence against women. Join us as we explore the roots of the problem, challenge the status quo and inspire bold and courageous action in the service of social transformation. It's time to change the conversation—to pursue personal growth, community solidarity, institutional progress and a more just world.

Raise Your Voice featured in Southwest Michigan's Second Wave. Article here.

To view lectures associated with Raise Your Voice, click here.

Fall 2015

Admission to all events is free - Seating is available on a first come, first served basis.

September - December
Lyceum Lecture Series: “Imagine a World Without Sexual and Gender-Based Violence” presented by WMU staff, faculty and others.
Free public lectures will be held every Wednesday from September to December at noon in the honors college lounge.

September 23
Black and white head and shoulders of Wagatwe Wanjuki.Wagatwe Wanjuki:"Know Your IX!," Lee Honors College Lounge, noon
"Safer Campuses for All: Using Title IX to Provide an Education Free of Sexual Violence"
Free public lecture in 1920 Sangren Hall at 7 p.m.
Wagatwe Wanjuki is a survivor, activist and writer who uses social media to campaign for reform of college sexual assault policies. She is founding co-organizer of the Know Your IX ED ACT NOW campaign, which educates students regarding their Title IX civil rights. Ms. Wanjuki will conduct training workshops with WMU students during her visit to campus.

Head and shoulders portrait of Gail Griffin.October 7
Gail Griffin: "Hearing Voices: Re/collecting a Femicide," Lee Honors College Lounge, noon
Gail Griffin authored "The Events of October: Murder-Suicide on a Small Campus." This book, chosen as the 2015 Lee Honors College Common Read, focuses on an abusive relationship between two highly accomplished college students. All honors college first year students (~400 students) will receive a free copy of the book during summer orientation. Griffin will facilitate a discussion with first year students on August 31.


 October 12
Showing of the documentary: "Tough Guise 2: Violence, Manhood and American Culture," Alamo Drafthouse, 180 Portage Street, 5:30 and 8 p.m.

October 18
Theatre of the Oppressed, York Arena, Gilmore Theatre Complex, 7:30 p.m.
An original production,  "(un)welcome: an exploration of sexual violence and self empowerment." In the Theatre of the Oppressed, the audience becomes active; as "spect-actors" (i.e. spectators who directly participate in the show) they explore, show, analyze and transform the reality in which they are living.

October 22
Head and shoulders portrait of Jackson Katz.
Jackson Katz, "Violence and Silence: Why some men hurt women and how all men can help," 2452 Knauss Hall at 7 p.m.
Katz is a co-founder of the gender violence prevention and education program Mentors In Violence Prevention.
He is internationally recognized for his work in the field of gender violence prevention education and critical media literacy.

November 6
Head and shoulders portrait of Gloria Steinem.
Gloria Steinem, "An Evening with Gloria Steinem," Miller Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.
Gloria Steinem is a nationally known feminist, journalist and activist. She has been a key figure in the women’s liberation movement.

Click here to listen to WMUK's interview with Gloria Steinem.

Part two of the Steinem interview is now available here.



November 9
Sue Snyder, First Lady, State of Michigan and Dr. Rebecca Campbell, Professor at Michigan State University
"Let's End Campus Sexual Assault," 1920 Sangren Hall at 7 p.m.

Sue Snyder has long been a supporter of Michigan’s families. As first lady, she has dedicated herself to causes
focused on the health, safety, Head and shoulders portrait of Michigan First Lady Sue Snyder.and overall wellness of the state’s women, children and students. Most recently, in June 2015, she became an advocate for campus sexual assault prevention, aiming to help make Michigan a leader in addressing this sensitive but important issue. For additional information on Mrs. Snyder's initiative, please visit the website.

Head and shoulders portrait of Rebecca Campbell, professor at Michigan State University.For the past 25 years, Dr. Campbell has been conducting community-based research on violence against women and children, with an emphasis on sexual assault. Her research examines how disclosure and help-seeking affects victims’ psychological and physical health. In 2015, Dr. Campbell received the Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime, Vision 21 Crime Victims Research Award.




Past Events

March 3
Soraya Chemaly: Effecting Change Through Social Media
Public lecture in 2000 Schneider Hall, WMU, at 7 p.m.

Social media is frequently implicated in harassment and abuse; however, it also provides unprecedented opportunities to positively effect change, particularly when it comes to women's rights. Story telling, awareness building and social actions can all be used to create a more equitable and empathetic culture. For additional
information on Soraya Chemaly, please visit sorayachemaly.tumblr.com.

March 29 to April 4
Tatyana Fazlalizadeh: Stop Telling Women to Smile
Public lecture on April 2 in 1004 Richmond Center for the Visual Arts, WMU, at 5:30 p.m.
Artist exhibit and reception on Friday, April 3 at 5:30 p.m., Black Arts and Cultural Center, Epic Center, Kalamazoo Mall

Stop Telling Women to Smile is a street art project that addresses gender based street harassment. The project consists of a series of portraits of women who have talked about their experiences with harassment. The portraits are designed into posters, including text that is inspired by the subject's experiences. Street harassment is a serious issue that affects women worldwide. This project takes women’s voices, and faces, and puts them in the street—creating a bold presence for women in an environment where they are so often made to feel uncomfortable and unsafe. For additional information on Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s work, please visit www.tlynnfaz.com.

Jan. 29, April 9
Anita Hill: Speaking Truth to Power
Documentary showings with talk back at Alamo Drafthouse, 180 Portage Street, at 5:30 and 8 p.m.

Head and shoulders portrait of Anita Hill.

Anita Hill

April 13
Anita Hill: Responding to Gendered Violence in Society, Law and on College Campuses: From 1991 to Today
Public lecture in Chenery Auditorium, 714 South Westnedge Avenue, at 7 p.m.

In the fall of 1991, a young law professor found herself at the center of a media storm of almost unprecedented proportions. Burdened with information that could determine the future of a Supreme Court nomination, Professor Hill’s experience changed the way we view sexual harassment, gender and the judicial confirmation process. 

A teacher, speaker, researcher and writer, Anita Hill has earned international prominence as an authority on race and gender issues, especially as they affect the workplace. She has provided expert commentary on national television programs such as “Today,” “60 Minutes” and “Face the Nation.” She has also written articles for “The New York Times” and “Newsweek” and has contributed to scholarly and legal publications. In addition, Professor Hill is quoted frequently in newspapers across the country, including “The Washington Post” and “USA Today.” Hill received her law degree from Yale University, and, after a stint at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, she began teaching law at the University of Oklahoma. In 1991, Hill testified that Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had made unwelcome sexual advances while he was her supervisor at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the 1980s. Although Thomas's appointment was subsequently confirmed, Hill's testimony brought the issue of sexual harassment to public attention, forever changing relations between men and women in the workplace. In 1997, Hill published “Speaking Truth to Power,” a personal memoir and study of her involvement in the Thomas hearings. For additional background information on Professor Hill, please visit www.leighbureau.com/speakers/AHill.

April 20
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Western Michigan University is offering a range of events and activities to encourage necessary and meangingful conversations on how to maintain a safe space on campus and in our communities. Included in the events is a public screening of "The Hunting Ground," 1920 Sangren Hall, 6:30 p.m. Free; panel discussion to follow film.



We would like to acknowledge the following sponsors, who have made this series possible:

Diamond sponsors ($15,000 and above)

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Fine Arts
  • Lee Honors College

Platinum sponsors ($5,000 to $14,999)

  • Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College
  • College of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • Center for Humanities
  • Haworth College of Business

Gold sponsors ($1,000 to $4,999)

  • Alamo Drafthouse
  • Graduate College
  • Gwen Frostic School of Art
  • Joanna Parzakonis
  • Kalamazoo Public Schools
  • Lois Richmond
  • University Cultural Events Committee
  • Visiting Scholars and Artists Program

Silver sponsors ($250 to $999)

  • Ann Parfet
  • Arcadia Brewing Company
  • Bacchus Wine and Spirits
  • Betty Lee Ongley
  • Bravo!
  • Carla Koretsky
  • Center for the Study of Ethics in Society
  • Cheri Bell
  • David Born
  • Department of Gender and Women's Studies
  • Department of History
  • Department of Philosophy
  • Department of Physics
  • Department of Psychology
  • Department of Sociology
  • Department of Theatre
  • Diane Rogers
  • Don and Mary Brown
  • Evelyn Winfield-Thomas
  • In Honor of Bernard H. and Terilyn L. Koretsky
  • Jane Baas
  • Karen Pease
  • Lisa Minnick
  • Maria Newhouse
  • Martha Omilian
  • Megan Kowalske
  • Natalie Wyant
  • Nick and Barbara Andreadis
  • School of Communication
  • School of Music
  • Susan Fall
  • Tim Greene and Nancy Van Kuren

Bronze sponsors (up to $249)

  • Connie Lyszyk
  • Department of Spanish
  • Department of World Languages and Literatures
  • Dr. Cynthia J. Klekar

  • Dr. Earlie Washington
  • Dr. Irma Lopez
  • Dr. Jody Brylinsky
  • Ed and Karen Pinkham
  • Ellis Therapy Associates
  • Jay Maddock
  • John Taylor
  • Julia Kuntz
  • Julie Rogers
  • Kalsec, Inc.
  • Katherine Kinas
  • Kathryn Kenney
  • Kristin Revere
  • Lisa Fuller
  • Marie Rogers
  • Mary Balkema
  • Nina Nelson
  • Peter Blickle
  • Rebecca Noricks
  • Yousef and Muna Shalhout