A Day Without a Woman: International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day. It is a day dedicate to celebrate the successes and achievement of women and gender non-conforming people. It is a day dedicated to action. (It also happens to be a day with a long history, with roots in the 1908 women’s march in NYC and official designation as International Women’s Day by the UN in 1975). Today–March 8, 2017– is also that day that the Women’s March on Washington organizers called for a general strike: “a day without a woman.” Thus, today I am striking. I will not be going into the office, I have arranged to Skype in for an important meeting. I will wear red for the call/ meeting. I will not buy anything today, but I will organize the massive amount of Girl Scout cookies that will be dispersed to my troop tomorrow. I will cook. I will read to my kids at night (maybe from their new book: Rad American Women A-Z) I will use this time to write letters to my elected officials. I finish a paper on feminist activism (ok, this is working…). I will make a donation. I will use my privilege on this day to call attention to the important, yet undervalued, role of women in our economy and in our society through my absence, my spending choices, and my writing. I will use my privilege to challenge systems that perpetuate my privilege. But, as many have noted, striking looks different to different people. Some women–including women business owners–have vowed to work today at their women-owned places of employment open as their own form of protest. Some women work in...

Blogging and Community Engagement

I am one of those academics. You know, the kind that labels themselves with buzzwords like: a scholar-activist or publicly engaged scholar. These are common terms used to differentiate traditional academics from the more applied, participatory academics. Both of these identities–scholar-activist and public engaged scholar–emphasize the relationship that the scholar has with the broader public. This is not to say that traditional academics do not care about the public; its that they see the impact of their work as emerging through more traditional pathways: publishing in peer-reviewed journals and debating theory and method with “experts” in their field. The question typically is, “will my work have an impact on the field”? Don’t get me wrong, I care about these issues too! (check out my CV!).  In fact, I enjoy conducting research, writing, and debating the nuances of an issue with other scholars. However, I am also committed to breaking down the ivory tower of academia in whatever ways I can. Brick by brick. Project by project. I am committed to making my research, teaching, and service meaningful to those in the communities where I live and work. It was this commitment to community engagement that led me to writing this blog. I am a member of the Scholars Strategy Network. I have written short articles for trade publications and local newspapers. I will continue to be active in with these ways and through those media. However, this blog offers something more: It offers a way for me to process my ideas and refine my arguments in a publicly accessible manner. I anticipate that the blog will challenge me to refine my writing– making sure that my work is...