OWLs at CMU Celebrate Women's Empowerment Week

Photo Courtesy of CM-Life.

The Organization of Women Leaders (OWLs) is a group of powerful women at Central Michigan University who work to spread love, positivity and empowerment. November 12th through the 16th was Women’s Empowerment Week and OWLs held six events striving to empower, inspire and spread love to everyone in attendance.

They kicked off the week with "Spread Some Love Tabling" Monday morning outside the Down-Under food court. Members of OWLs handed out candy with positive notes and wrote messages on mirrors and poster board. Anyone walking by could write something they love about themselves on a white board and have their picture taken for a body positivity photo series.

Later that night, OWLs hosted an Intersectionality Panel that included several other RSOs on campus like A Mile in Our Shoes, Sophisticated Women of Color, Spectrum, Director of Diversity A.T Miller, College Dems, Empowered Latino Women, Men About Change, and a former Transcend executive board member. Each member of the panel weighed in on discussions about privilege, medicine education, equity vs equality, feminism, politics, and diversity at Central Michigan University.

Tuesday was the sex ed class you never had. "It’s Not That Weird" was an event for sex positivity and it included videos on comprehensive sex ed for the LGBTQ+ community and sex ed programs in Canada; they also showed a scene from the Netflix show Big Mouth, There were booths focused on BDSM, C-Mich Voices of Planned Parenthood, and Pure Romance. The event also included a Skype interview with Canadian, trans professional sex worker, Velvet Steele. The event finished with a game of jeopardy and a raffle.    

On Wednesday, OWLs held their first ever "Body Positivity Fashion Show." The event started with a presentation on shine theory, the idea that people should support each others success and happiness and not resent it. The presentation was followed by a Ted Talk by model Ashley Graham on her experience struggling with confidence while working in the plus-size model industry. The fashion show included a diverse group of people who strutted the runway in the outfit they felt most confident in. The models wore everything from a t-shirt and jeans, to a ball gown, to lingerie. They all walked confidently across the stage where they said their names, pronouns and something they love about themselves.

Megan Griffin and Elise Van Paris at Body Positivity Fashion Show.  Photo Courtesy of Megan Griffin.

Thursday's event took place at Ponder Coffee on Franklin St. The night started with performances from local Mount Pleasant bands; Jettison, Old Greg and Pining, then went into an open mic night where several people performed original poetry. Ponder created a specialty hot chocolate for OWLs and gave the organization half of the profits made from the event so the members can go to a feminist conference in Washington D.C in the spring. This event also included a raffle at the end for a self care basket.

Jettison performs at Ponder Coffee.  Photo Courtesy of Ren Crudele.

The final event this past Friday was "Solidarity" with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. The people who came wrote letters to Dr. Ford which will be sent to her in a massive wave of support. The letters are meant to show appreciation for everything Dr. Ford did in the name of women’s rights and show her that there are people who are encouraged by the actions she took against Brett Kavanaugh.

Women’s Empowerment Week was a successful five days of love and positivity. These are annual events to spread their message of intersectional feminism.

Keep and eye out for future OWLs events like their "Slut Walk" coming this spring.