What is the UMKC’s Women’s Center?

Even though UMKC’s campus is not very big, it still has several services and organizations that are not very well-known. UMKC's Women's Center is one of those services. You may be wondering, “Why would anyone create a place for women to hang out?” Well, the Women’s Center is much more than that. They are very involved on campus and want to help students thrive while they are here at UMKC. I met with Brenda Bethman, the director of the Women’s Center, and she answered all the questions we have about this fantastic place.

1. What is the main purpose of the Women’s Center?

Although the name can seem misleading, our main goal is to promote gender equality and advocacy for all genders, not just women. It is a safe space for everyone to come and feel accepted. Not only do we have a nice space for students and faculty to enjoy, but we also have services outside of our center that are meant to benefit the students and the community.

2. Is the Women’s Center only for women?

Everybody is welcome at the Women’s Center! Despite the name, all genders are encouraged to participate in our activities. No matter what gender you identify with, you will always be welcomed with open arms.

3. What student services does the Women’s Center provide?

  • Private lactation room

  • Bookable conference room for meetings

  • Peaceful study lounge

  • Microwave for students

  • Periodic movie showings in the Center & other events

4. What are the hours and location?

The Women’s Center is located on UMKC Volker Campus in Haag Hall, room 105. Our hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

5. Does the Women’s Center do any community outreach programs?

UMKC’s Women’s Center is focused on connecting the campus and the community. We do this through many events on campus and in the Kansas City area. Every year they set up a booth at the Plaza Art Fair and have different activities for children. V-Day (Vagina Day), one of our most recent events that took place in February, was a program that was open to students and the public to take action against physical and sexual violence of women and girls. The idea is based on “The Vagina Monologues,” a play by Eve Ensler that eventually encouraged many women to come forward and speak about their experiences. All of the proceeds from UMKC’s very own “Vagina Monologues” supported the center and the Violence Prevention and Response Program. The Women’s Center is always putting on new charitable events, so make sure to check out the website.

6. What can we do to help the Women’s Center?

Dr. Bethman said the best thing they could ask for is more student involvement! UMKC is a big campus with lots of students, faculty and organizations. The Center is looking for more creative ideas and collaborations from anyone who is wanting to make a difference at UMKC and in the community.

7. What are some of their upcoming events?

Sunday, March 31, 2019 - She Thinks She’s a Tapestry (tickets required; $15)

  • Time: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

  • Location: InterUrban ArtHouse, 8001 Newton St, Overland Park, KS

  • Joy Zimmerman, local singer/songwriter, will perform live music from her upcoming album

Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - National Equal Pay Day Information Table

  • Time: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

  • Location: Miller Nichols Learning Center Lobby, 800 E. 51st St., Kansas City, MO

  • Learn about the unequal pay wages between men and women

April 8 - April 19, 2019 - Denim Drive for Denim Day UMKC 2019

  • Time: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

  • Location: Women’s Center

  • Donate used denim clothing for Denim Day at UMKC on April 24, 2019

April 12 - April 19, 2019 - Meet Us On the Street

  • Time: All day

  • Location: Around UMKC’s campus

  • Look out for chalk messages addressing the issue of gender-based street harassment

UMKC’s Women’s Center is growing larger every day and continues to do amazing things for the community on and off campus. They deserve recognition and praise for their endless support of all the gender issues that affect us daily. So, go check out the Women’s Center and thank them for all their hard work!