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Feminist organizations aim to recognize 'badass women' at ASU

Womyn's Coalition's #BadAssWomenofASU campaign leads up to March HERstory month


"Women of ASU will be honored in the coming month." Illustration published on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018.

Celebrating the achievements of women throughout history and in contemporary society, ASU annually recognizes March as HERstory month, a month-long feminist celebration of outstanding members of the ASU community who identify as women.

Womyn’s Coalition and the HERstory Month Planning Committee sponsor an annual campaign before March called #BadassWomenofASU to celebrate the accomplishments of women within the ASU community.

Aliya Hoff, a second year doctral student in anthropology said she nominated nine women in her office for the campaign, as they all nominate each other every year.

“I’m so lucky that I work in a department with a lot of awesome women and non-binary folks,” she said.

Hoff said she nominated two researchers who participate in activities both in and outside the school.

Hoff nominated Irene Smail, a graduate student who founded a group of women and non-gender conforming individuals in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change called Women* in SHESC, and Kelly Blevins, an anthropology graduate student who organizes mental health and LGBT inclusion workshops.

Hoff said that she loves the #BadAssWomenofASU campaign and that it is one of her favorite things that ASU does.

This year 537 women from all ASU campuses were nominated, said Womyn’s Coalition advisior Kellyn Johnson in an email. A select few nominees will be recognized as part of the HERstory month celebrations.

“Students, faculty, staff, alumna and family have all been nominated for a range of achievements such as overcoming personal or professional obstacles, starting new programs and non-profits, academic achievement, inspiring body positivity and community organizing,” she said in the email. “Their stories demonstrate confidence, ambition and resilience to highlight the impact women have at ASU and inspire all members of Sun Devil Nation to pursue their goals."

Natalie Hochhaus, a global studies senior and the facilitator for Womyn’s Coalition said the group’s goal is to create a supportive community that develops resiliency and works toward promoting gender equality between students.

“We provide students the opportunity to advocate for change on campus through networking with university faculty, staff, leaders and educational initiatives,” Hochhaus said.

Womyn’s Coalition works toward facilitating inclusive spaces at ASU through interactive programs and initiatives. Last year the group collaborated with Voices for Planned Parenthood on a Survivor Walk to address sexual assault instances on campus. 

Read More: More than victims: Survivor Walk encourages awareness to sexual assault

Hochhaus said Womyn's Coalition has also partnered with other coalitions and community organizations to create intersectional and diverse programs. They recently partnered with El Concilio and Changemaker Central to bring civil rights activist Sylvia Mendez to ASU to speak on the importance of community activism.

“We also hold events on all four campuses, as was the case with the Kim Chi event, where we partnered with (Asian/Asian Pacific American Student Coalition), Rainbow Coalition, (Undergraduate Student Government) West, Spectrum and the Residence Hall Association on the West Campus to host a drag show to explore the expression of gender,” Hochhaus said. 

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