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Women's Center

The clothesline project, one billion rising, and women's equality day

 

Annual Events

 
The Women's Center participates in national and international campaigns every year, described below. For specifics about this year's events, see our Current Events page.

One Billion Rising

women rising with flowers

Rise! Resist! Unite! every February


One Billion Rising is the biggest mass action to end violence against women (cisgender, transgender, and those who hold fluid identities that are subject to gender-based violence) in human history. The campaign, which launched on Valentine’s Day 2012, began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS. The Women's Center participates in this international event every Valentines day.

Artist/activist Alixa Garcia designed this piece, in honor of One Billion Rising 2021: RISING GARDENS. Alixa Garcia writes, “Keeping carbon in the soil, giving wildlife a home, and bringing our food consumption to a local level are some of the most impactful ways to combat the climate crisis. Because women around the world are often responsible for gathering and producing food, the centralization, celebration, and liberation of the two are intrinsically linked. To see one billion women rise, and alongside them a billion gardens bloom, will be a true solutionary act of our time. In this piece, I bridge the two against a starry sky to remind us of our interdependent existence; we are interwoven within all.”

Check out the the international One Billion Rising campaign here.

 

The Clothesline Project

Every April

woman looking at clotheslineThe Clothesline Project displays handmade shirts bearing witness to interpersonal violence in our community. Each shirt is decorated to represent a particular survivor's experience. The Clothesline Project started with thirty-one shirts hung in Hyannis, Massachusetts in 1990 to call attention to violence against women. Since then, thousands of projects have been started in communities worldwide. The Tennessee Tech Women's Center has been involved since 1998 and has always welcomed participation from all people. We display our collection every April during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Those affected by interpersonal violence can visit the Women's Center during office hours to leave a shirt for the display or to make one in a supportive environment.

The Clothesline Project aims to:

  • Bear witness to survivors and victims of interpersonal violence.
  • Help with the healing process of survivors or those who have lost a loved one to interpersonal violence.
  • Educate, document, and raise awareness of the extent of the problem in our community.
  • Provide a nationwide network of support, encouragement, and information for other communities starting their own Clothesline Projects.

  • What goes on the Clothesline?

    Shirts made by people affected by interpersonal violence.

    • WHITE represents those who have died because of interpersonal violence
    • YELLOW or BEIGE represent those assaulted by an intimate partner or family member
    • RED, PINK, or ORANGE are for survivors of rape and sexual assault
    • BLUE or GREEN shirts represent survivors of incest or child sexual abuse
    • PURPLE or LAVENDER represents people attacked because of their sexual orientation or gender identity

    These colors are not mandatory if a different color or pattern has special significance. People draw, paint, print, or embroider their messages on the shirts to create moving, personal tributes. 

  • Creating a Shirt

    People are welcome to make shirts at home and bring them to the Women's Center or to make a shirt here. We have shirts many colors and sizes that anyone can decorate. You may include your first name and date, but it is not required. Some suggestions for durability:

    • use a natural fabric
    • sew rather than using glue
    • photocopy photographs onto iron-ons
    • use acrylic or textile paint, color-fast dye or indelible ink. No puff paints or glitter please.

    At each display, shirts and materials will be available for people who wish to design a shirt at the time.

    For survivors.

    Making a shirt can be part of the healing process for survivors of interpersonal violence, so let us know if you would like to have support at hand when making your shirt. We respect requests for confidentiality.

    For those killed.

    You may want to submit a shirt that belonged to a victim.  You can include the person's name, date of birth and death, and hometown on the shirt. When the shirt is complete you may wish to take the time to write a description of the person you have memorialized.

    Include any information you wish to share about her or his death. You might tell us what this person meant to you and how you think they should be remembered. You can enclose a photograph of the person if you have a copy you are willing to part with (we cannot be responsible for returning photographs or mementos.)

    Names.

    Naming the perpetrator is an important part of the healing process. But, for legal reasons, we cannot display shirts with full names of the perpetrators. We ask that shirt makers use first names or initials if they would like to refer to a perpetrator with a name.

     

  • How to see the Clothesline

     

    The Women's Center creates a display each April in the Roaden Student Center. See our Current Events page for details on this year's display.

    Check out a virtual display from April 2020 here.

    Coming soon: a full gallery of our clothesline shirts will be available in the University Archive.

 

Women's Equality Day Women's Sufferage painting

August 26th

Each year we commemorate Women’s Equality Day, August 26th, as a national day celebrating  the importance of the women’s suffrage movement and the work to secure and expand equal rights today. August 26th marks the day women's right to vote was recognized by the United States with the ratification of the 19th amendment in 1920.

Image from the National Women's History Alliance

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