Feminist Fridays build up to ‘Of Mothers and Men’


The Women’s Center, Office of Multicultural Affairs and Global Union have joined together to present a month of events leading up to the featured play “Of Mothers and Men.” The play is serving as a replacement for the “Vagina Monologues,” which had its last performance at Lehigh last year.

Brenda Martinez, a graduate assistant for the Office of Multicultural Affairs, approached the director of the Women’s Center, Rita Jones, to ask how they could replace the “Vagina Monologues” on campus this year.

The three offices decided that “Of Mothers and Men” from the Black Latina Movement would be a great event to start conversations around campus and bring attention to the relationships and emotions that women experience with the people in their lives.

“’Of Mothers and Men’ will be open to the public,” Jones said. “We’re really committed to thinking about community in a much broader perspective, that community doesn’t end in the middle of the street.”

Danielle Schiraldi, ’17, who works at the Women’s Center and is a member of the board for “Of Mothers and Men,” said the “Vagina Monologues” were more about female empowerment through sex and women taking back their power. This play is less of an individual piece and more focused on interpersonal relationships.

Smaller events have been taking place in anticipation of the play, such as the Women’s Center’s Feminist Fridays. Jones said that discussions and a make and take event are all designed, developed and implemented by student staff in the Women’s Center and Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Topic discussions include toxic relationships, the ways people of color approach change in a communal way, and international motherhood.

Feminist Fridays will continue after the play and will focus on an array of topics. Jessica Ludolph, ’16, typically leads the meetings for Feminist Fridays.

“It is a discussion series that mixes current events with things that can apply to Lehigh,” Ludolph said.

Ludolph said she hopes that students in attendance are able appreciate a new perspective, be open to talk through different ideas and feel comfortable enough to discuss topics that they don’t talk about often.

Posters and social media are used to spread news about the event. There will also be a post-it project the week of the play, where Post-It notes with quotes from multicultural leaders will be put in the bathrooms of many campus buildings.

Turning Point of Lehigh Valley, the Center for Community Engagement and the Council for Equity and Community are all also assisting in promoting the event.

Jones said there will be representatives from other groups, so if anyone wishes to learn more about how to get involved, has questions or needs immediate assistance, there will have someone there to help them.

A post-show discussion will be held the Friday after the play to decode what students can then do with their questions.

“I hope that students who are there — no matter how they identify, what community they are a part of — there’s going to be something that connects to them,” Jones said, “and I hope they think about how that might be connected to the others.”

“Of Mothers and Men” will take place at 6:30 p.m. in Lamberton Hall on Feb. 25.

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