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Gender is about all of us

March 19, 2016
Groundbreaking1

The Dean and the County Agriculture Coordinator break ground for the new bathroom.

A few weeks ago my colleague and I organized a gender workshop for the other faculty members in our college.  We met daily for several weeks to prepare and, honestly, I was more nervous than I’ve been in years.  We were two women presenting on gender to twenty-five men convinced it had nothing to do with them.

But it does.  And after three days I think they got it.

The last day of the workshop focused on a discussion of gender problems at the college and possible solutions.  The deplorable bathroom situation came up and suddenly the energy shifted.  The Dean shook his head and said he was “shocked and embarrassed” to learn it was so bad.  My young female colleagues stood up to give personal testimonials.

“We need to do something!” someone yelled.  Then suddenly the Dean said, “Before next semester we’re building a bathroom!  I’ll donate a commode!”  Two other people jumped up to pledge commodes and several other people pledged bags of cement.  By the next day $50 cash had been collected from faculty members and a committee had been formed to write a proposal and secure an estimate.

In my three years at the College I have never seen anything happen so fast!

Over the next two weeks we planned a groundbreaking ceremony and raised another $1,500 in material and cash donations.  I am so proud of them.  For the first time the faculty is unified, working together, and (gasp) talking about gender.

Am I really leading a committee of ten men to build a women’s bathroom??

It’s so encouraging but there is such a long road left to raise the cash needed to complete this project.  So, for the first time, I’m asking for your help.  As of today we need about $8,000 to complete the bathroom and change the game for our students.

Please visit my GoFundMe page to read more about the project and to make your contribution.

“We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.”  Malala Yousafzai

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