GW students gathered to “use your voice, claim your power, create choices and take a stand” Thursday evening at the Mount Vernon campus to commemorate National Young Women’s Day of Action.
The event, sponsored by the Women in Power program at Mount Vernon, celebrated the accomplishments of women and remembered those victimized by domestic violence.
Men and women gathered at the Mount Vernon Pub to read poetry and share personal experiences with domestic violence.
Nicole Aguirre, a freshman involved in the Women in Power program and co-organizer of the event, said she hoped it would be a safe forum for GW women to share their experiences.
Aguirre said sharing these experiences can heal the wounds of people directly or indirectly affected by domestic violence.
The evening included a session that addressed the prevention of domestic violence. Informational pamphlets on the resources and services available for battered women also were distributed.
Students and Mount Vernon teaching assistants hosted an open-microphone program. Students recited works of notable women writers such as Maya Angelou and talked about the significance of the poems in their lives.
The candlelit Mount Vernon Pub was hushed for the remainder of the evening as students shared emotionally charged poetry about hardships that face female minority students, the pain of friends and family who were ill, and rape or domestic violence.
“The mix of graduate and undergraduate students, although mostly female, really added to the program,” Aguirre said. But she said she would have liked a larger attendance.
Freshman Dana Glazer-Friedrich said the Mount Vernon Pub provided a “comfortable setting for such an emotional event.” Glazer-Friedrich said she also was impressed with how willing students were to open up their lives to strangers and share difficult experiences.
Aguirre also said she noticed how “comfortable people felt saying what was on their mind.” She referred to several students who made impromptu speeches throughout the program.