WGS Anniversary Celebration

Women Gender and Sexuality Studies Anniversary Celebration Two Female Students in Class

You're Invited!

The Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department cordially invites you to a series of anniversary events March 20-21, 2019 celebrating:

  • Over 45 years of Women’s Studies courses
  • Over 30 years of the Women’s Studies minor
  • Over 10 years of the Women and Gender Studies major
  • Over 5 years of the LGBTQ Studies minor
Dr. Mel Michelle Lewis Headshot

Special Guest: Dr. Mel Michelle Lewis

Dr. Mel Michelle Lewis is Director of the Center for Geographies of Justice and Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies and Africana Studies at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland.

Dr. Lewis completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in Women's Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, and holds an M.S. in Women and Gender Studies with a Public Policy concentration from Towson University. Originally from Bayou La Batre, on the Alabama Gulf Coast, Dr. Lewis describes herself as a Black feminist queer studies interdisciplinary scholar working at the nexus of intersectional queer critical race studies and pedagogies of social justice praxis. Her research publications, leadership models, curriculum transformation strategies, political engagement, and pedagogical projects reflect this positioning.

Dr. Lewis served as Interim Executive Director of the National Women’s Studies Association in 2018 and is currently serving as a member of the Baltimore LGBTQ Commission, advising the Mayor, City Council, and City agencies about issues affecting the LGBTQ community. Her current book project, Femme Query: Pedagogy, Pleasure, and Queer of Color Possibility, engages social justice educators, activists, cultural workers, and artists who articulate the power and possibility of femme pedagogies of liberatory practice.


Faculty Workshop - "Integrative Intersectionality: Political Project Pedagogy"

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20 at 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
2270 Kirkhof Center

This innovative workshop facilitated by Dr. Mel Michelle Lewis will frame feminist teaching and learning as a political project that centers intersectionality, articulates “the personal as political,” and asserts a politics of liberation in the classroom, in the larger campus community, and beyond. We will name and examine our pedagogical commitments and discuss how those commitments can be operationalized and implemented. This workshop will include a demonstration of integrative intersectionality using several “lesson plan” modules as well as departmental/division statements.

RSVP for Faculty Workshop

Student Workshop - "Solutionary Acts: Mobilizing Intersectional [Afro]Futures"

THURSDAY, MARCH 21 at 10:00 – 11:15 a.m.
163 Lake Ontario Hall

This interactive workshop, facilitated by Dr. Mel Michelle Lewis, will explore how we mobilize social justice inquiry and intersectional analysis into action. Using an Afrofuturist lens and restorative justice framework, we will call upon the wisdom of Black queer feminist activists, theorists, artists, and luminaries as we create our own solutionary platform for collective liberation.

More Info!

Alumni Panel & Anniversary Keynote Address

THURSDAY, MARCH 21 at 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium (DeVos Building E, Room 122) at 401 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.           ALUMNI PANEL
WGS alumni will share their experiences “from WGS to the present” and the impact of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies on their lives and careers. Panelists include: Kristen J. Cuhran Fuller (Class of 1997) from Fair Housing Center of Southeast and Mid Michigan, Dani Vilella (Class of 2007) from Planned Parenthood Centers of West Michigan, Jazz McKinney (Class of 2009) from YWCA West Central Michigan, and Erika Van Dyke (Class of 2011) from Grand Rapids Community Foundation. This event is co-sponsored by Brooks College Office of Integrative Learning and Advising.

5:00 – 5:30 p.m.           RECEPTION
Enjoy refreshments and a slideshow highlighting the history of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at GVSU.

Join WGS as we commemorate anniversary milestones and welcome keynote speaker, Dr. Mel Michelle Lewis: “Liberatory Praxis in Action.” Dr. Lewis is Director of the Center for Geographies of Justice and Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies and Africana Studies at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. Read Dr. Lewis' complete bio here. 

Parking near Loosemore Auditorium on GVSU's Pew Campus is available in the Seward Parking Ramp. Please stop by the booth when entering the parking lot and ask the attendant for a guest pass to display in your car. If additional assistance is required, contact the WGS Department at (616) 331-8025 or [email protected].

Anniversary Celebration Dinner

THURSDAY, MARCH 21 at 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
15 Ionia Ave SW #150, Grand Rapids

Dinner and non-alcoholic beverages provided. Cash bar. Guests are welcome! RSVP is appreciated. Downtown Grand Rapids offers several options for parking. Click here for an interactive map of parking ramps available. Metered on-street spaces are also available and free after 6:00 p.m. If you require additional assistance or accommodations, contact the WGS Department at [email protected] or (616) 331-8025.

RSVP for Anniversary Celebration Dinner

Page last modified April 28, 2021