Women’s Center promotes self-love at ‘Talk Back Tuesday’

GVL/ Hannah Zajac- Betsie Schoedel (center) discusses the latest topic during Talk Back Tuesday inside the Womens Center on Feb. 21, 2017.

Hannah Zajac

GVL/ Hannah Zajac- Betsie Schoedel (center) discusses the latest topic during Talk Back Tuesday inside the Women’s Center on Feb. 21, 2017.

Ty Konell

It’s no secret that college is stressful, and sometimes self-care is forgotten in the midst of due dates and exams. With this in mind, the Grand Valley State University Women’s Center has continued its “Talk Back Tuesday” series Tuesday, Feb. 21, with a discussion surrounding the topic of self-love.

Officials in the Women’s Center said this is just one week out of many Talk Back Tuesdays covering a broad range of topics facilitated by many different people. This event is in participation with the “Love Your Body” week, which ends Friday, Feb. 24.

Alison Roman, director of the Women’s Center, said Talk Back Tuesday is a monthly Women’s Center program that gives space for the GVSU community to have discussion about gender justice issues. The purpose of it is to provide facilitated discussion about body image, food security, pay equity and immigration. Even Beyonce can be a topic of discussion.

“Each topic is facilitated by a different Women’s Center (affiliate), be it a Women’s Center ambassador, staff like myself or other GVSU staff and faculty,” said Sharalle Arnold, associate director of the Women’s Center. “Interest in a subject that a person wishes to share, and time and willingness to present is all that it takes.”

For the last five to seven years, the Women’s Center has been hosting Talk Back Tuesdays in order to provide GVSU students a place to engage in critical conversations.

Moreover, Women’s Center officials said discussions around the topic of body and self-love were of particular importance.

“I believe participants will be given an opportunity to engage in dialogue focused on body positive conversations that reject the negative narrative that we often hear and read, empower individuals to love their body and develop confidence around speaking about it,” Arnold said.“Regardless if you are a college student or not, feelings of self-love and confidence are an important part of life. I believe that if you love yourself than you can love others.

“Given our current climate we could use plenty.”

As self-love may manifest differently among people based on varying identity categories, the Women’s Center is conscious of hosting Talk Back Tuesdays with an intersectional lens.

“The Women’s Center strives to be intentional, therefore we employ an intersectional frame when discussing issues that we know look and feel differently based on the individual’s race, class, gender or faith-base,” Arnold said. “For example, my way of loving my body may be different than your way. It’s personal.

“Even within like groups and communities, you will find similarities as well as varying definitions.”

Outside of work projects like Talk Back Tuesday, members of the Women’s Center administration said that one of the best aspects of working in the center is the consistent connection with students.

“I proudly serve and support those that feel marginalized, muted and often excluded. I serve the students with a great team,” Arnold said.

The remainder of “Love Your Body” week and future Talk Back Tuesdays, as well as other events hosted by the Women’s Center, are scheduled throughout the semester, and can be found on center’s webpage at www.gvsu.edu/women_cen.

“Our next talk back will be talking about Flint,” Arnold said. “While the subject matter has become less of a priority for media coverage, we know that the community is still fighting an uphill battle with limited resources and minimal accountability.”