Women gather for EqualiTea

Joel Campbell

For the past ten years, women at Grand Valley State University have gathered together to have some tea and discuss revolution.

“The idea that women were just doing their nice little thing feminine thing while talking revolution,” said GVSU provost Gayle Davis as the celebration opened up.

As part of the ongoing celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Women’s Center, the center and the women and gender studies program hosted their annual EqualiTea event on Wednesday.

“(The program helps to) bring together theory and practice,” said Marleen Kowalski-Braun, director of the Women’s Center.

This aspect of the Women’s Center helps to bring students and non-profit organizations together for a greater good.

“It feels good that the center can connect with the University’s mission statement so well,” Kowalski-Braun said.

Among the event of the tea party, the 10th volume annual “In Our Own Words: A Journal About Women” was released to the public. In the book, there are poems and short stories about the triumph and tragedy of woman good. Kowalski-Braun said the tea party is a multigen

erational idea and it allows women to share their deepest emotions in a safe environment.

“Journal reading is a big part of it,” Kowalski-Braun said. “It allows women to share their lived experiences.”

The readings included a piece from Ulandra Reynolds “Beautiful Ruin,” a poem about her mother.

“I kind of hated my mom, a lot,” Reynolds said. “Once I hit about the sixth line I was like ‘I don’t really hate my mom that much, I only hate certain aspects about her,’ but at the same time, a lot of the reasons I hate her are the reasons I love her.”

After a few more poems were read, there was a sneak preview of the upcoming play “Antona Garcia,” opening at the Louis Armstrong Theatre on GVSU’s Allendale Campus this weekend.

Although not explicitly tied to the Women’s Center, the play does tell the story of Antona Garcia, a Spanish woman who becomes famous thanks to her courageous acts during the Spanish-Portuguese War. This is the first time that it will be presented in English.

The tea party was dominated by female attendance, but Kowalski-Braun does not want that, nor does she want the name Women’s Center to be divisive. Instead, she wants all to feel welcome in the center.

“If you want leadership development, this is the place to come,” she said. “If you just want to hang out, this is the place to come.”

[email protected]