A Journey of Growth Through Activism by Kyra Mushall

Working as an Intern at the Women’s Resource Center at UWM has been an unforgettable experience through being a part of this empowering community. My experience in Women’s and Gender Studies have had a huge impact on my internship experience at the Women’s Resource Center here at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. A few of these courses include Queer Theory, Feminist Research Methods, and Gendered Bodies. Lets dive right in! 

Queer Theory has been very eye opening for me through studying the works of influential queer scholars throughout history like Dean Spade, Kathy Cohen and Gayle Rubin. Through many of these readings I’ve learned new lenses of how to look at gender and sexuality. In my Feminist Research Methods class, I have learned the skills to conduct research while keeping in mind ethical research methods. Being able to understand the intersectionality of experiences has helped me to understand the unique experiences and identities of my own community. Similarly, in my Gendered Bodies class many of what we’ve talked about has helped me understand and provide empathetic and necessary support to survivors of gender-based violence. I continue to promote and empower my coworkers and people that have come into the center. I’ve learned how important creating a safe and inviting experience for our community. It’s been amazing to be able to transform my theoretical knowledge I’ve collected through WGS courses and apply them into activism.  

At the WRC my main project has been revitalizing the Listen Up! Blog. I am very proud of this accomplishment because I think it’s become a place to share social issues and amplifying marginalized communities’ voices and create a place to create meaningful conversations. I’ve also helped with programs like Sister’s Like Me, Crocheting events, and Denim Day. Through workshops and discussions, I’ve helped build connections and learn the unique challenges my community faces. These experiences have opened my eyes to the significance and importance of community-building and the power it has to transform us.  

This journey has been very transformative and I can confidently say that I’ve grown as a person. I’ve challenged oppressive systems and developed a stronger awareness of social justice issues. My internship at the WRC has also helped me improve my interpersonal skills with peers and coworkers. I’m proud of the impact I’ve made in the WRC and in my community. I’m excited to accept the job as Content Creator manager here at the WRC following my spring internship. Weather it’s through the revitalization of the Listen Up! Blog, organizing events, or creating social media awareness graphics, there has always been a way for me to use my skills to make a difference. 

 WRC will continue to be a place that fosters inclusivity and support for everyone in the community at UWM. Everyone is valued for the unique identities and experiences, being able to be surrounded by people that also share passion for social justice and gender equity has been inspiring and motivating. I love being a part of a space that empowers and uplifts others in this community.