What the Women’s Center Means to Me

Kayla Clark

Kayla Clark

Kayla Clark is a double major in sociology and Africana studies with a minor in women’s and gender studies. She comes from Brooklyn, New York but grew up in Charlotte, NC. She started working in the Women’s Center just this past January and currently serves as the student programming intern, which she says “has been a blast.”

She remembers initially learning about the Women’s Center during first-year orientation. She was excited to learn that there was a space on campus for women with an intersectional focus.

As a programming intern, Clark has helped organize the HERmonies art exhibition that is currently on display in the African American Cultural Center Art Gallery on the second floor of Witherspoon Student Center. The exhibit showcases Black sounds, Black voices and Black movements. Of the project, Clark says, “It was so empowering to learn about iconic Black women musicians who helped pave the way for Black artists today.” She is now working on planning next fall’s Women of Color Retreat as well as helping with a variety of events for Women’s Herstory Month.

When asked what she is most proud of accomplishing in the Women’s Center, Clark mentions the HERmonies exhibit. “It’s amazing to see the vision we all worked so hard to create come to fruition,” she says. “It was so fun learning about each individual artist’s contribution and the turnout for the exhibit’s opening was fantastic. I felt so empowered in that space, and I felt that people recognized the powerful history behind a lot of Black music, especially the social justice aspect.”

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Day of Giving

Her biggest wish for the center for Day of Giving fundraising is more support and resources for the interpersonal violence programs, such as The Movement Peer Educators, and “the precious safe spaces we provide, such as The Collective.”

Clark would also like staff, faculty, alumni and community members to know that the Women’s Center is a “sacred place.” She explains: “It is a place dedicated solely to the healing, leadership development and growth of women on campus, and that has insurmountable value. The work done at the Women’s Center authentically contributes not just to the betterment of our campus community, but also our local community and consequently, the world. It is truly the small spaces of compassion and community that make a difference. Anyone and everyone from students to faculty to alumni should take part in that.”

Amanda Sheehan

Amanda Sheehan is from Stony Brook, New York. She is a microbiology major with a concentration in health science and a minor in health, medicine and human values. She volunteered in the Women’s Center beginning in 2019, during the spring of her first year at NC State, initially learning about the center during new student orientation. She is currently on the center’s staff as a student programming intern.

Amanda Sheehan

Sheehan recounts working on many projects in the Women’s Center, notably implementing an iPad system for the library, supporting in-house programs and working with survivors of interpersonal violence. She also assists with the center’s book club, has created and hosted programs for Women’s Herstory Month and will run the International Women’s Day program, “30 Impactful Years, 25 Empowering Women” on March 8, 2022 from 1:30 – 4 p.m. in the Women’s Center.

She is most proud of her efforts on the “30 Impactful Years, 25 Empowering Women” program, under the supervision of Women’s Center Assistant Director Bri Elum, for which she curated a gallery of 25 women in politics, entertainment, sports, science and activism who span a huge variety of identities and backgrounds. She says, “I am beyond excited to share the hard work I have put into the gallery and associated programs with the NC State Community.”

For Day of Giving, Sheehan hopes fundraising can help provide funds to expand interpersonal violence (IPV) prevention, outreach, resources and support.

Sheehan hopes that students who have never been to the Women’s Center know that everyone is welcome. “Being in the center just brings a smile to your face so easily that it is beyond worth it to even stop in for 5 minutes!” She concludes, “I’d love the NC State Community to know that the Women’s Center is an incredible space to find a campus community, support from peers and faculty, and create lifelong relationships that motivate and empower you to be the best person you can be.”