2016 Women’s Week Kicks Off

UPDATED: March 1, 2016, at 12:50 a.m.

The Harvard College Women’s Center kicked off its annual Women’s Week Sunday to recognize the experiences of women and laud their historical achievements.

“The overall mission is to celebrate women’s achievements explore women’s issues and encourage dialogue at Harvard about what it means to be a woman in today’s society,” administrative fellow for the Women's Center Vincent T. Harris said.

This year marks the ninth time the Women’s Center has hosted the week-long program, Harris said. Before, the event was organized by the Seneca, an unrecognized all-women social organization founded in 1999. The Seneca remains involved, hosting an event alongside two other student groups during the week.

The Women’s Center’s steering committee chose the 15 student groups and departments from a wide variety of applications sent last fall, Harris said, adding that groups were selected based on this year’s theme, “Raising Our Voices.”


“We’re really excited about the ways these groups have organized and we think it will be representative of the theme,” Harris said. “Given the campus climate across the country, really, Harvard also has students who want to raise their voices.”

One such group, the Asian American Women’s Association, is working in conjunction with the Association of Black Harvard Women and Latinas Unidas to create an event entitled “Policing Bodies: The Hypersexualization of Women of Color.” The Women’s Center has highlighted the particular event and more than 250 people have indicated interest on the event’s Facebook page.

Asian American Women's Association co-presidents Joanna W. Liu ’18 and Yvenna Chen ’17 came up with the idea for the event after previously working with the Association of Black Harvard Women and Latinas Unidas.

“We heard about the opportunity to host an event through the Women’s Center and we knew pretty early on that we wanted to work with LU and ABHW because we’ve worked with them in the past; so we started thinking about what issues we all relate to,” Liu said.

The format for the event will be similar to many of the various events available at Women’s Week, with interactive discussions and panelists.

“We’re going to have four panelists and we have a list of questions for these panelists,” Chen said. “After each question, we’ll turn it over to the audience and engage them to talk about these questions.”

The events at Women’s Week will not be restricted to just women or related groups, organizers said.

“One really important aspect of this event is allyship and we should be talking about how people who are not women of color can be allies,” Chen said.

Liu said she hopes attendees of the event will learn from different viewpoints: “We kind of want people to be exposed to a different perspective, one that they may not have had.”

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

CORRECTION: March 1, 2016

A previous version of this article misstated the middle initial of Joanna W. Liu ’18.


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