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For International Women’s Day, the Community and Cultural Engagement Department held a cultural festival where students performed dances, songs, poetry readings, and a fashion show. This was my last cultural festival on campus. I graduate in May, and I just got my cap and gown. It is becoming all too real. While I prepare myself for job interviews in D.C., check out these photos from the event! :)

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More and More Snow!

The snow has continued to fall on campus, although we have not had any more snow days. Campus staff has been hard at work shoveling snow outside to clear our sidewalks and roadways. I would like to take this post to thank them for the hard work that they do out in the cold weather. This past weekend, another student, Sam, and I brought hot chocolate to the workers outside. We had a lot of spillage though, so we plan to do this again and have better lids for our cups! We are also getting more students to help us carry them around campus so we can reach every worker more quickly.

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Sam preparing cups of hot chocolate.

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Two friends, Minna and Timah.

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Snow Day!

I thought going to South Africa (where it is currently summer) would allow me to skip over the brunt of the winter. I was wrong! Roanoke is expecting a foot of snow, so classes were cancelled today. Most people on campus spent the day catching up on work, napping, or sledding!

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On another note, I was fortunate enough to stop in Istanbul for a layover on my way back. Here are some photos I took in the city:

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This past Tuesday the WLC and SWEAT teamed up to picket outside the Wynberg court for a case against Tim Osrin. Osrin is a well known cyclist and swimming coach in Cape Town who stopped his car to beat a domestic worker alongside the road.  Osrin excused his behaviour stating that he beat the domestic worker because he thought she was a sex worker. Osrin claimed, “I just snapped. It is a result of the years of stress of having these people in our area.” Please refer to this artcile unpacking the racism and sexism implicit in Osrin’s statement: http://feministssa.com/2014/10/22/black-bodies-not-for-your-abuse-osrin/ SWEAT and WLC marched from the court house to the DA Councilor’s office in Kenilworth. In Kenilworth, where Osrin lives, there have been a high number of assaults on sex workers by residents who want them to leave.  SWEAT and WLC call upon the DA Councillor to condemn the behavior of Kenilworth residents, and affirm that sex workers have human rights including the right to move freely, be apart of the Kenilworth community, and to be free from violence. See this article on the conflict in Kenilworth: http://groundup.org.za/article/constitutional-rights-apply-sex-workers-too_2610

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I am spending this Jterm in South Africa interning with the Women’s Legal Centre on a paralegal team representing sex workers. The WLC is an independent law centre that seeks to achieve equality for women in South Africa by conducting constitutional litigation and advocacy on gender issues. There are five strategic focus areas. These are: violence against women; fair access to resources in relationships; access to land/housing; access to fair labour practices; and access to health care (particularly reproductive health care). My job mainly consists of conducting legal research for advocacy and litigation, monitoring law and policy, writing memorandums, preparing and editing legal opinions, and going out into the field where paralegals interview sex workers about human rights abuses.

When not working, I’ve been busy hiking, canoeing, seeing friends, and playing with puppies. I am thrilled to be back, and I am already not looking forward to having to leave again. Here are some photos of my trip so far:

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Found this hanging while on a walk in town and decided to climb it!

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Found this hanging while on a walk in town and decided to climb it!

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Found this hanging while on a walk in town and decided to climb it!

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I work at the Women’s Legal Centre located inside the Constitution House.

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View from the top of Lion’s Head on New Year’s

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Hollins Circus Show

The Hollins circus show was this Saturday, the 13th. It went very well and I am grateful to everyone who came out in support. There was juggling, poi, clowning, taro card reading, and aerial acrobatics. I did a ladder act and a lyra act. It’s a tradition in the Hollins circus for the graduating senior to do their performance to the Cups song by Anna Kendrick. My friends ended up surprising me by editing the song so that in the middle their voices appear over the music saying all the reasons they will miss me. We are about to start my last semester at Hollins and I am in disbelief. Time went by so fast and I am not ready to leave. I will miss everyone very much.

Here are some photos of me practicing before the show:

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Here are some pictures from during the show:

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Here’s a picture of me after the show signing an autograph for a little girl named Emma:

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And last but not least, here are some photos of me saying goodbye to some friends before I leave for South Africa early tomorrow morning!! I will see you in the spring Hollins.

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Black Lives Matter

The Black Student Alliance at Hollins University staged a day of protest yesterday in memory of black lives lost to racism and brutality, and to show support for students of color. There were die ins at lunch and dinner,  a stand in (the ground was too wet from rain to sit), and a march around campus with the chant “Black lives matter.” The anonymous group on campus, Freya, has also just announced that they will be walking at 10pm tonight in support. Here are photos.

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