1. The VCU Gender, Sexuality, and Women Studies Department is hosting our spring show titled (Performing (Place Placing) Identity)Our event will explore how and why certain ‘identities’ and ‘places’ are produced. It will attempt to address the appropriation of cultural practices by fine art institutions and examine how classism, racism, and sexism are still enacted. 
    Ultimately, by exploring alternative and participatory forms of creative expression, this series will complicate the narrative of place and identity and show how society is formed by different categories of identity. 
    Opening Night is Thursday, April 24th from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. 
    Panel Discussion on identity and performance will be held at 6 p.m. 
    Poetry Reading at 7 p.m. 
    Film Screenings will take place at 8 p.m. 
    The event will be held at the Crenshaw House
    (919 W. Franklin Street, Richmond, VA.) 
    This event if free and open to the public.
    There will be refreshments.


    To get involved during the 2014 GR!RVA Summer Camp week, please check out the volunteer job descriptions in the volunteer application below.   Completed applications should be sent to us atinfo@girlsrockrva.org or mailed to

    Patty Conway

    7 N. 21st Street, Apt B

    Richmond VA 23223



    *please note that prior experience with playing an instrument is notmandatory as there are many volunteer opportunities available during the camp week!

    Girls Rock! RVA Non-Discrimination Policy:
    Girls Rock! RVA does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national and/or ethnic origin, marital status, sexual orientation, mental or physical ability, or gender identity or expression in the administration of any of its educational programs, admissions policies, scholarships, and other Camp-related policies and programs, as well as volunteer and employment-related policies and activities.

    Rock On!


  3. tomorrow at 2:15 at the Fine Arts Building (1000 W. Broad)
    in critique room 1 on the first floor 
    there will be a screening of
    Community Action Center by AK Burns and AL Steiner
    ~ AK and AL request that the film is watched with different generations in a community setting so all are welcome! ~


  4. (Source: vcuchs)


  5. Race and Society in the Atlantic World

    A Symposium

    This event is free and open to the public.

    Wednesday, April 23

    9am to 5pm

    VCU Commons Theater

    907 Floyd Avenue


  6. Women in Science Events for April:

    Spring 2014 Professional Development Seminar:

    “Utilizing Your Academic Skills in Industry”

    Friday, April 18, 2014 from noon to 1PM in Sanger Hall, Room 3-016

    Guest speakers will include Michael Peoples of Pfizer and a representative from VCU Career Services. Dr. Peoples will discuss his experience interviewing in industry, tips for networking, and work experience with Pfizer. VCU Career Services will discuss how to market your academic skills for a career outside of academia. Pizza will be provided on a first come, first serve basis. 

    WISDM Leadership Conference

    "Creating Your Own Path to Leadership"

    Friday, April 25th from 12PM-6PM, Larrick Center

    Come hear the keynote speaker from the AAMC, Dr. Kevin Grigsby speak on Developing Your Capacity to Lead from the Middle  and attend workshops on The Power of a Positive No, Critical Conversations on Leadership, Professional Learning Networks and Social Media, Celebrating Your Accomplishments: Are you Internalizing Success? and Roadmap for Promotion and Leadership

    Some student scholarships to attend are still available! Otherwise, cost to attend is $25 for students/trainees. For more information, contact Deborah Stewart at dstewart@vcu.edu or (804) 828-6591 or visit http://www.medschool.vcu.edu/wims/wisdm/leadershipconference.html.


    Saturday, April 26, 2014 at the Diamond on Boulevard at 9AM

    Registration for this event is $30 before the event, or $35 on race day. 

    Help Women in Science support the ASK Fun Walk & 5K, which celebrates the strength and courage of local children battling cancer. Following the event will be live music, food, and activities for the kids. All participants will get a free ticket to the Richmond Flying Squirrels baseball game (at 5:30PM). 

    This is the link to join the WIS fun walk and 5K group (“WIS @ VCU and friends”)



  7. badbilliejean:


    Happy Black History YEAR!


    Elaine Brown came to VCU!: http://insight.vcu.edu/2014/04/06/elaine-brown-visits-vcu/

    (via wanderblog)


  8. Queer Rocket Talks Punk, Politics, and Being Out in the Richmond Music Scene

    Read More: 


    A couple years ago, I wondered where the queer punk bands were in Richmond. There were vestiges of queer punk bands of Richmond’s past still cached on Google, but I couldn’t find a current local outfit anywhere to see live. That changed in 2013 with the formation of Queer Rocket and Leatherdaddy who are actually very different but who both arrive at an anti-establishment pro-queer political destination.

    I met up with Anton and Jasper of Queer Rocket to talk about their experiences so far in the Richmond scene. Queer Rocket’s full lineup includes Anton (they, them) on guitar and vox, Jasper (they, them) on guitar and vox, Claire (she, her) on bass, and Cal (he, him) on drums.

    How do you identify?

    Anton: My name’s Anton, I identify as agender and genderqueer… I’m thinking about using “trans lady” but… I’m not really sure about that. And I’m a Russian immigrant, naturalized American citizen.

    Jasper: I’m Jasper, I’m genderqueer, gender fluid, transgender… there’s a lot more words, I don’t know how many you want? Pansexual, polyamorous, I’m a Southerner but I’ve lived in places that aren’t in the South some… white, with a usually-invisible disability. As a band? Oh, queer! I forgot to say “queer.”

    Anton and Jasper simultaneously: We’re both queer.

    So, how did you choose the name “Queer Rocket”?

    Jasper: At the University of Richmond, where I went to college, I was hanging out with some of my friends, and one of them, Lydia, had these foam letters that were leftover from some event. She was just arranging them on the table, and spelled out “QUEER ROCKET,” and my friend Yaz was like “That would be a great band name” and kind of did this little Bikini Kill-inspired “We’re Queer Rocket – 1,2,3,4!” and I was like “Yeah that is a great band name… we should make a band.” I was living with Anton at the time, and I came home and was like “Yaz and I are gonna make this band, Queer Rocket” and Anton was for it.

    So how did everyone get together?

    Anton: Our drummer Cal is a friend of a friend that was recommended to us as a cool drummer, and I knew Claire, our bassist, from before back when I lived in DC, we used to be volunteers for this organization called Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive, or HIPS. I knew that she played guitar, I didn’t know that she played bass and drums, so we invited her over, and she stuck.

    Jasper: We formed with Cal a little earlier, when we were having some trouble finding a bassist –

    So what genre do you think best describes your band?

    Anton: We’re trying to pioneer the genre of “riot qurrr,” which is like riot grrrl but for queers… I feel like “queercore” isn’t that fun of a word to describe our music.

    Jasper: I’m not really into the word “queercore” for reasons I can’t really place.

    Anton: I guess if we’re gonna be more general, we’re punk, I’d say.

    Jasper: We’re punk, we have influences from riot grrrl, some 80s hardcore, 90s grunge, some math rock, from Screaming Females.

    Anton: I’m not sure how much the rest of the band draws from this, but there was this one obscure keyboard punk band in DC called Babykiller Estelle, like the Sartre play? The character from the Sartre play No Exit. That was a sure huge influence for me.

    Jasper: I definitely pull from some… I guess indie rock, if you wanna call it that, I don’t know if that even means anything… from like Modest Mouse… sometimes I can only tell after I’ve written a song I think “oh it sounds like this.” And I have a lot of history in bluegrass music, and folk music, and I’m sure that creeps in, but I’m not sure how much.

    Do you feel like your experience as an out queer band in the Richmond music scene has been any different than a non-out, or non-queer, or non-out queer band in the Richmond music scene?

    Jasper: I feel like I don’t really know the Richmond music scene, I wonder if being so clearly out helps other musicians that are queer but maybe not completely out, maybe not everyone in the band is queer, I feel like there are some members of bands that are really excited about playing with us… maybe before they’ve heard our music? (laughing) And I wonder if that has to do with building queer musician connections or what.

    Anton: I’ve never really been in a non-queer non-out band in Richmond, this is my first band in Richmond.

    Jasper: Yeah, it’s my first band. It feels good to not have to always be coming out, a lot of people experience an ongoing process of having to say “Hey, by the way, you assume my pronouns and you assume the wrong pronouns.” Or “Hey, you assumed I was partnered with this type of person and actually it’s more complicated than that.” So with “Queer Rocket,” it’s out there, you don’t have to put forth the extra energy to say “By the way, we’re a queer band.” People kind of get that.

    Anton: I didn’t realize this but we also probably have some weird “sex sells” factor to it because a lot of people are like “Queer Rocket? You mean like a DILDO?” and I’m like “Noooo… I never thought of it like that”

    When I’ve spoken to a couple other queer musicians, they’ve said that they feel like there isn’t really a queer music scene in Richmond, but that there are just a bunch of different bands with queer members. By having “queer” in your band name, would you say that it’s a priority as a band to bring out more queer visibility in the Richmond or Virginia music scene?

    Jasper: I wanted more queer punk in my life, and the best way to get that is to make it yourself, so that was part of my inspiration “I really wish there was a band like this… Oh, let’s make it and then there will be a band like this.” I feel like the Richmond queer scene is really awesome. I’m a big fan. And a lot of us are musicians so it only makes sense that music would be part of that.

    Anton: I guess I have a different answer… so, before there was Queer Rocket, I was doing this solo project called Genderqueer Deathsquad, where my explicit purpose was to travel from town to town and recruit people Nicaraguan-rebel style into a giant deathsquad of genderqueer people that could revolt at a moment’s notice because they’re all part of this large cooperative that has no leadership. So that was my little cutesy idea of being an acoustic folk punk thing. Right now, we have a super long list of queer people of color bands on our website that Susie X made, and I just feel like that history took me 8 years of being a punk fan to find, so now I’d rather just be super visible and super out there like “Hey, we’re a fucking queer band, we’re here, and if you go to our website you can see more queer bands,” or hopefully kids will start their own. Because I’ve definitely heard people are really sad that there aren’t queer bands or musicians like that making music that they want.

    Jasper: I feel like sometimes it’s just hard to find. Especially if you’re like me and you don’t actually know how to look for new music, it just comes to me when it does, and then I enjoy that experience.

    Anton: Punk is kinda hella whitewashed and heteronormative in terms of its official histories, because they’re like “Punk: first there was the Stooges, then it went over to England and there were 3 bands, and then it came to America, and there were 10 bands.” As opposed to, “Holy fucking shit, there’s a bunch of people randomly making music together, and there’s queer people of color in San Francisco making music together and there’s queer people in New York making music together,” that history’s not really ever told.

    Jasper: And then sometimes people get the feeling that since the history they’re used to hearing about punk is so male-dominated, and white, that if they don’t fit that then they won’t make it, it’s gonna be too hard as a punk band.

    What does “queer” mean to you personally?

    Anton: So the Wikipedia definition for queer is “people who are gender non-conforming, outside the gender binary, or not heterosexual” which I’m not sure if that’s how every queer person defines it, but for me, queer is just like… I don’t even know if I should be talking about this for this interview, but there’s this weird binary between normal and queer and queers are like “We need to crush the binary” but then they set up this other weird binary, so to me, “queer” is like this huge affinity group and no one really knows what it means but we all feel good being part of it because we’re all kind of weird.

    Jasper: I’m okay with that being how it is, I feel like “queer” to me kind of means like “Fuck you for trying to define my sexuality so rigidly or my gender so rigidly that like, we can like connect about being different than “the norm,” but that doesn’t mean that my experience of my queer identity is the same as someone else’s experience of their queer identity, or it could be like sexuality is really fucking complicated and that’s beautiful and I love learning more about my own sexuality and my own gender identity and expression, every day, and that might be fluid, for some people it might not be fluid, and I kind of just think it’s like this beautiful vomit of color.

    How have members of your own communities responded to you, and how does it compare to Richmond or Virginia at large?

    Anton: There’s a lot of people who are really stoked about playing with us, so we weren’t really sure how people were responding to us… within our communities there’s been really positive super awesome support, and it seems like that positive support’s also outside of them which is really nice.

    Jasper: I feel like I’m not in touch with non-queer Richmond, so I don’t know how they respond to us, they probably – I don’t know if the know about – I don’t know. I wanted to give a shout-out to Paisley who asked for all of our autographs at our first show and said they wanted to be our biggest fan.

    My mom was like “You’re putting out an album? I wanna buy copies and give them to all the family members for Christmas” and I was like “Um, oh, really? (laughing) I don’t think they would like it” and she said “Oh well, they don’t have to like it, but they would like to have it, because it’s yours, you made it” and I said “Okay, that’s really sweet, but you might wanna listen to it online first” and then I’m like “Um, I swear a lot, is that gonna be a problem?” and she’s like “Oh,” and she listened to it and called me back another time and said “I didn’t realize you were gonna use so much profanity, maybe we shouldn’t share it with the family” and I agreed. But I played it for my brother and sister and they were so excited. They really loved it.

    Anton: My mom turned on the garbage disposal once and said “See, it’s like your music.”

    You can catch Queer Rocket on their website and at a free show at Balliceaux, April 30, Doors at 9:30 pm




  10. Photography Portrait Workshop

    Saturday, Apr. 26, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    The Department of Photography and Film holds its final weekend workshop, “The Intimate Portrait,” April 26-27, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Pollack Building. This workshop explores various approaches, focusing on the power of the portrait to speak to emotions and life experiences. There are still a few seats available. For more information, contact Sasha Waters Freyer at swfreyer@vcu.edu or (319) 621-6499 or visithttp://arts.vcu.edu/photofilm/workshops.


  11. Look at all these JAIL MAILS we got!

    Are YOU coming to JAIL MAIL today??



  12. Courageous Conversations

    Tuesday, Apr. 8, 2014 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

    The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs presents this month’s Courageous Conversation in the Commons Theater. Guest speaker Katherine Mansfield, Ph.D., will discuss identity intersectionalities and their relationship to educational and vocational access and achievement. For more information, contact the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs atomsa@vcu.edu or (804) 828-6672.



    Monday, April 7, 2014



    by Madison Moore

    University Commons
    Commons Theater
    907 Floyd Ave

    Sponsored by the VCU School of Social Work and the VCU Dept. of Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies. 

    We’re in a Beyoncé moment. The pop sensation has more fans, more fame, and more cultural influence than ever before. But what makes her so iconic? What is her relationship to “fierceness”? What is “fierceness” anyway? And why do we love her so much? BEYONCE: A MASTERCLASS IN FIERCENESS is a meditation on the pop singer’s unique place in culture, but it also touches on what the power that performances of fierceness offer to gay men, women, and other marginalized groups. Bring your lace fronts.

    Don’t miss this!


  14. virginiacommonwealthuniversity:

    Graduating in May? We need your photos to play on the JUMBOTRON during the processional! Here are the details: 

    1. Submit a favorite photo of your time at VCU to 175events@vcu.edu

    2. Be sure to include with your photo your full name, school/department and if you plan to attend Commencement at the Coliseum

    3. Send your photos by April 15!


  15. PACME Awards

    Presidential Awards for Community Multicultural Enrichment (PACME) ceremony on Wednesday, April 16, at 3:00 p.m., in the Richmond Salons of the University Student Commons, located at 907 Floyd Avenue.  

    The PACME ceremony was created to recognize members of the university and Health System communities who have contributed to diversity, multiculturalism and inclusive excellence.