The University hired Abby Fite this summer as the new Associate Director for Gender and Sexuality Resources at the Women’s Resource Center.
The Women’s Resource Center is an on campus department that focuses on advocacy for equality among women and other marginalized groups relating to gender and sexuality. The Center previously focused on sexual violence response and prevention programs.
These programs are now being managed by Kristin Gibson who is the new Interpersonal Violence Prevention and Advocacy Coordinator. While Fite still works closely with Gibson on these programs, Fite is able to allocate more time towards women’s empowerment and gender justice programs beyond sexual violence response and prevention.
Fite, who has ten years of experience in higher education and is working towards a doctorate in education policy and social change, has many programs planned for this school year.
The Women’s Resource Center started Feminist Fridays, which is a weekly program from 4–6 p.m. on Fridays in the Women’s Resource Center. These programs will focus on self-reflection, community building, healing and conversation.
Other programs that the Women’s Resource Center is continuing is Women of Color Wednesdays, which is a closed space for women of color to explore identity and experience, and Leadership for Social Justice, which is a two-day leadership institute during fall break that gives students an opportunity to build skills, knowledge and relationships to lead for social justice.
Fite is also hoping to put together a Women’s History Week this coming March. In addition, Fite is working with colleagues Jackie Cetera and Jocelyne Scott to reform an affinity group for staff and faculty members with marginalized genders called the Gender Equity Network.
In this new position, Fite is most looking forward to getting to engage people in social justice. Fite started learning about systems of oppression in her undergrad years and found this to be a formative experience that helped understand herself better and become a better person.
“Each of us is shaped by oppression, and I think each of us can be liberated through an active commitment to social justice. What I value most about my work is the opportunity to create platforms for other people to learn about and grow through social justice,” Fite said.
Fite also looks forward to working with students and hearing their ideas and suggestions. She is ready to support students in any way she can whether that be supporting existing programs or creating new ones.
“What I really want students to know is women’s empowerment and gender equity work is also antiracism work, economic justice work, queer and trans liberation work, disability justice work,” she said.