When I tell people I want to major in social work and they’re like “oh that’s great, but that’s a really rough field ya know, it takes a strong person, it can be really sad, etc” like oh no shit man. I never thought that. I was like, fwhat is the happiest possible job out there? Must be helping disadvantage people!


James Madison University, a well-known public university in my hometown of Harrisonburg, is handling the ‘worst case of sexual assault’ in their history by allowing the perpetrators to graduate and banning them afterward.

Meanwhile, the student who was assaulted lost her financial aid when her grades slipped while trying to deal with bringing her rapists to justice and had to leave school.

The links in question:


So even when there is absolute definitive proof on tape of an assault, the victim is paying the biggest price and the perpetrators are allowed to stay at school.

This is not right.


This afternoon, members of Slam Nahuatl and the Feminist Student Organisation gathered in the VCU Compass in protest against police brutality. Thank you to everyone who came out, got involved, and took part in the conversation.

Our first Open Mic of the season will be September 15th at 9PM in the Commons Underground. All are welcome to attend and participate. We will keep you updated as it gets closer!


A Hands Up for Michael Brown demonstration protesting the murder of eighteen year old Mike Brown by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, earlier this month. This demonstration took place on the Monroe Park Campus of Virginia Commonwealth University, on August 25th, 2014. About forty people total participated. 

Demonstrators who gave their names for publication include Alex Teschel, Alexis Honeycutt, Brittney Maddox, Courtney Shackelford, Josh Braunstein, Julee Harris, Kelly Gumm, Kitty Novelli, Lala Dozier, Maya White-Lurie ,Morgan Britt, Phen Bownen, Rob Gibsun, Shannon Wright, Shay Patrick, Xander H. Wong, and Zaira Qureshi.

If I have misspelled your name, or if you are featured in the photos and would like to add your name, please message me here, on Tumblr, or by e-mailing activerva@gmail.com. 

You can see the full album of photos here


VCU Friendly Bathrooms List

This list is back and better than ever, thanks to VCU OMSA and yours truly, the VCU Department of Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies. 

A list of single-stall bathrooms on VCU campus that are safer and friendlier to transgender, intersex, and gender nonconforming people. If you click on the images, it gets a little larger. Or click here to view a larger, zoomable version of this list.

For more safer bathrooms near VCU campus or elsewhere, check out refuge restrooms, a bathroom-finder database created by former GSEXer, Teagan Widmer.

Our bathrooms, here in Crenshaw House are not accessible, but just to let folks know, our bathrooms are open to the public. We have one on the first floor towards the back of the hallway, along with a water fountain, and on the second floor, only accessible by stairs, is a very large single-stall bathroom. Under the sink in our first floor bathroom, there are tampons, sanitary napkins, and condoms free to anyone who needs them. No need to ask us!

Sept. 3rd | Wednesday @ 1PM

At 1PM this coming Wednesday, Slam Nahuatl will be holding a Hands Up, Don’t Shoot demonstration in the VCU Compass. Members of and around the VCU community are encouraged to come support and/or participate.

For those who don’t know what a Hands Up demonstration is:

Demonstrators will gather (silently and peacefully) with their hands up, a universal sign of “I surrender; don’t shoot me.” These stand-ins are to protest police brutality and institutionalized racism, as demonstrated in Michael Brown’s murder in Ferguson, as well as raise awareness that this is a very real issue for many people around the country.

Hopefully, the new status as a five-digit species animal group brings more support, funding and awareness for the bewildering diversity reptiles continue to reveal.

Snakes, lizards, and turtles, oh my! A VCU Life Sciences professor has created a Reptile Database cataloging over 10,000 species. Shown is the Cyrtodactylus vilaphongi, a tiny gecko found in the jungle of Laos in Southeast Asia, which was discovered by a team of German, Vietnamese and Lao scientists. [Photo courtesy of Truong Nguyen.]

GSWS professors stay busy over the summer. Check out this publication Dr. Lomax just released!

Womanist and Black Feminst Responses to Tyler Perry’s Productions

African American playwright, actor, television producer and filmmaker Tyler Perry is an American cultural phenomenon. Perry has made over half a billion dollars through the development of films, plays, and television series that center storylines about bla ck women, black communities and black religion. The success of a Tyler Perry Production, coupled with Perry’s participation in a range of media and in multiple roles as creator and actor, position him as a significant site of black religious and cultural e xpression, and thus critical inquiry and reflection. Womanist and Black Feminist Responses to Tyler Perry’s Productions examines Perry’s works from interdisciplinary perspectives and provides a necessary response to Perry’s current prominence regarding black representation, black religion and black cultural production.

LeRhonda S. Manigault-Bryant is Associate Professor of Africana Studies at Williams College, USA. Tamura A. Lomax is Visiting Assistant Professor of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, USA.

Carol B. Duncan is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Religion and Culture at Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada.


Hands Up for Ferguson, Monday August 25th, VCU Monroe Park Campus

Today, Monday August 25th, at 1pm, in the Virginia Commonwealth University Monroe Park Campus Compass (located by Cabell Library, 900 Park Avenue, Richmond VA), Slam Nahuatl at VCU and other groups are gathering for a solidarity demonstration for Ferguson, Missouri: “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!”