This semester, the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance (FMLA) decided to change their name to the Intersectional Feminist Coalition (IFC). “We became aware of [the Feminist Majority Foundation’s] transphobic, racist and anti-union actions and we wanted to distance ourselves from this and we didn’t think that those [views] represented the values of our club,” events coordinator of IFC Ash Friedman ’23 told The Brandeis Hoot in an interview. “And also, we wanted to establish ourselves as an intersection of space and really put an emphasis on that.” They also emphasized that IFC is a coalition, or in other words, an alliance of organized action.
IFC plans to keep most of the other aspects of their club the same. The events they usually hold, such as Palentine’s Day and Love Your Body Day, will continue, as the club feels they are important events with meaningful messages.
IFC meetings are held on Tuesdays at 8 p.m., and each week there is a specific subject that will be discussed. “We’ll just bring it up, and talk about it, and it’s a place for discussion and exchange of ideas,” Friedman explained. “We also have done organized action in the past like letter writing campaigns, grassroots activism. We’ve brought people in to talk about different bills that are being passed in Massachusetts, and we’ve also done poster making for love your body day, movies screenings and discussions.” Recently, the club discussed safe sex and safe relationships with PARC, menstruation and pregnancy, sex workers and feminist representation in the media.
The club recently hosted an event called Palentine’s Day. The motivation behind this event was to allow for more inclusivity for non-binary, gender non-conforming individuals or men to join the Valentine’s day celebration. Friedman illustrates that “it’s just like a group gathering where we can enjoy friendship and get to know each other better and promote our club.” For a future event, the club is planning to have an alumni panel where former executive board (E-board) members can come and discuss how to engage with feminism when not in a campus environment. In addition, the club also plans to have an art show in which they will be hosting a creating session featuring feminism-inspired prompts and members will listen to music and create and share their art.
Transitioning to a virtual environment was a bit difficult for this club, as the room in which the IFC typically meets is a very safe space and allows individuals to talk about anything they want. Sometimes it is difficult to create that space in a virtual environment. However, members of the E-board Emily Atieh ’23, the co-president, Lauren Formanski ’22, the social media chair, Hallie Kamosky ’23, the outreach coordinator, Kate Greenberg ’22, the treasurer, and Friedman have all been working hard to create a safe space for individuals.
“We hope this name change signals to the Brandeis community our emphasis on intersectionality and inclusion and how we are just really striving to make that apparent,” they emphasized.