Partnership brings together "Gender By Us" and Visiting Filmmaker screening
On Thursday, October 20, we’re thrilled to partner with The Women's Fund of Central Ohio for an evening that invites you to join in challenging social norms and celebrating Kelly Reichardt, an acclaimed independent filmmaker.
We’ll gather at 5:30 PM in the Mershon Auditorium lobby for Gender By Us – A Conversation to Spark Change, where we’ll break into small group conversations to explore the connection between gender norms, implicit bias, the existing disparities between women and men, and how they show up in our personal lives and communities. At 7 PM, we’ll head to the Film/Video Theater, where Reichardt will introduce her new film, Certain Women, which just won Best Film honors at the London Film Festival. The screening will be followed by a Q&A.
The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio is a public foundation committed to advocacy and convening voices to create gender equality and influence. Its programs, partnerships, grants, and research support economic self sufficiency, women in leadership, and challenging gender norms to support positive social change.
As Sarah Pariser, Director of Grants & Programs for The Women's Fund, said, "Please join us for a robust conversation, and leave inspired and prepared to host your own Gender By Us. Our goal is to have 100 conversations by January 1!"
We asked her to share more about the organization and the Gender By Us program.
Why did The Women's Fund create "Gender By Us"?
The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio is committed to bringing people together to explore important issues that will improve the lives of women and girls. We convene critical conversations because we recognize that listening to each other and understanding shared experiences is vital to creating root cause solutions. We recently did a research report with the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity to look at gender norms and their impact. Gender norms are the popular and conventional ideas most people have about it means to “act like” a man or woman. We tend to learn them from experiences with family, peer groups, churches, schools, movies, media, magazines. With persistent use they come to be taken for granted or thought of as “natural” and “just the way things are”.
Gender norms contribute to the economic, educational, and leadership disparity among women and girls on an individual and institutional level. In our recent research with The Kirwan Institute, we learned that more than half of Columbus respondents to the Harvard IAT had a strong to moderate association with men to career and women to family. When we saw this, we knew we needed to take action.
The first step to disrupting these invisible forces is raising awareness of them through conversation. The Women’s Fund has steadily been committed to extracting the root cause of issues in pursuit of root cause solutions. With our research, we saw a need to convene conversations in a safe space for transparent dialogue to challenge underlying social norms and generate change. Examining the shared and varying experiences of men and women in central Ohio will provide the background needed to move forward. So, we created a conversation toolkit – Gender By Us. The toolkit allows anyone to host a conversation and spark change at a grassroots level.
What can someone new to the Gender By Us program expect at the event?
You'll be part of a safe conversation to spark change. The Women’s Fund will lead the evening, where you will have conversation starters and data points to guide the discussion. You will leave having a better understanding of how gender norms impacts you, your community, and what you can do to take action to create change.
How has the response to these meetups been so far?
We already have had a great response to these conversations, with one participant sharing, “I found comfort in the conversation of shared experiences. Other men and women are having my experiences--when are we going to give ourselves permission to change the biases?”
How does the Kelly Reichardt program align with this event and the mission of The Women’s Fund?
The Wexner Center for the Arts and The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio share a devotion to achieving social change through collaborative efforts, enforcing new representations of women, and encouraging conversation around how women are perceived. The Kelly Reichardt Retrospective provides a wonderful opportunity to take a look at one of the most vital, distinctive, and acclaimed independent filmmakers working today, who did not have the same rise to recognition as her male counterparts.