My name is Angela and I am currently the development intern for the Waysmeet Center this summer. Larry, the leader and chaplain of Waysmeet, and I, thought that getting a blog up and running would be a great way to reach out to all of the lovely community members that support Waysmeet and its mission. So, I’ll start with a little piece about myself, and why Waysmeet is important.
I am an English major, going into my senior year at UNH. Recently, I’ve taken an interest in non-profit work, fundraising, grant writing, marketing, and, of course, writing (I guess as an English major I kind of have to enjoy that). This internship will complete my minor in Women’s Studies, but for me, it is more than just about fulfilling a requirement: It’s about helping the community, furthering my skills set, exploring career options that interest me, and broadening my understanding of issues that are most certainly correlated to what feminism fights for.
Yes, I am a feminist. In case you are reading this thinking “What’s a feminist?” or, my personal favorite, “So you hate men?”, here is a handy dictionary definition for you:
fem·i·nism noun: 1. The advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, how does my internship here at Waysmeet, and the work of Waysmeet in general, relate to feminism? Well, feminism isn’t just about women having the same equal opportunities as men. It’s about social justice: All people having access to basic needs, and an equal distribution of privileges. One of the biggest aspects of Waysmeet is its focus on the food pantry and food justice; In 2014, a Hunger Study was conducted for the New Hampshire Food Bank, which found that “57 percent of client households have incomes that fall at or below the federal poverty level.” Families going hungry in New Hampshire is an issue that all of us need to be aware of and help prevent, because all people should have access to reliable meals.
Waysmeet doesn’t just provide a food pantry for the residents of New Hampshire to utilize, it also serves as a community space for students at the university. Students can enter and immediately feel welcomed and accepted. To sum up, the Waysmeet Center is a bright light in the little town of Durham, and commits to social justice work and serving the community one step at a time. And I get to work there!