AACC community speaks out for women at annual ‘Soapbox Sisters’ event


Photo by Daniel Salomon

Second-year graphic design student Raquel Hamner performs “Ain’t I a Woman” at AACC’s annual “Soapbox Sisters” event.

Ashley Sokolowski, Reporter

AACC hosted the annual “Soapbox Sisters” event on March 29, inviting attendees to hear presentations of historical speeches by women.

Students, faculty and alumni presented speeches including: “Ain’t I a Woman” by abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth; “Phenomenal Women” by poet Maya Angelou; and “The Bitch Manifesto” by feminist writer Jo “Joreen” Freeman.

Brett Paavola, a criminal justice student and the only male presenter, chose the speech “Commit to Never being Bystanders” by Linda Sarsours, the co-chair of the 2017 Women’s March on Washington.

“I choose Linda Sarsour’s commencement speech … due to the fact that it addresses a lot of criminal justice issues,” Paavola said. “I just found it relevant and pertaining to what I am trying to do with my career.”

Nerrie Navarro, a second-year business administration student, presented part of Sunitha Krishnan’s TED Talk on Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking. Krishnan is the co-founder of Prajwala, an organization that helps victims of sex-trafficking reintegrate into society.

“I feel really deeply about the issue [of human sex-trafficking] … and I want to help make people aware of the situation,” Navarro said.

“[I am] in a social justice learning community, and the entire idea of this event was really fascinating to me and the rest of my class,” C.J. Mead, a first-year communications student who attended the event, said.

“I am a woman and have always been passionate about supporting other women, and it is really inspiring to hear their stories,” Dannelle Day, an attendee and first-year art education major, said.

Associate professor April Copes coordinated the event.

“I want people to be better informed about what life is like for women and girls and what it has been like [in the past],” Copes said. “But I also want people to, hopefully, be inspired to do what they can to make different for women and girls.”