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CSULB Huddle holds final meeting of the semester

Despite ending one chapter the huddle, group leaders are hopeful for the future of the organization.

Women%27s+liberation+march+from+Farrugut+Square+to+Lafayette+Park+August+26%2C+1970.
Women's liberation march from Farrugut Square to Lafayette Park August 26, 1970.

Women's liberation march from Farrugut Square to Lafayette Park August 26, 1970.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons

Women's liberation march from Farrugut Square to Lafayette Park August 26, 1970.

Jason Enns, Arts & Life Editor

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If you participated in the January 21 women’s march and found yourself wanting to keep the movement going after it ended, but didn’t know how, you’re not alone.

For some students at Cal State Long Beach, the answer was to start a huddle — a positive, inclusive and action-oriented local meeting. Interns for the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies department, senior WGSS major Hyla Rachwal and senior psychology major Derynne Fuhrer formed the CSULB Huddle to bring the conversation to Long Beach.

The group held its final gathering of the semester on Wednesday, and held a film screening of the documentary, “She’s Beautiful when She Gets Angry.” The screening was followed by a discussion with feminist activist and author Zoe Nicholson, a member of the National Organization for Women and the Veteran Feminists of America.

It was the huddle’s largest event to date, with about 80 students filling the seats of the University Student Union Beach Auditorium. The film took the audience through the progression of the women’s liberation movement during the ‘60s and ‘70s. It displayed the gender roles that were accepted prior to the movement, and the extreme measures that the activists of that time had to take. Though their progress changed the world we live in today, the fact that 50 years later feminists still need to march on behalf of women’s rights loomed over the room.

“This idea that we have downtime is insane,” Nicholson said. “There is no downtime for activists.”

When a student used the pronoun “they,” when referencing people who organize rallies, she quickly reminded the audience that, “There is no ‘they.’” She was sure to let everyone know that, in activism, it boils down to each individual doing their part, encouraging students to always ask, “What did I do to make the world a better place today?”

“I feel like there’s a fire in me, when I came here at Long Beach State,” said Emma Leal, senior political science major. “As a young woman in her mid-20s there’s definitely a fire and I’m definitely angry, I live daily injustices.” Leal says she is a regular attendee to CSULB Huddle meetings, and that they have helped her in seeking her own liberation.

The huddle had seven meetings this semester, prior to the screening, with attendance anywhere between five and 15 participants. They covered various topics such as fake news, allyship, self-care and Associated Students, Inc.

“After the women’s march there was all this momentum and this build up that came in,” Fuhrer said. “It was like, ‘Okay, so we’re passionate about these issues, we marched, and now what?’”

Fuhrer and Rachwal agreed that the huddle was the best response to the call to action.

“We want this to continue, this isn’t suppose to end,” Rachwal said

Coordinator for the Women’s and Gender Equity Center, Pam Rayburn explained how she hopes other WGSS interns will take it on next semester, and keep it going in a way that meets the needs of the campus and the political climate of the time.

“The U.S. Constitution is alive, it’s dynamic,” Nicholson said. “People think that if they go to one march it’s done… We got to go into the long game, we can’t be complacent… I know everybody thinks January 21 was a very big deal, it wasn’t, it was just the gun at the start line of the run.”

 

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