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FEL IS BACK!

Hello, there! Long time no see! 
 
I think some introductions would be in order. We are the new board of FEL (Feminist Evolution Leiden), an organization (stichting) that was founded in the wake of the #metoo movement and due to a dire need for organized feminism in our beautiful city Leiden. 
 
The previous board felt it was time to finally pass on the feminist torch and hire a whole new board because, well, the feminist cause never goes to sleep! The new dream team consists of five women who did not know each other before and who are now working together to make Leiden a more feminist and inclusive space. Alessandra Giliberto and Joos Vlierboom, our Communications Leads and minds behind the newsletter, Maaike de Vreugd, who is our Events Lead, and last but not least, Sammy Lee van der Berg, our Treasurer and vice-chair. I, Devika Sardjoe Mishre, have been given the wonderful opportunity of chairing our organization.
 
Because we have been rather silent in the past year and a half, it is only natural to wonder what we have been up to. In the past two months, we have been working on setting things up and planning the months to come. Our first and recurrent event will be the FEL Book Talks organised by our book club. The first meeting has been already announced (see below for more information). We plan to meet approximately every 6 weeks, so that you have the time to enjoy your reading!
   
In 2022, municipal elections will be held in Leiden to renew the city council. Around that time, we would like to invite candidates who identify as women* – but not only – to discuss feminist topics and their plans to translate these into action. Around February-March, we will get ready for the Women’s March. For the occasion, we would like to gather our community and prepare for such an important event. Much more is in the making, but why ruin the surprise? Stay tuned!    
 
The events we would like to organise are inspired by the core values we stand for as FEL. They may seem obvious, but they actually are not at all: These are: inclusivity, anti-racism, solidarity, and intersectionality. 
 

FEL-le greetings, Devika

*FEL refers to women here, but this essentially does not cover the broad spectrum of gender we would like to speak to. FEL is there for everyone, for all people who identify as women or people who have nothing to do with the old-fashioned labels of the binary gender distinction.

Books, books, books! 
We are happy to invite you to our forthcoming book talk! We will be reading a classic feminist book, Feminism is for Everybody by bell hooks, a book you cannot miss on your shelf! You can read the book in English or in Dutch, but the discussion will most likely be in English. Depending on the Covid-19 regulations, we may be able to meet in person and discuss this book while having a drink. If not, you can join us online! More details will be provided one week before the event. Last but not least, koop lokaal! Order your copy from a local bookshop or via www.libris.nl. 
Click here to join the Book Club!
FEL-le Vrouw: Vera de Zwaan 🌈
"Claiming the queer label in public felt scary, but also so daring and extraordinary" – in this way, Vera describes her first pride march in Leiden. And it was indeed extraordinary to be walking together the same route as 40 years ago. Read more about Vera's experience in our blog.
Read the interview here

Article: What does it mean to be an ally?
Attending the march and listening to Vera’s words prompted a reflection on the roles of allies and opportunities and pitfalls. In this blog, we reflect on the definition of what it means to be an ally, on the challenges of this role, and on the possible ways forward. 

Read the article here
CARE got defunded and we are not okay with that!
CARE was a support group lead by specialised psychologists that offered a safe space for students at Leiden University. In 2021, CARE was defunded without an explanation and a lot of students were left without support. @a.survivor.at.leiden has been strongly and wholeheartedly fighting this decision. The exhibition "Messages to Survivors" (with in collaboration with Amnesty International NL) and the peaceful sit-in demonstration at Wijnhaven in The Hague showed that the community needs this service. If you want to support @a.survivor.at.leiden and all the victims of sexual assaults, sign this petition to bring back CARE at Leiden University. 
Something to add? Why not join our writers' team! 
 
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Feminist Evolution Leiden · Looijersplein 6 · Leiden, 2312 RL · Netherlands

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