Chalking for Roe: How Small Acts of Engagement Make a Difference

by Angelina Kianka and Esther Fiore, 2018 Campus Leaders at UNCW

In honor of the 45th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Esther and I chalked UNCW’s campus to promote awareness.  We wrote dozens of pro-choice messages in areas that see the highest foot traffic, such as in front of Randall Library and in the common areas by the Student Center.  Our messages included “Our Bodies, Our Choice,” “Celebrating 45 Years of Roe v. Wade,” and “Keep Your Laws Off My Body #45YearsOfRoe.”  We chalked on a Sunday evening to ensure that we would have minimal disruptions, and because the anniversary happened to fall on a Monday.

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In my classes on Monday, I overheard students talking about the chalk messages and even walked by some students taking photos of the messages.  The chalking also garnered the attention of the Women’s Studies Resource Center.  I went to their office to pick up some NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina swag, and the women at the office expressed their appreciation for our pro-choice efforts.  Chalking is an eye-catching, inexpensive way to communicate an idea while facilitating the opportunity for dialogue.  There’s no denying that it got students and faculty chatting, and it was a great way to kick off the semester!

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Later in the week, Esther and I attended a #MeToo panel.  We distributed NARAL Pro-Choice NC materials and collected names of students interested in joining the Feminist Student Alliance.  I’m thrilled to see UNCW supporting efforts to discuss sexual harassment and assault, and the panel has inspired us to capitalize on the momentum of the #MeToo movement and plan some events surrounding sexual assault awareness.  The panel was even featured on a local news station—here’s a link of the segment!

January has taught us that a little can go a long way when it comes to activism.  Igniting awareness on the campus community is crucial.  We’ve got some ambitious ideas for the upcoming months, and we’re excited to see the impact we’ll have within our community.  Stay tuned!

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