FOCUS group promotes gender equity and de-stigmatizing difficult topics

FOCUS group promotes gender equity and de-stigmatizing difficult topics

Feminists On Campus Uniting Students, or FOCUS, is a student organization on campus built for engaging and teaching students about topics that might not be otherwise given much light. 

“The mission statement of focus is to one, promote a positive and welcoming environment for all people to share their feeling and comments and concerns about issues at the University…the second goal is to advocate for abortion access and abortion positivity,” FOCUS President Ambrosia Naramore-Winfrey said.

Advocation for abortion access is a major effort undertaken by the group— focusing their efforts on how to promote a positive area for students that may feel stigmatized. The group wants to create awareness that further develops relationships between all groups of students and their diverse backgrounds. 

“[We want] to promote gender equity on campus, which is much more than just the conversation between male and female equity, it’s equity for the non-binary community and the transgender community on campus,” Naramore-Winfrey said.

The group has been involved in outside programs such as the Reproductive Justice Leadership Institute, which has given insight on how to properly educate others about important topics to be discussed within the group, along with enabling the students to be better aware on how to reach people who may feel alone. 

Feminism can be a confusing term for people because of the different waves that have occurred in history. Naramore-Winfrey said that feminism does not only advocate for women, but for every gender in the spectrum.

“There are different waves of feminism,” Naramore-Winfrey said. “With different ideas in the United States, beginning with the Suffrage movement and the right of women to vote, then progressing to equal pay in the 90’s, another wave that talked about equal access to promotions, and women in the workforce. 

“The new wave of feminism focuses on gender equity and understanding gender equity in the scope of all genders. It not only recognizes unequal access that women face, but also the issues that men face such as body positivity.” 

As there have been resources provided for pro-life movements on campus, there is also a need for pro-choice resources for students. FOCUS wants to create an atmosphere that fosters acceptance and support for those who may be going through a situation regarding an abortion-related topic. 

“A community of abortion positivity is important because women need to have resources regarding their bodies and all genders need to have resources regarding their bodies readily available,” Naramore-Winfrey said.

She reiterated that this included aspects of health, reproductive, mental, or other health issues that people might not know. The group is welcoming towards all ways of life, and whatever background that you may have. 

“One of the goals in FOCUS is to address the myths of abortion … destigmitizing abortion issues,” Naramore-Winfrey said. 

These issues are topics of contention due to the Supreme Court’s recent decision on abortion in Texas. The FOCUS group hopes to lift the stigma of having harder conversations about these topics. 

Other than going to the events provided by the FOCUS organization, Naramore-Winfrey recommended doing your own research to learn about topics and weigh all views that may be present regarding an issue. Being educated will allow you to provide more informational resources to others.

If you would like to be a part of FOCUS on campus, they are holding meetings on Sept. 24th, Oct. 8th, and Oct. 22nd of the next month. Any questions can be addressed to the president of the organization, Ambrosia Naramore-Winfrey, @[email protected].