As the first event of the year she’s hosting, new Women’s Center Director M. Geneva Murray plans to hold a panel about fat activism and meet students

M. Geneva Murray, who started her job as the new director of the Ohio University Women’s Center on Oct. 12, will host her first event Tuesday.

Murray will co-host a Global Google Hangout with the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, where she served as the director of its Women’s Center since November 2012. The hangout will focus on “fat activism” and will be held Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Ellis 111.  

At the event, activists Cat Pausé, Ragen Chastain, Jenny Lee and Irene McCalphin will join Murray in talking about the movement focused on ending body shaming.

Sarah Jenkins, program coordinator for the Women’s Center, said this is a particularly important topic because being “fat” doesn’t speak to whether someone is healthy or unhealthy.

“I’m really excited about this panel she’s bringing to us because I’m really passionate about fat activism and fat studies in general,” said Jenkins, adding that she did research on fat activism for her thesis for her master’s. “I think it’ll be a great start for the Women’s Center, and hopefully, we can do more about fat activism with Geneva here.”

Although Murray presented at the Women’s Center’s Love Your Body day events Thursday, she will hold a meet and greet reception one hour before the fat activism event for those who didn’t get to meet her or would like to get to know her better.

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“The reason why I love the work that I do is because I love getting to work with students,” Murray said. “I’m most excited about meeting the students (in) Ohio, (giving) me an opportunity to work with different people and see what we can do to help them.”

The reception will be held Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Ellis 111.

delfin bautista, the director of the LGBT Center who uses they/them pronouns and the lowercase spelling of their name, said they are excited to have Murray on campus because of her breadth of experience, especially globally.

“We do have a sizable international student body that oftentimes can get neglected in terms of programming by our respective offices,” bautista said. “So, the fact that she brings that experience, not only her personal experience but also her professional experience, working with international committees was exciting.”

Murray hopes this event will help promote and share the word of body positivity.

“When we’re thinking about bodies, this is something that we’re attached to for our lives,” Murray said. “We go through so many different changes when it comes to the ways in which we feel about it … Because of that, it’s really important that we’re constantly checking in and feeling really positive about ourselves because it can change so quickly. “


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