Major: Sociology/Women’s Studies
Hometown: Temecula, CA
Kerrie came to Chico State as a Humanities major but after one class, Introduction to Women’s Studies, she switched majors. She got hooked as soon as she saw the passion and level of engagement of her classmates, several of whom were involved with the Women’s Center. Kerrie saw Women’s Studies as a defining way to put her education to practice. It’s important to me to use my education to help someone. She arranged to do a year-long internship with the Women’s Center which evolved into her current position as program coordinator. In this capacity Kerrie mentors five interns, facilitates meetings, and conducts outreach efforts for referrals and services. At the start of each semester she provides activist training for all interns to prepare them to be effective advocates in support of the center’s mission of equality for all.
Perhaps Kerrie’s her most visible efforts focus on coordinating two of the center’s signature events: Take Back the Night and Queer Week. These public awareness campaigns create visibility for important issues and provide opportunities for people to connect and share experiences that have profoundly affected their lives.
Kerrie describes her involvement with the Women’s Center as a way to continue developing her philosophy of feminism. “That development is constant, fluid, authentic. Working here helps me navigate my passion and my intention. I can experience firsthand the things I’m learning in the classroom which helps to construct my ideologies and fuse them.” All facets of Kerrie’s personal and academic life are aligned to plans to pursue her master’s degree in social work with the goal of working in a domestic violence shelter.
Kerrie understands the importance of people finding and creating a sense of solidarity. “Put your voice out there. Speak up. Be open to trying new things. My favorite saying on the planet is Personal IS political. Tell your story over and over and eventually others will hear it and perhaps generate a spark which creates a whole new movement.”
In Kerrie’s words:
“I’m a strong voice. I’m attentive. I meet people where they are so we can grow together.”