Thursday, December 07, 2006

YWTF Member Profile: DC Metro Chapter

I thought it would be neat to let our readers get a feel for who our members actually are—what they do, how they’re engaged in YWTF, and so on. I hope that future YWTF bloggers will continue this trend, so that we can round it out by featuring profiles from chapters across the country; for now, I’m staying close to home, focusing on the DC Metro Chapter. Enjoy!

Name?
Lacey Dunham

Age?
23

How long have you been a YWTF member?
1 year

Why/how did you join YWTF?
I stumbled across YWTF doing an Internet search. The group seemed to fit my interests and seemed like a great way to meet people, so I joined! The first event I went to was The Good Body by Eve Ensler. We saw her perform it at the Lincoln Theatre in NW.

What do you think is the best perk of being a YWTF member?
Getting to meet and talk with other younger women. I also enjoy how the DC group’s agenda is member driven; what we’re interested in is what we do as a group. I appreciate that openness and flexibility.

What was your favorite event that your chapter hosted?
I’m a creative person with a lot of interest in the written and performative arts, so I’ve enjoyed the performances the group has attended. Something new we’re doing that I really enjoy is our discussion evenings, an informal gathering of members to talk about an issue affecting younger women. It feels wonderful to connect with women over issues that are important and matter.

Are you involved in any other form of activism outside of YWTF?
I work with a neighborhood association in my area that works to provide a balanced voice for all citizens in the neighborhood, not just the affluent, property-owning (and often Caucasian) neighbors.

What is your profession?
Currently, I am a fundraiser with an international development research and action organization that performs our work through the lens of gender.

Where did you go/are you going to school? What did you major in?
I graduated from a women’s college, Hollins University in Roanoke, VA. I doubled majored in Creative Writing and Social Politics.

What do you like to do in your free time?
A lot! Reading and writing are my true loves so I read voraciously and provide occasional freelance book reviews for websites and businesses. I also write a lot and take part in a bi-weekly writing group in NW DC. Additionally, I sing in a gospel choir and work now and then at a local yoga studio. I try to find time to meditate daily and to play with my two cats. As you can see, I like to keep myself busy!

What’s the last book you read? Would you recommend it?
The last book I read was A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf. There are short-comings to her thesis, namely that she doesn’t take class and race into perspective but it’s an important book for anyone interested in women and feminism. I also finished a book recently by a young adult author, Francesca Lia Block. Her writing is simple but her language and imagery are often overwhelming with their beauty. She writes on very adult themes and I appreciate that she is exposing youth and children to ideas and concepts in the world from which I don’t believe they should be sheltered.

If you had to pick a younger woman role model, who would it be and why?
You know, I’m always very impressed with all the younger women I meet in DC. I love talking with them and discovering their passions, learning about their jobs, and what motivates them in their daily lives. I am much more motivated by all of these women than I am by any Hollywood face or name. I think women who are living their daily lives, who are making a difference, who have passion and dedication for what they do are important role models for me and everyone.

How do the goals of YWTF apply to your daily life?
YWTF provides a forum for me to explore myself and my relationship to the larger world, especially now that I’m a professional and no longer a university student. I think ageism is an enormous problem in our culture and I appreciate YWTF because, as a younger woman who is often seen as incompetent, unintelligent, and incapable because I’m both a woman and I’m younger, it’s meaningful for me to know that an organization exists to support me and my place in the world.

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