The Oldest Women’s Center is Still Running Today!

Image of the occupation of 888 Mass Ave, a protest demanding that Harvard provide funding to open a women's center. 1971.

Image of the occupation of 888 Mass Ave, a protest demanding that Harvard provide funding to open a women's center. 1971.

Last week, I went to the Women’s Center to discover the roots of it and how it is functioning in our society today. Going back to the early 1970’s, there was a Harvard building that was occupied by a huge crowd of women. The 10-day event was known as the Occupation of 888 Memorial Drive became history. The women gathered together for their demands to be met, one of them was to have a Women’s Center. The wish became true through fundings and support from people who contributed to this. The Women’s Center looks like a regular house on the outside, but you should never judge a book by it cover. As I entered the center, I found that this place isn’t what I expected. Feelings like happiness took over me and I felt peaceful and empowered once I got a good look of the area. To be honest, the Women’s Center is pretty cool with lots of rooms used for many purposes. There is also a wide variety of different programs and discussions where people of the Cambridge and Boston community meet together. Examples of programs include Meditation and Yoga, and Artist Expression and Creativity. I noticed that the Women’s Center is a small comfortable place for women to gather around and escape from their daily lives’ conflicts and enjoy, stepping into a different world where they can recover from bad happenings and learn self defense in order to become empowered. The Women’s Center is what inspired my idea for an installation for the exhibition. The installation is a place where there are interactive activities and the background and display ensures tranquility. Overall, the installation idea is a reflection of the Women’s Center that I became creative with.

- Sidrah