Don’t Ms.: War, Peace, Humor, Suffrage, Body Love and More!

Nashville: Vanderbilt University will be hosting Shelby Knox, subject of the award-winning documentary The Education of Shelby Knox, a film that follows her advocacy for sex education and gay rights in her conservative Southern Baptist town. Her lecture is entitled Bless Her Heart: How One Good Southern Girl Changed the World. Admission is free and open to the public. Monday, Oct. 17, 7–8:30 p.m., 310 25th Ave. S.

Nationwide: Watch week two of PBS’ five-week series on Women, War and Peace. This week is the screening of Pray the Devil Back to Hell, a documentary featuring 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winners Leymah Gbowee and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. This poignant film tells the story of the brave Liberian women who effectively ended the war in their country by standing between the two sides. Tuesday, Oct. 18; check your local listings for times.

Nationwide: Celebrate Love your Body Day by, well, loving your body. You can also join the Love Your Body Day blog carnival hosted by the NOW Foundation. Stand up against unrealistic beauty standards by blogging about what they do to women and girls, or share your tips for feeling good about yourself just the way you are. Find more ideas and guidelines for joining the carnival here. Wednesday, Oct. 19 (blogs accepted until Friday, Oct. 21).

Teaneck, N.J.: Understanding Your Rights in the Workplace is a free legal seminar for women by women. Attorneys Kathryn McClure, Sheila O’Shea Criscione and Carly Skarbnik will share their insights on gender bias and discrimination, pregnancy and maternity leave, family and medical leave and sexual harassment in the workplace. Admission is free. Thursday, Oct. 20, Marriott Glenpointe, 100 Frank W. Burr Blvd.

Santa Monica, Calif.: Gaining women’s suffrage in the U.S. was a state-by-state effort. Learn how California made it happen 100 years ago–nearly 20 years before the 19th Amendment became law–in Martha Wheelock’s new documentary, California Women Win the Vote. You can hear more about this chapter in California feminist history from UCLA history professor Ellen DuBois and historian Virginia Elwood-Akers. Admission is free and there will be refreshments. Thursday, Oct. 20, 7 p.m., Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club, 1210 4th St.

San Francisco: Rape is not funny, but sometimes humor can be used to stand up against sexual violence. She Who Laughs Last is a comedy showcase featuring Nina G, Karinda Dobbins, D’Lo and Micia Mosely. The event benefits San Francisco Women Against Rape (SFWAR), which supports survivors of sexual violence and helps communities work to prevent such violence. Doors open at 7 p.m. for light appetizers and a silent auction. Friday, Oct. 21, 7 p.m., Brava Theatre, 2781 24th St.

Boston: Here at Ms. we value writing as a tool for activism. So we can heartily recommend the OpEd Project’s Write to Change the World seminar, cohosted by Women, Action & the Media (WAM!) Boston. The day-long seminar encourages women to write for op-ed pages in their local media and work to sway public opinion about important issues. Learn how to establish credibility, make a powerful argument and find your voice. Saturday, Oct. 22, 10 a.m.– 5 p.m., Simmons College, 300 The Fenway.


Sarah is a visual journalism student at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash. She has a near obsession with ending injustice and is a sucker for a good cause.