Associate professor of theatre at Texas Woman’s University Dr. Noah Lelek brought together seven alumni and students to share the stories of women following the repeal of Roe v. Wade.
Eight different stories were read out for the crowd, detailing the experiences of women across America. Though not all were specifically detailing topics relating to abortion, all expressed difficulties living as a woman in current and past societies. Lelek expressed that he felt it was vital to share these stories now.
“I’m here for social justice,” Lelek said. “I’m here to present these stories so you can all see them and make your own.”
Each of the performers expressed much of the same sentiment. Erica Cole, who is a TWU alumna, was among the performers on stage. She was very eager to share these stories and discuss the topic with the crowd. She was proud to be there that night and share the stories of hardship and growth.
“There’s a value in storytelling. It matters, you matter. Your story makes the world a little more inclusive because representation matters. You can be that representation.”
“I’ve never done anything considered to be real life on stage, I’ve only played fictional roles,” Richards said. “But doing something like this is so important, because these stories need to be told. If I can be the person to bring the story to life even if it is hard, I want to be the voice to do it.”
TWU’s associate professor of social work Dr. Nila Ricks expressed that she wanted the readings to open a new conversation.
“This is not just a woman’s rights issue, it is a human rights issue,” Ricks said. “We need to be respectful and understanding of that.”
“It’s something that needs to be heard even if it is hard to hear,” first year TWU student Isabella Valdez said. “It is not just about abortion, it is about a woman’s control over her own body.”
To close the night, Lelek opened the floor to questions from the audience, the final question being “what else can we do for women’s rights?”
“Have the hard conversations and share your stories,” Cole said. “Even if you think you don’t have one, you do. It is in you waiting to be heard.”
Eclipse Stark can be reached via email at email@example.com.
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