Claudia Woods has an internship with the Rappahannock Council on Sexual Assault (RCASA) in Fredericksburg this spring semester, 2021. Claudia’s two majors in English and Women and Gender Studies and her minor in Social Justice, along with her prior experience in sexual and interpersonal violence prevention have helped hone her skills and passions to prepare her. For her internship, Woods is part of a three-person team auditing RCASA’s organization for accessibility in terms of their physical space, virtual space, and programming practices. At the same time as the internship, Claudia also works part-time for RCASA as a Community Services Specialist. Since January 4th, she has presented a screening and discussion of the documentary Athlete A, a workshop on Online Safety & Cyber Sexual Assault, a workshop on “Quick Tips for Supporting a Black Survivor,” “Black Disabled Youth & Prevention Education,” volunteer trainings on “Rape Culture and the Media,” and “Social Justice and Anti-Oppression.” After her internship ends in May, she will serve full-time with RCASA as a Community Services Specialist, focusing on prevention education through workshops for middle school, high school, and college aged youth, planning, creating and presenting community workshops and events, collaboration with other organizations in the community, and active social media engagement.
While as a student at UMW I learned about important theories such as “intersectionality” by Dr. Kimberle Crenshaw in my Women and Gender Studies major, the “social model of disability” through my Disability Studies courses with professors such as Dr. Foss and Dr. Mackintosh, the LGBTQ+ experience across many different disciplines, African-American history, intergenerational trauma, and oppression, gender dynamics, and Black culture with Dr. Tweedy, and so much more. Understanding these various intersections and experiences of the marginalized has been incredibly formative in my style as a preventionist. My work as a volunteer/intern at RCASA and as a Certified Teal PEER Educator, the engagement I’ve had with our campus body through Bystander Intervention and Consent Education presentations, and the dozens of survivors on campus I have supported in seeking help and resources, established my desire to go into this field. My particular focus on the disability community while as an intern with the One Love Foundation, Maryland brought me to realize that this is the community I would like to focus on throughout my future career, as they are arguably the most excluded. I intentionally bring a multi-dimensional, whole approach to my work. Through my own experiences and identities, I understand that marginalized folks cannot pick and choose between their identities at any given moment of time, that we constantly harness every single one of them in all walks of our lives. I carry with me in my personal, academic, and professional life three core values: humility, empathy, and vulnerability.
Claudia plans to graduate this May, 2021.
If you are interested in coming to any of RCASA’s events or collaborating with RCASA for an event please reach out to email@example.com