By: Felicia Salinas-Moniz, Senior Assistant Director, Sarah Doyle Center
Riverside, Rhode Island
Recently, I was reminded of the colorfully crocheted doily pins that we gave our Sarah Doyle Center student staffers five years ago. The students who worked at our center at that time referred to themselves as the “Sarah Doylies” and we thought the hand-made doily pin was a fitting badge to unify our staff. Once a Sarah Doylie, always a Sarah Doylie.
A doily, at first glance, would seem an unlikely image for a feminist community.
A delicate ornamentation that harkens to early Victorian domesticity and handicraft.
However, looking at the structure of the doily you’ll see its complex and intricately woven patterns — individual threads breathing life into its very fiber. The doily can only exist with these threads and their commingling.
The Sarah Doyle Center is housed in an historic house built in 1823, likely no stranger to the doily in its interior design. While not the original location of the Sarah Doyle Center, this house at 26 Benevolent Street in Providence, Rhode Island has been a vibrant feminist space at Brown University since 2001 (the center was established in 1974 and was originally located at 185 Meeting Street). Across time and space, the SDC has been a site for critical dialogue, activism, comraderie, laughter, tears, and nourishing feminist work that explores the beautiful complexities of gender and its many intersections.
What does the Sarah Doyle Center feminist community look like in this moment when we are not able to come together on campus in light of recent global events? How do we maintain connection to this community space and other campus spaces that are meaningful to us? This blog is framed around these questions through the lens of the mission, values, and vision of the Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender. While the pale yellow house at 26 Benevolent Street may not currently be bursting with activity, may this virtual “Sarah Doylie” space help keep us woven together in community.
What are you doing to create community connections in this moment of social distancing? Click “Leave a Reply” at the top of this page to respond. The first 2 commentators will receive a “Radical Roots: Nourishing Feminist Work” tote bag.
Image credit: Karina Bakalyan/Shutterstock.com
So happy to see yall have moved to a blog format! I miss the living room and tea 🙂 SD is a second home that will be sorely missed by many seniors.. myself included.
Thanks for staying connected with us, Mara! As our first commentator, you will receive a “Radical Roots” tote. We’ll reach out via email for your delivery address.
I love the doylies!
I have started to write and send letters to loved ones and to those who I don’t know, but are keeping things running through their work in essential services. I am also participating in mutual aid outreach efforts.
A Sarah Doyle Women’s Center Staffer from the late 80s!
Thanks, Kisa. Yay, Sarah Doylie alumna! Thanks for staying connected with us. As our second commentator, you will receive a “Radical Roots” tote. We’ll reach out via email for your delivery address.
I love these doylies and metaphor. This blog is a beautiful extension of the wonderful work and space Sarah Doyle has always been– it is like a womb for Brown, a transformative loving creative space for so many of us with different gender expressions and experiences to be our full selves. I am looking forward to the ways we continue to stitch together and form community with each other!
Thank you, Sage, for being a part of our Sarah Doylie community!
Thank you so much for the beautiful message, Felicia! These days I am trying to reach out to friends and stay connected through text, email, other digital messaging platforms. I have been testing out playing “pictionary” virtually with friends and that has been quite fun. I am so excited to follow along on the SDC blog and read more from the staff.
Thank you, Soyoon! I love the idea of playing virtual “pictionary” as a way to stay connected.
Creating a virtual “Vitamin N for Nature Social Sit Spot” with another nature connection group and inviting lots of people to join in taking 5 mins a day to sit outside/in front of a window to breathe with and notice the earth. 💚💚
Thank you, Valerie, for sharing this virtual nature connection group!
Thanks for this idea!