Hello all. My name is Amy Sejfulla and I am from Detroit, Michigan. I guess I will start this intro off by telling you a little bit about how I came to have a strong interest in women's issues and feminism. I believe the 'spark' happened during my first semester of college. I took a human sexuality class in which we one day were focusing on sexual practices around the world. That was the day I first learned about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). I remember my jaw literally dropping and being in complete shock that a barbaric practice like this took place. When I found out some of the reasons behind the practice (to keep women from experiencing sexual pleasure in the hopes that they would not cheat on their husbands and to make the area more 'visually appealing') my shock turned into anger, frustration and outrage. Those feelings only escalated more when I found out how many young girls die or suffer severe health issues as a side effect of FGM.
From that point on I made an effort to learn about further injustices women face around the world as well as here in the states. I certainly was not unaware that growing up female in today's world posed special struggles, both internally and externally. However, when I took my first women's studies course my feelings about these struggles were given names, research and movements. It was so enlightening and motivating to find out that there was not only an educated awareness about these issues but also others who felt the same way as me.I always knew I wanted to do positive and helpful things in the world, but now, thanks to my women's studies course, the focus of what I would put my energy and efforts towards was becoming more and more clear. Eventually I signed up for domestic violence training at my local shelter so I could volunteer as a child advocate in the children's department. I had spent a little over a year there around the time I heard about an essay writing contest put on by my university's women's studies department. It was a chance to have my attendance fee funded so I could attend the NOW 2007 National Conference in Detroit that year. I ended up being one of the essayís chosen and had one of the best weekends of my life! There was such a diverse and wonderful group of women (and yes some men!) there participating.
Since the conference I have become the Young Feminist Task Force chair for my local Macomb County NOW board and was just accepted for my first term to the Young Feminist Task Force National Committee. We recently had our first meeting at the Womenís Economic Justice Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. I am very excited to be working with such a talented and passionate group of young feminists and canít wait to see them all again at the 2008 National Conference in DC. I currently study psychology and women's studies at Wayne State University in Detroit. The feminist issue I am currently most passionate about is media awareness education.
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