Presented annually, the Feminist Practice Award recognizes department majors or minors whose work in community service or social action best exemplifies the application of feminist thought to practice. In 2022 the Feminist Practice Award was awarded to Jessica Wang and the Honorable Mention given to Emma Theisen.

The 2022 Women's and Gender Studies Feminist Practice Award winner is Jessica Wang for her work documenting, analyzing, and reducing anti-Asian violence in the United States. As a minor in Gender and Health, Jessica has done vital work as part of a community-driven project focused on using feminist participatory action research to bridge the gap in public discourse around anti-Asian incidents. The goals of the project are to help facilitate statewide policy change, create conversations surrounding Asian anti-violence community education, and contribute to the anti-racist agenda of Asian American activists. More broadly, the project seeks to describe how racialized violence is tied to anti-blackness, systemic oppression, and gender-based violence. Jessica initially joined the team as a researcher helping tag and code news articles while leading community-building social hours. She tagged more than 300 articles using the ADL Pyramid of Hate to categorize types of violence as well as other details of the incident for a systematic media analysis of anti-Hmong incidents. Since her first work, she built on her WGS training to become a vital member of the sub-committee that developed the protocol and outlines for oral history interviews with Hmong community members.

Thank you for your incredible work, Jessica!


In 2022, the Feminist Practice award Honorable Mention goes to Gender and Health major Emma Theisen for her work with the Lunar Doula Collective. That organization, previously celebrated with this award, trains doulas to support patients before, during, and after procedures associated with pregnancy loss and abortion in clinics and hospitals throughout southeast Michigan. As the Co-Chair for Program Development for Lunar Doula Collective, she has been spearheading the Bereavement Support Initiative (BSI), which seeks to form a more comprehensive system of bereavement support for individuals by offering individual free doula support and a referral program working contemporaneously. Starting from a feminist perspective, Emma and other members of the LDC work to identify women’s agency in the midst of social constraints and the biomedical paradigm, acknowledging how this area of medicine lacks social support so that they can honor the reproductive justice framework for people of all identities.

Wonderful work, Emma!