Experiential & Community Engagement Learning

The Susan B. Anthony Institute (SBAI) continues to develop programs to support experiential learning in the fields of gender, sexuality, and women's studies. Our current programs include:


Sisterhood and Feminism

Sisterhood and Feminism is a course developed by gender, sexuality, and women’s studies students for the residents of Sojourner House. Sisterhood is an elective course at Sojourner House, available through the Henrietta Hammond Institute for Life Skills (HHILS).

Sisterhood is a way to bring popular topics from gender, sexuality, and women’s studies classes into the lives of Rochester community members. Taught with a consciousness-raising model, this course provides an opportunity for women to delve into topics of gender and sisterhood. 

By evaluating their own lives and perceptions of women, students in Sisterhood learn about sexism in modern American society. In this course, women learn about the ways that sexism often goes unrecognized, as well as their own internalized sexism.

For the instructors, Sisterhood can be a truly rewarding and educational experience. Through this course, gender, sexuality, and women’s studies students explore topics of gender and sisterhood with women who are struggling to get back on their feet.

Coming from diverse backgrounds, these women often change the instructors’ minds about social relations in America. This is why the founding instructors adopted the consciousness-raising model.

Intrested in teaching sisterhood and faminism? See the sisterhood course page.


The consciousness-raising model operates under the assumption that students and instructors can learn together from each other’s experiences and opinions. By focusing on the lives of the women in the course and their understanding of gender relations, both students and instructors grow. For this to happen, everyone must enter the course with an open-mind and willingness to question and learn.

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Rocxxy: Summer Internship in Feminist Activism and Leadership

Rocxxy (pronounced "Roxie") is a 12-week summer program for undergraduate students coordinated by SBAI. The program combines professional internship experience with guest speakers, field trips to historic sites, and readings and reflections on feminist activism and leadership. This combination of academic, experiential, and professional experiences is meant to inspire and equip students to become stronger, more prepared leaders for social change.


A cohort of six students work for 20–25 hours per week for the 12-week summer semester. Internships are held at several Rochester non-profits that offer services based on feminist activism and leadership. Students meet on Tuesday afternoons for four hours for a workshop, to discuss a reading, or to hear from a guest speaker. Students also use this time to reflect on their internships. In addition, we take field trips to local historic sites. See a draft of the syllabus.

Throughout the summer, students are required to submit reflections on their experiences in the community and in the cohort. Students receive housing on campus, but do not receive credit or pay for the internship. Students will have the option of doing an independent study based on their internship in the following fall semester with a faculty member of their choosing if the would like to receive credit.


This program is not currently running.