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March brings Women’s History Month events

03/16/2010
By:

Kaitlyn Naples

General Assignment Reporter

March kicked off Women’s History Month, but at Southern, it’s Women’s Herstory Month. Graduate intern of the Women’s Center, Starsheemar Byrum, said the Women’s Center did a play on words with the title of the month.
The Women’s Center has many events planned for the month of March that will present female speakers who will share their experiences with students, staff and faculty who attend.
“We don’t want them to just educate,” Byrum said. “We want them to encourage and hopefully incite some change within the students.”
“Women Gathered” featured Reanae McNeal, a lecturer, playwright, activist, inspirational speaker and more, Byrum said. She was featured in a documentary, “NO! The Rape Documentary.”
Byrum said she contacted McNeal to come share her story with students.
“Women Speak: Truths on Women in Democratic Republic of the Congo,” is another event which will feature professor and director of women’s studies Dr. Yi-Chun Tricia Lin. Lin said she will speak about her role as women’s studies director and her academic and personal journey. The event will be March 29.
The flyer for the Women’s Speak program said, “The Women’s Speak Series focuses on women as possessors of life, strength and wisdom.”
Lin said she hopes she is able to demonstrate that.
Byrum said she wants the speakers to share obstacles they went through and what they endured to get to where they are.
“Don’t let traumatic experiences stop you from conquering those goals and dreams you have set for yourself,” she said.
“Just to have a voice, you don’t always have to go through something that is horrible,” she said. “You have to set a goal and no matter what happens, continue to conquer it.”
Lin also said the 64 Days of Non-Violence will feature events that will honor Women’s Herstory Month. “The Z Experience” was a speaking event that was dedicated to the memory of Zannette Lewis.
“When she was alive she was very, very involved in advocating for women, girls and artists,” Lin said.
Lewis was also involved with the spoken word and poetry slam at the Yale Peabody Museum.
“We had people come in to sing, to dance, to actually pay tribute to women, to Zannette,” she said.
Lin said there are events that honor women throughout the year, but the most important event is the annual conference.
The 19th annual women’s studies conference is called “Women & Girls of Color: History, Heritage, Heterogeneity” and will be held April 16 and 17 at Southern.
“We continue with the celebration of women’s stories,” Lin said, “and this particular year we are looking at the women and girls of color.”
On March 20, the Women’s Summit, a collaboration of many organizations in the community, will be held, Lin said, adding Lewis was the one to introduce Women’s Studies to the organization.
“Canto” will be another event held on March 31 which is an homage to women freedom flyers.
“It will be an event that has flamenco music and has music and dance and celebration of the art,” she said.
Byrum said by organizing events about women’s history, she hopes to get students “to have the desire to find out what women have done in history.”
Lin said she hopes someday there won’t just be a month devoted to think and learn about women’s history; she hopes it will be a daily occurrence.

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