University commemorates Women’s History Month
A series beginning in March to highlight Women’s History Month is set to include insights from local female innovators and nationally recognized women.
The university organized the monthlong series of events ranging from women’s panels to fashion shows to commemorate women in history. The events follow the National Women’s History Project theme: “Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business.”
“People forget we are still working for equality,” said Nicole Tabor, a graduate student for SIU’s Women’s Resource Center. “It might never happen if we stop fighting.”
Tabor said she planned this year’s events specifically to “highlight the women we see every day.”
Joy Degruy, a researcher, educator and author of books and studies that focus on the trauma of African American slaves, will speak March 7. Degruy will also present a discussion on the concept of ‘Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome,’ in the Student Center.
There will also be an opening ceremony for a new informational art display called “Honoring Women in Business and Labor,” from noon to 4 p.m. March 7 in the Student Center Art Gallery, Tabor said.
Melinda Yeomans, the associate director of the university’s honors program, is scheduled to speak with students on March 23 about the importance of female leadership. Yeomans developed courses in six university majors and is vice president of the Illinois Network of Women in Higher Education.
Also scheduled to speak is Kayla Reed, hall director for Wall & Grand Apartments. Her presentation is called “The Leading Lady: Being a Kick-Ass Woman in the Working World.”
“[Reed] is the epitome of empowerment,” Tabor said. “She shows how important it is to never give up.”
Sarah Prindle, humanitarian and fine arts librarian, is hosting a screening of the documentary film “Regarding Susan Sontag” Wednesday in Morris Library’s Guyon Auditorium. Prindle described Sontag as “a political and outspoken intellectual figure to women’s history.”
“One of the things we’re seeing now is there are a lot of women in political and leadership positions,” Prindle said. “It’s important to recognize and advocate the positions of women in power.”
Prindle said although the advocacy toward women’s rights has improved from a decade ago, there’s still a lot of ground to be covered, such as wage inequality between men and women in the workplace.
Prindle said even though the university’s financial situation is troublesome, student coordinators managed to showcase the importance of women in history and relate what they’ve done to present times.
“As for young women coming up now, they will see the accomplishments of the women presented this month and think, ‘That’s possible for me,’” Prindle said.