The W celebrates Women’s History Month
Mississippi University for Women, the first state-supported college for women in the United States, will celebrate Women’s History Month throughout March.
“It’s important to recognize the contributions, histories and legacies of women trailblazers every day, but especially during Women’s History Month. Women have made so many outstanding contributions to society and this campus, and we will continue to highlight those contributions,” said Dr. Shahara’Tova Dente, chair of The W’s Women’s Mission Advancement Committee and assistant professor of English and Women’s Studies.
Activities throughout March will include the Music by Women festival, featuring 230 professional musicians, the League of Women Voters launch party, film screenings, author discussions and A Walk in Her Shoes Donation Day.
Dente said, “It’s also a chance for The W to put into practice its core mission to advance women-centered programming and opportunities for education for women. That’s who we have always been, and we remain committed to that purpose.”
Dr. Chanley Rainey, director of the Center for Women’s Research & Public Policy (CWRPP), worked with offices across campus to plan events and said reflecting on women’s history is especially important at the country’s first public college for women.
“Women’s History Month is designed to encourage efforts toward full equity for women and to shine a light on their previously uncelebrated history. We hope to acknowledge the women who are making history today and to help girls and young women discover the role models they need,” said Rainey.
To kick-off Women’s History Month, the seventh annual international Music by Women Festival will be held on campus March 2–4. The festival will feature concerts of new and historic music written by women composers, as well as academic presentations and lecture recitals presented at historic Poindexter Hall. As part of the festival, 18 concerts will be presented. Each day, concerts will be held at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. All festival concerts are free and open to the public.
On Thursday, March 2, at 6 p.m. join the Ina E. Gordy Honors College for a film screening and discussion of Joyce Chopra’s Lady Director. Chopra has granted the university the rights to screen her groundbreaking “Joyce at 34” and will join virtually afterward to discuss her career.
The Fant Memorial Library will celebrate black women’s activism in the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement with the film screening of “Standing on My Sisters’ Shoulders” Tuesday, March 7, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Winner of Best Documentary at the Pan African Film Festival, the documentary explores the crucial grassroots activism of black women.
On Wednesday, March 8, the campus community is invited to wear white and purple for International Women’s Day as a sign of solidarity with the fight for gender equality.
The League of Women Voters of the Golden Triangle Area will host a launch party from 5:30-6:30 p.m., Thursday, March 9. The organization is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues and influences public policy through education and advocacy. The local group is the newest chapter of the League of Women Voters in Mississippi and is seeking new members. The event, held in the Gail P. Gunter Multipurpose Room, is free and open to the public.
The W’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council welcomes Dr. Flonzie Brown Wright to campus for a celebration of DEI Award winners. During the Civil Rights Movement, Wright helped register thousands of voters in Mississippi. On Monday, March 20, Wright will speak in Poindexter Hall at 4 p.m. A reception and book signing will follow from 5-6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
On Tuesday, March 21, a film screening and discussion of “Shirley Chisholm” will be held in the Nissan Auditorium from 6-7 p.m. In 1968, Chisholm became the first African American woman to serve in the US Congress; in 1972, she became both the first woman and the first African American to compete in one of the major parties’ presidential nomination contests. The event is free and open to the public.
Donations will be collected Wednesday, March 22 to support the Sally Kate Winters Family Services or Life Choices Pregnancy Care Center. All donations should be turned in to the second floor of Cochran Hall by 3 p.m.
The Interclub Council, a body representing all of The W’s four-year social clubs, will host Springfest, a spring festival featuring a riff-off karaoke contest and a water balloon fight at the Bryan Green Gazebo Thursday, March 23 from 3-6 p.m. All proceeds from raffle sales and entry fees will be donated to Safe Haven and will benefit victims of domestic abuse. The event is open to the public.
Join SPB, IDEA Women and the W’s Council of Family Relations March 23 at 4 p.m. to show solidarity with women and children facing or recovering from domestic violence or navigating crisis pregnancies. The march will begin at the steps of Cochran Hall.
The History, Political Science, & Geography Club will host a Women’s History Month-inspired movie night March 28. View “Suffragette” and get registered to vote at 4 p.m. in Nissan Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. The Martha Swain Speaker Series will host author and historian Anastasia C. Curwood Thursday, March 30 for a book signing from 3-4 p.m. at Friendly City Books in downtown Columbus and will hear about her research into the life and Black feminist politics of Shirley Chisholm at 7 p.m. in Nissan Auditorium. Both events are free and open to the public.