Celebrating Women’s History Month

Hope Gilbertson, Staff Writer

Friday, March 1 was the kick off of Luther’s 26th year celebrating Women’s History Month. The women and gender studies program hosted a social gathering for students and faculty to come together and learn about women’s history. While the women and gender studies program hosted this event, the whole month of March will include celebrations by other departments and organizations.

Professor of Sociology Charlotte Kunkel is organizing events on campus for women’s history month. She believes that this month has become possible due to many different groups on campus.

“We are already intersectional,” Kunkel said. “Women and gender studies, Black Student Union Anniversary group, [and the] Center for Intercultural Engagement and Student Success [all contributed]. The board of the women and gender studies program are many of these people, [as well as] psychology, communication studies, music, and history [faculty].”

Students and faculty met on Friday at Gjerset House and engaged in conversation as well as a women-themed Bingo game. The game highlighted many women, including: Ilhan Omar, Betty Friedan, Jane Addams, Michelle Obama, Margaret Dunkle, Elizabeth Warren, and many more influential women. With each new woman being called out, attendees discussed their accomplishments and roles in women’s rights.

Kunkel hopes that everyone keeps women and their accomplishments at the forefront of their mind this month.

“I would like everyone to know that women have always contributed; we wouldn’t be who we are without women’s contributions,” Kunkel said. “[Women] have always resisted oppression. [Women’s] creativity, curiosity, contribution, and persistence in the face of adversity is really truly awesome.”

The kickoff celebration was only the beginning of events that are planned for the rest of the month.

On March 6, Alum Kadra Abdi (‘08) will host a lecture about her experiences in social entrepreneurship and navigating professional life after Luther.

On March 8, International Women’s Day, there will be a Women’s History “lunch-in” with Dr. Jyoti Grewal. The topic of this event is “What’s HerStory?”. Attendees will be able to listen to other stories as well as share their own experiences.

On March 12, the group will touch on the Oscar winning short film “Period. End of Sentence.” This international film is about a town in India that built a pad-making factory, and it illustrates the impacts of the factory on people’s lives.

On March 14, Associate Professor of Communication Studies Derek Sweet will host a lecture titled “Refugees, Justice, and the American Way: Supergirl Takes On the Ultra Right.” This lecture will focus on the movements and social injustice shown on the CW’s ‘Supergirl’.

On March 19, Dr. Deborah Smith Pollard will hold the final event, a lecture titled “When I Get to Heaven, I’m Gonna Jump and Shout: Female Artists and the Life-Changing Song ‘Oh Happy Day’.”

Since Black History Month came to an end and  has transitioned into Women’s History Month, Cora Egherman (‘19) believes intertwining these two months and the continuing to celebrate them both is important.

“I want people to know that Black history is still important, still needs to be part of our discussions — especially Black women’s history,” Egherman said. “I especially want people to be thinking about the devaluation and exploitation of women’s labor and the disproportionate effects that has on women of color both in the United States and abroad, and how we can stand in solidarity with women everywhere no matter their background because we’re not free until everyone’s free.”

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