International Women’s Day teach-in

College Ministries and the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching hosted an International Women’s Day teach-in titled “International Women’s Day and the challenge of moving beyond good intentions.” The all day event combined students from different classes in interdisciplinary discussions on women’s issues.

Director of College Ministries Anne Edison-Albright helped plan this year’s teach-in, which is a series of informal discussions that are not limited by the normal time frame of a classroom discussion.

Edison Albright’s hope for this year’s event was to bring dialogue and learning beyond the boundaries of a classroom and to combine classes from different departments in discussion.

“Students and faculty from many different classes will gather in that teach- in space throughout the day to learn from each other,” Edison-Albright said. “People will come prepared with poems, songs, articles and ideas to share, but also ready to listen and receive what others bring.”

Some of the discussions held throughout the day included Professor of Philosophy and Environmental Studies Jon Jensen’s class, which led discussions on environmental philosophy and eco- feminism. Instructor in Music Kathy Reed’s Paideia 112 class talked about their research on female artists.

“I hope people take away a sense of hope from seeing things people are doing,” Reed said. “In our [Paideia 112] class we have six people doing research projects that address some of these issues, celebrate voices of women, address issues of inequality, underrepresentation, and marginalized voices. We have a lot of students who are, by choice, raising up these voices.”

Some of the artists students plan to research are Billie Holiday, Charlotte Kushman, Gertrude Kasabeir, Willa Cather, and Florence Price. They believe it is important to study these marginalized voices and bring them into classroom discussions and scholarly research.

Hope Sundberg, (‘23) who presented her research on Billie Holiday, appreciated the opportunity to inform and learn from other students in an informal setting.

“It’s important because I think it’s about doing something without expecting anything back from it,” Sundberg said. “It’s good to have around campus because it brings people closer together.”

The theme of “moving beyond good intentions” was a way to recognize that ideas need to translate into action in order to make changes in the world. Many of the classes and presenters involved throughout the day felt the theme is important for making campus inclusive and welcoming for all people and communities.

“We were looking for ways to move forward past just good intentions, and use this occasion to bring to the forefront not only women’s voices, but any voices that may feel suppressed or silenced in our day-to-day academic activities on campus and in our community live,” Reed said. “It’s a celebration, and it’s also a call to action to make sure all voices are welcome.”

Edison-Albright thought the informal, open format of the teach-in was an essential part of bringing new ideas into the discussion.

“I hope people feel they had a chance to connect with each other; with ideas related to gender justice and with the International Women’s Day movement in ways they wouldn’t without the open format of the teach in,” Edison-Albright said. “I hope they go away reflecting on ways to move beyond good intentions, with specific ideas for themselves and for Luther College, too.”

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