Women’s History Month at UGA will honor the ‘overlooked

Athens, Ga. – Women’s History Month kicks off across campus in March, drawing together the often-overlooked contributions women make to society.

This year’s theme, “Women: Builders of Communities and Dreams,” fits snugly with the institute’s keynote speaker, Elizabeth Martinez.  She will speak on “Building Coalitions between Peoples of Color: An Essential Tool in the Struggle for Social Justice,” from 7-9 p.m. March 2 at the Tate Student Center Reception Hall.

A social justice activist, author and educator, Martinez has been fighting for equal treatment for more than 45 years through outlets such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Institute for Multiracial Justice.

Throughout the month the institute and UGA Libraries’ media department are sponsoring four films, Maid in America, Phantom of the Operator, China’s Lost Girls and Barbie Nation, the story of the world’s most popular toy and its far-reaching connections to female identity. Discussions follow each film.

The activities conclude March 31, with the Women’s Studies Student Symposium, which showcases the diversity and vitality of feminist scholarship at UGA through undergraduate and graduate students’ presentations.

The month is peppered with lectures, conferences and events in celebration of women. It brings women from various departments together, showing a common thread running through topics ranging from women in medicine to feminism and television, Islamic art and female leadership.

In effect, it honors the differences and similarities uniting women and their struggles throughout history, according to Molly Moreland, public relations coordinator for the Institute for Women’s Studies.

“We don’t have one woman we put up every year. Even the national Women’s History Month project picks different women to honor each year,” said Moreland.  “There are just so many great women in history who were ignored, it’s easy to find them and say ‘We should talk about her’.”