Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia’s Institute for Women’s Studies will celebrate Women’s History Month in March in a series of events themed “Generations of Women Moving History Forward.” Chief Wilma Mankiller, the first woman principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, will deliver the month’s keynote address on March 6.
“Collaborating with and reaching out to the greater Athens community is very important to Women’s Studies, especially during Women’s History Month,” said Molly Moreland Myers, public relations coordinator for the Institute. “Many of our lectures and events throughout the year appeal mainly to a campus audience, but Women’s History Month is our chance to reach out to the wider community to promote and recognize women’s often overlooked roles in history.”
The month includes lectures on art, multicultural literature, feminist activism in Athens and beyond; theatrical and musical performances; and a film festival taking place both on campus and at the Athens-Clarke County Library.
Mankiller’s speech, “Women’s Leadership in the 21st Century,” will take place March 6 at 7:30 p.m. in room 101 of the Student Learning Center; a reception in the center’s north tower will follow. It is free and open to the public.
In 1983, Mankiller was elected deputy chief of the Cherokee Nation, and when the principal chief resigned to take the position as head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Mankiller became the first woman to serve as principal chief of the Cherokees. She was elected in her own right in 1987 and re-elected in 1991; she left office in 1995. As principal chief, Mankiller led a nation of some 100,000 people, managed a budget of $100 million and worked to improve the social, political and financial lives of Cherokees.
Mankiller was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, has been inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame and has 18 honorary doctorates from universities such as Yale and from Smith College. Mankiller has chronicled her life in Mankiller: A Chief and Her People and is co-editor of A Reader’s Companion to the History of Women in the U.S. Her latest book is Every Day is a Good Day: Reflections of Contemporary Indigenous Women.
On March 7, Athens-Clarke County Mayor Heidi Davison will hold a news conference regarding the Jeannette Rankin Foundation scholarships at 3 p.m. at City Hall.
The month’s film festival includes screenings of Mohawk Girls on March 1, Strangers in Good Company on March 8 and Stranger Inside on March 27, all at 7 p.m. in room 248 in the Student Learning Center. Pickles, Inc., will be shown March 20 at 7 p.m. in the Athens-Clarke County Library auditorium. On March 28, Screaming Queens: The Riots at Compton’s Cafeteria will be shown for LGBT Film Night at 7 p.m. in room 150 of the Student Learning Center.
As part of the Apero Africana Brown Bag Series, Velma McBride Murry, UGA professor of child and family development, will speak about “Linking Psychological and Cultural Processes to Rural African American Women’s Health Functioning” on March 21, 12:15-1:10 p.m. in the African American Cultural Center in Memorial Hall. Also that day, the Edith House Lecture, named for one of the first women to graduate from UGA’s law school, will feature disability rights lawyer Harriet McBryde Johnson at 4 p.m. in the Larry Walker Room in Dean Rusk Hall.
Along with the Institute for Women’s Studies, the Women’s History Month Keynote Address is sponsored by: University Union Ideas & Issues, the Institute for Native American Studies, the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, the department of Intercultural Affairs, the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, the Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach, the Graduate School, the College of Education, the School of Social Work, the department of sociology, the department of history, the department of anthropology and the Women’s Studies Student Organization.
To see the full calendar of Women’s History Month events, visit www.uga.edu/iws.