Women’s history month celebrated on campus

All over the country, people are celebrating women and their contributions to society.
At Butler, REACH; Demia; the Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies department; Student Affairs; Health Education; the Diversity Center and the residence life department are all celebrating March as National Women’s History Month with a wide variety of activities and events.
“It’s good, especially for young women on our campus, to see strong female leaders,” said Sarah Barnes Diaz, health education and outreach programs coordinator and one of last year’s recipients of the Women of Distinction Award.
The goal of the month is not only to encourage appreciation of women but also to draw awareness about issues of concern for women on campus to provide support, Diaz said.
During the month of March, different groups will host conversational events, wellness events and events to praise and celebrate women’s contributions.
Demia will host another protest celebrating women and their rights, and the counseling and consultation services center will host a positive body talk program. Diaz is optimistic that the open discussion will help students looking for support with their body image issues.
“There’s no one way to be a strong contributor to society,” Diaz said. “These events can help to highlight some of those opportunities.”
Maya Angelou will come to Butler as part of the Diversity Lecture Series, along with other lecturers­—including Nadja Halilbegovich, Butler’s first student recipient of the Women of Distinction Award.
“We’ll all learn about some of the amazing things women are doing in society,” Diaz said.
Today, the committee will review the nominations and choose a faculty member, staff member and senior student to recognize for their contributions to campus.
“It’s such a fun process because it’s really neat to see the work that folks have done that doesn’t always get recognized,” Diaz said.
Many women being honored this year have made contributions through their work in the community, support of students and, occasionally, through their efforts as activists, said Irene Stevens, dean of student life and one of the coordinators of Women’s History Month.
“Women are often not remembered for their accomplishments, and their work goes unrecognized,” Stevens said. “This is a result of a variety of reasons: history books being written by men, women often work behind the scenes and don’t take the limelight and their work related to being a caregiver is often not valued as much as other kinds of work.
“If women had more responsibility in decisions, there wouldn’t be half the problems the world has,” said Pam Crea, one of the nominees and the secretary for the sociology and international studies department. “Who’s stronger than a bunch of females together?”

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