by Alexis Barton
The month of March marks the yearly celebration of women’s history month and International Women’s Day. In its worldwide celebration, the month is dedicated to uplifting the voices of women and honoring their contributions to our society. According to the Census Bureau, the celebration dates back to 1857, where female laborers in New York City protested their unfair treatment in the workplace and marched for equal rights (2023). March 8, the day when the protests took place, has now become known as International Women’s Day.
On campus, there have been several events honoring the contributions of women. On March 1, International Student Services hosted a banner signing in front of the Colket Center where students had the opportunity to write uplifting messages to women in their life. Many of these messages included, “I love you mom”, and shoutouts to friends of students. Other messages served as reminders to other readers, including “you are beautiful” and “you are capable”. In an interview with the College, junior Madeline Higgins shared that, “It’s really important for everyone on campus to get a chance to show all the women in their lives that they are important to them” (2023). The banner is now featured on the bannister inside Morehead Hall, where several prominent women on campus have offices.
Even before March, the College has made an effort to showcase the accomplishments of our female faculty and staff. This includes a recent article about Dr. Carrie Murawski, an assistant professor in the English and Communication Studies Department. In November, Dr. Murawski was honored by the National Communications Association with the Scholar-Activist Award in the association’s gender studies division. Dr. Murawski is known on campus for her advocacy and service-oriented courses as well as her involvement with the Virginia Conference on Race. Her leadership serves as an example for our campus community, and her recognition is incredibly well-deserved.
In the Roanoke community, there are several events that have been featured this month to celebrate the work of women. Most notably, the Grandin Theatre is hosting a weekly free film on Tuesday evenings that feature the stories of women. Remaining showings include Tuesday, March 21 at 7:00 p.m. featuring “Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du commerce, 1080 Bruxelles” (with English subtitles) and Tuesday, March 28 at 7:00 p.m. featuring “Obvious Child”. WDBJ7, the local CBS television affiliate, is also dedicating this month to celebrating women in Virginia. For more information, head to their website www.wdbj7.com/community/womens-history-month/.