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Women's History Month shines a light on gender issues

These FLC students from nearly a century ago surely had a different college experience from today's female students.

These FLC students from nearly a century ago surely had a different college experience from today's female students.

DURANGO - In March, Women's History Month puts the national spotlight on the past and present status of women in society. Joining in the celebration, the FLC campus will host a slate of events exploring women's education and empowerment, the theme for this year's Women's History Month.

The Gender and Women’s Studies Program at Fort Lewis College and the Women’s Resource Center are partnering to celebrate Women’s History Month. Beginning Tuesday, February 28, events will be held at FLC and in town that highlight the contributions of women, both historical and contemporary. Many of the events are free and open to the public.

"Women's History Month is a way to respect and honor women, both for our contribution to society, as well as for our strength to see beyond the challenges of the marginalized," says Coordinator of the Gender & Women's Studies program Marcy Jung. "It is our intention to empower women and men who believe in equality by providing education on pertinent topics. That has the capacity to increase awareness and action that can move the FLC community toward heightened levels of equity and fairness."

Women's History Month's roots go back more than 100 years, when March 8, 1911, was celebrated in Europe as the first International Women's Day. In 1978,  Sonoma County, California, began a "Women's History Week" celebration, chosen to coincide with International Women's Day, March 8. In 1981, Congress passed a resolution establishing National Women's History Week, expanding it to a month in 1987, as an opportunity to honor and celebrate women's historic achievements.

The kickoff event of Women’s History Month is the February 28th screening of “Miss Representation” and a panel discussion in the FLC Student Union Ballroom at 6 p.m. The film challenges how women are portrayed in the media and argues for a more balanced approach to representing the lives of women. The free screening and discussion are co-sponsored by the American Association of University Women and the Girls Scouts of Colorado.

The keynote event of Women’s History Month will be a presentation given by nationally renowned feminist, author and media critic, Susan J. Douglas. Douglas is author of “The Mommy Myth,” “Where the Girls Are,” and most recently, “Enlightened Sexism.” The presentation will be on March 22 at 6 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom. Admission is free for WRC members and Fort Lewis College students, faculty and staff; $5 all others.

Women's History Month events on campus this year include:

Tuesday, Feb. 28
Screening & panel discussion of the documentary "Miss Representation"
6 to 8 p.m., in the Student Union Ballroom

Tuesday, March 13
Screening of Gloria Steinem's documentary “When Women Are People ... and Corporations Are Not: Why the first inequality will also be the last”
Noon, at the Student Union Vallecito Room;
and 5:30 p.m., at the Rochester Hotel Lobby and Bar

Thursday, March 15
Workshop with Aidan Key, "Feminism & Equality Between the Sexes: Where’s a guy like me fit in?"
6 p.m. in the Lyceum at the Center of Southwest Studies

Thursday, March 22
Keynote speech, with Susan J. Douglas, author of "The Mommy Myth," "Where the Girls Are," and "Enlightened Sexism"
6 p.m., in the Student Union Ballroom

Thursday, March 29 through Saturday, March 31
Live performances of "The Vagina Monologues"
7 p.m. nightly, in the Student Union Ballroom

For more events and information, visit the Gender & Women's Studies program.

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