March is nationally recognized as Womenâ€™s History Month, and Trinity Universityâ€™s Womenâ€™s History Month committee is organizing 10 official events from mid-February through the end of March. This year, the committee is giving special attention to the experience of Latina and Latin American women.
â€œThis year, the activities are organized by several organizations and individuals, including the Womenâ€™s History Month committee, which is sponsored by the Ruth McLean Bowman Bowers gift, SAGE, SDA, MAS Program-Alvarez Seminar, which is sponsored by Malu and Carlos Alvarez, and Josephine Mixon, who is a poet and advocate of domestic violence and sexual abuse awareness,â€ said Rosana Blanco-Cano, co-director of this yearâ€™s Womenâ€™s History Month committee.
Celebrating Womenâ€™s History Month serves as an opportunity to create a dialogue about the current status of womenâ€™s issues and gender relations, according to Dania Abreu-Torres, who is co-directing the Womenâ€™s History Month committee with Blanco-Cano as well as organizing the Alvarez Seminar activities.
â€œIt is important to both start and maintain the conversation regarding womenâ€™s issues and, more than that, gender issues. I think many girls and women have forgotten what women groups were fighting for and I think Womenâ€™s History Month is a great venue to have events that will keep the dialogue alive,â€ Abreu-Torres said.
At Trinity, students and staff work together on the events organized for Womenâ€™s History Month. For example, the screening of â€œThe Invisible Warâ€ is being organized by members of Students for the Advancement of Gender Equality (SAGE) and supported by members of the Womenâ€™s History Month committee.
The film, which is an Oscar-nominated documentary about the issue of rape in the United States Armed Forces, is scheduled to screen at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18, in the Fiesta Room.
â€œThe screening of â€˜The Invisible Warâ€™ is included because of its relevance in contemporary America,â€ Blanco-Cano said.
Many of the events at Trinity are meant to facilitate a dialogue about a broader understanding of womenâ€™s experiences in current society, according to Blanco-Cano.
â€œAs a feminist scholar, I believe in the importance of creating a dialogue across disciplines and perspectives that inform members of the Trinity communityâ€”and beyondâ€”about the rich yet complex experiences of being women in contemporary societies. The Womenâ€™s History Month activities are aiming to recover a culture of celebration and reflection around womenâ€™s experiences and lives,â€ Blanco-Cano said.
Abreu-Torres, who served as co-director of the committee last year as well, believes that centering this yearâ€™s Womenâ€™s History Month events around a particular theme will help attract a wider audience and gain more attention for the issues being addressed.
â€œThough some events last year had great successâ€”the faculty version of â€˜Vagina Monologues,â€™ for exampleâ€”the activities did not have a core or a theme that would give them coherence throughout the month to attract an audience. The thing about Womenâ€™s History Month is that it is a very open space in which, if we are not careful, the goal of reaching out to people to be aware of womenâ€™s and gender issues might get lost,â€ Abreu-Torres said.
This yearâ€™s selected theme, the experience of Latina and Latin American women, will be almost completely integrated into most of the events. Blanco-Cano, who is serving as co-director of the committee for her third year, believes that this will create a more meaningful and rich discussion.
â€œLast year, we focused on the experience of women from Iran, but not all the events were dedicated to the discussion of this experience. This year, we have a film screening, four lectures, and two events that deal with domestic violence and testimonies of empowerment. All of these activities directly address the experience of Latina and Latin American women,â€ Blanco-Cano said.
In addition to the themed events, the annual performance of â€œThe Vagina Monologuesâ€ will also be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Mar. 2, in order to keep the tradition a part of Womenâ€™s History Month at Trinity, according to Blanco-Cano.
â€œIt is a performance written by Eve Ensler from a compilation of over 100 interviews with women of all ages, ethnicities, sexual orientation et cetera,â€ said Kimberly Berry, senior SAGE member and co-organizer of the event. â€œIt is a play about womenâ€™s sexuality and a look into some personal stories and facts about vaginas. It is to raise awareness of womenâ€™s sexuality and each unique experience with coming to terms with their vagina.â€