February 26, 2008

SIUC to celebrate Women's History Month

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Women's History Month 2008 at Southern Illinois University Carbondale celebrates the heritage and history of womankind with a full slate of March activities.

"Her-Story in the Making" is the theme and the coming weeks offer luncheons and benefits, memorable performances and a women's safety class, a health and beauty expo and much more in celebration of womanhood and the contributions of women.

"Women's History Month provides our community with the opportunity to learn more about diversity, gender and identity and all that surrounds the terms as we focus on the contributions, struggles and accomplishments of women," said Carl Ervin, coordinator of Student Development-Multicultural Programs and Services at SIUC.

Kicking off the festivities is the V Day Festival and silent auction SIUC students, faculty and members of the community at large will display their dramatic talents performing Eve Ensler's award-winning play "The Vagina Monologues." It's the eighth annual SIUC performance of the play first performed off-Broadway by Ensler more than a decade ago. The presentation explores the wide-ranging experiences of women through the eyes of ladies of differing ages and experiences.

In 2007, SIUC joined more than 1,150 communities worldwide hosting V-Day benefits, raising more than $6 million and increasing awareness in the fight to eliminate violence against women. A special open dress rehearsal of the play is set for 7 p.m. Feb. 29 with full performances slated for 7 p.m. March 1 and 1:30 p.m. March 2.

"I think women's history month is a way for us to reconnect with our past to see how far we have come and how far we still must go," said Aisha M. Alhassan, a senior health education major from Peoria and member of Delta Xi Phi Multicultural Sorority who interns with Student Development-Multicultural Programs and Services.

"People should attend Women's History Month events because you don't know the significance of where you are going if you don't know your past," added Nikki Williamson, a junior psychology major from Springfield who also interns with Student Development and is a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority.

The schedule for Women's History Month, with all events free and open to the public unless otherwise noted, includes:

• Now through Tuesday, March 4: Women's History Month Exhibit in the 51 south display case at the SIUC Student Center.

• Saturday, March 1, 7 p.m.: V Day Festival and Silent Auction at Furr Auditorium in Pulliam Hall. Presentation of acclaimed play "Vagina Monologues" with silent auction and special displays accompanying the performance. Tickets, sold at the door, are $7 or $5 for SIUC students with valid student identification. Proceeds go to The Women's Center and Katrina Warriors- Women of New Orleans and the Gulf South.

• Sunday, March 2, 1:30 p.m.: V Day Festival including performance of "Vagina Monologues" and silent auction at Furr Auditorium in Pulliam Hall. Tickets are $7 or $5 for SIUC students with valid student identification, sold at the door. Proceeds go to The Women's Center and Katrina Warriors-Women of New Orleans and the Gulf South.

• Monday, March 3 through Friday, March 21: Kitchen Linens and Things Drive, a community service project to help survivors of domestic violence. Donations of cookware, pots and pans, kitchen utensils, towels, washcloths, sheets, blankets, comforters, flashlights and batteries are sought to go to The Women's Center, helping make a difference in the lives of women through the Carbondale and Cairo center locations. They ask for no clothing donations. March 4-6 only from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily there will be a collection box in the television lounge area on the first floor of the SIUC Student Center. Throughout the drive, donors may drop items in collection boxes located in the Student Development office on the third floor of the Student Center, at Women's Studies, located at 913 S. Oakland Ave., or at the Wellness Center in the SIUC Student Recreation Center.

• Tuesday, March 4, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.: University Women's Professional Advancement Civil Service women's luncheon at SIUC Student Center Ballroom A. Beverly Love will conduct mini-workshop "Exercising Your Voice in the Workplace" and there will be facilitated group conversations and lunch. For all civil service SIUC women employees, the cost is $7. For more information contact UWPA at uwpa@siu.edu or visit http://www.success.siu.edu/uwpa.

• Thursday, March 6, 7 p.m.: Celebration of International Women's Day, featuring films and discussion at the Mississippi Room on the second floor of the Student Center. Leila Ahmed, Islamic expert, author and professor, presents a case for revising widely held views of the Islamic world regarding the role of women, with historical examples and information about the position of women in contemporary society. She'll explain the origin of the traditional veil and discuss marriage and women's rights within marriage. Part two of the event is "Wearing Hijab: Uncovering the Myths of Islam in the United States," looking at common misconceptions about Islam, particularly referencing the distinctive hijab veil. Six Muslim women of differing ethnic backgrounds offer their thoughts on the garment and their practice of the religion in the United States. Spouses and family members also offer input on the spiritual and cultural aspects of the hijab. A U-Card event.

• Friday, March 7, 7 p.m.: "World of Women – An Empirical Voyage through Women's History," facilitated by Jessica Bustos, history department teaching assistant, at the Longbranch Café, 100 E. Jackson St. in Carbondale. Participants will "bring to life" the real stories of yesteryear heroines, highlighting their accomplishments, creative works and more. Labor, feminism, motherhood, women in the arts and eco-feminism and the environment are among the highlighted topics and all ages are welcome. Donations welcomed with proceeds to benefit Carbondale's Women's Center.

• Monday, March 17, 5 to 6 p.m.: Women's Safety Class, by the Department of Public Safety exclusively for women, giving personal defense instruction including physical and non-physical alternatives and a glimpse into the attacker's mindset, in the Martial Arts Room at the SIUC Student Recreation Center.

• Tuesday, March 18, 7:30 p.m.: "Empowerment through the Arts: Uppity Women Sing the Blues," featuring ethnomusicologist and blues performer Maria Johnson, on behalf of the American Association of University Women, in an entertaining presentation at the SIUC Faculty House, 1000 S. Elizabeth St.

• Wednesday, March 19, 7 p.m.: "Women and Alcohol," film and discussion about alcohol and binge drinking, a problem becoming more prevalent among college women, as well as its effects, Ohio Room on the second floor of the Student Center. A U-Card event.

• Thursday, March 20, 6 p.m.: Women's Health and Beauty Expo, a chance to get information about everything from the Gardasil vaccine to the latest hairstyles and make-up fashions while collecting free vendor samples and enjoying refreshments. In the Old Main Lunge on the second floor of the Student Center, a U-Card event.

• Friday, March 21, 8 p.m.: The Composters: Alison Fisher and Janet Donoghue in an enlightening, entertaining eco-feminist comedy performance at the Longbranch Café, 100 E. Jackson St. Donations welcomed with proceeds benefiting The Nari Jabon Project Fund.

• Saturday, March 22, 1-3 p.m.: Snuggle Up in Southern Illinois, join the ongoing effort to create afghans for local assisted living center residents by knitting or crocheting squares in Old Main Lounge on the second floor of the SIUC Student Center.

• Monday, March 24:

8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., with registration required by March 10: Symposium on Rural Issues of Intimate Partner Violence in Southern Illinois, free symposium highlighting research on the regional police response to domestic violence along with victim advocacy models. The keynote address at 12:30 p.m. is about orders of protection. For information or to register call 618/453-6365 or e-mail mariann@siu.edu.

6-8:30 p.m.: Dialoguing Dissertations: An Event for Female Scholars. With RSVP required by March 19, it's an evening of discussion, networking, resource sharing with a multi-disciplinary all-female SIUC faculty panel discussion, individual sessions to focus on dissertation topics and valuable resources in abundance in the Old Main Lounge on the second floor of the Student Center. To make reservations call 618/453-5714 with name, program of study, and if you need a vegetarian dinner option. Women's Studies, Graduate and Professional Student Council and Student Development-Multicultural Programs and Services are sponsoring the U-Card event.

• Tuesday, March 25, 8 p.m.: Does Hip Hop Hate Women? That's the question posed during this evening of discussion and consideration of the treatment of women in rap music and popular culture, includes Bryson Hurt's documentary "Beyond Beats and Rhymes" and Shut Jhally's "Dreamworlds 3." There also will be a female panel, including students, scholars, activists and community members leading the conversation about the music industry's presentation of women. The Student Health Center-Wellness Center and The Women's Center are sponsors of the U-Card event in the video lounge on the Student Center's fourth floor.

• Wednesday, March 26, events Celebrating Scholarship By and About Women 2008, all at the SIUC Student Center:

1-5 p.m.: University Women's Professional Advancement Poster Session, in the Corker Lounge.

1:30-3:30 p.m.: Presentations by recipients of the 2007 Research, Scholarly and Creative Activity Grants in Ballroom A.

3:30-5 p.m.: Awards ceremony and reception for American Association of University Women, Women's Caucus and Women's Studies scholarships in Ballroom A. Refreshments will follow.

• Wednesday, March 26, 7 p.m.: "Texas Gold," a film presentation highlighting one of the world's most unlikely "muckrakers," mother of five, fourth-generation fisherwoman Diane Wilson as she took the industry to task while trying to avoid the Texas Rangers on her heels, discussion follows, Mississippi Room on the second floor of the Student Center. A U-Card event.

• Thursday, March 27, 4 p.m.: Roxana Rivera Memorial Poetry Contest ceremony, featuring winners of the competition and judge, poet Sandy Longhorn, all reading selections of their work in the auditorium on the second floor of the Student Center. A reception in the Old Main Lounge follows the ceremony.

• Friday, March 28, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Closing reception for Her-Story in the Making, wrapping up the month-long celebration of women and womanhood and the special programs held in their honor. Special program at noon. Refreshments.

• Monday, March 31, noon: Women Breaking the Barrier, in honor of women overcoming difficulties, in McLeod Theater on the first floor of the Communications Building. Refreshments.

Women's History Month sponsors are the Association for Women in Communication, Carbondale Branch of American Association of University Women, Center for Rural Violence and Justice Studies, The Composters, the English department and creative writing program, public safety department, speech communications department, theater department, Graduate and Professional Student Council, Longbranch Café, the office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor, Student Deve4opment-Multicultural Programs and Services, Student Health Center-Wellness Center, University Women's Professional Association, Women's Caucus and Women's Studies. For more information, contact Women's Studies at 618/453-5141 or Student Development-Multicultural Programs and Services at 618/453-5714, visit the office on the third floor of the Student Center or look online at www.stddev.siu.edu.