March 05, 2014

Women’s History Month events underway

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill.  -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale is celebrating women, their history and their accomplishments during Women’s History Month 2014. 

A variety of special events are taking place between now and April 4, including special films, panel discussions, conferences and presentations.  The theme for the celebration is “Character, Courage, Commitment.” 

Among the highlights is a showing of the 2011 documentary, “Dark Girls,” which explores biases and attitudes regarding the darkness of skin tone among African-Americans.  The movie and discussion will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 20, in the Student Center’s Illinois Room.  

The second Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Conference, “Joining Voices Engendering Dialogue:  A Cross-Disciplinary Conference,” is from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on March 21 in the Student Center’s Vermillion, Wabash and Saline rooms.   Bobbi Knapp, kinesiology assistant professor, and members of the SIU athletics department and women’s sports teams will lead this celebration of the pioneering women and the advancement in sports since the enactment of Title IX in 1972. 

The acclaimed film, “Girl Rising,” will be shown at 7 p.m. on April 3 in the Hiram H. Lesar Law Building Auditorium.  The new Women’s Resource Center and the Carbondale branch of the United Nations Association of the U.S.A. are sponsors.  The event will focus on work being done locally and abroad to educate and support young girls. 

Women’s History Month will also feature a series of brown bag lunch presentations each Monday at noon beginning March 17 and free yoga classes at 4:30 p.m. each Wednesday in the Student Center’s Delta Room. There will also be panel discussions, forums, and other activities in recognition of women, 

There will also be a day focusing on professional development when the university hosts the Illinois Network of Women in Higher Education Conference. The conference, “Catapulting 21st Century Leadership: Career Creation in the Context of Your Life,” is from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on April 4 at the Student Center. 

Speakers will include Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, a former assistant clinical professor at the SIU School of Law, and Arin Reeves, consultant, author of “The Next IQ” and president of Nextions, a research and consulting firm.  Cindy Buys, law professor and director of international law programs at SIU, and others will also provide professional development coaching. 

The cost is $100 for faculty and staff or $75 for students and includes a continental breakfast and lunch.  Additional information and online registration are available at  

The celebration concludes with the Women’s History Wrap-Up Celebration at 4 p.m. on April 4 in the Student Center’s International Lounge.  The event will feature live music by Simon, Maria Johnson, associate professor of music, and their band, “Loose Gravel.” 

With the exception of the Celebrate Women Scholarship Fundraiser and the INWHE Conference, all events are free and open to the public. 

Sponsors of Women’s History Month include the Center for Inclusive Excellence and its new Women’s Resource Center, the University Women’s Professional Advancement, and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. 

For additional information, contact the Center for Inclusive Excellence at 618/453-3470 or visit the website at