February 29, 2016

SIU to celebrate Women’s History Month

by Christi Mathis

Joy DeGruyCARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale will celebrate Women’s History Month with a variety of special events, guest speakers and presentations in March. 

The theme of this year’s commemoration is “Women in Government and Public Service Celebrate Creating a More Perfect Union” and each week has its own focus. The first week will concentrate on “History of HERstory: Women Who Succeeded Against All Odds” as the first event will explain. 

The Women’s History Month Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 1, at the Student Center’s Old Main Lounge. A unique series of posters will be unveiled, each featuring a woman who succeeded against the odds. The posters highlight the women’s personal stories. Some of the women have SIU connections. Organizers will present an overview of the month’s activities and refreshments will be served. 

The 20th annual "Celebrate Women:  Honoring Inclusive Excellence" event begins at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 3, in the Student Center's John W. Corker Lounge and Ballroom D.  The gala features a luncheon, silent auction and special entertainment. It recognizes the contributions of women and raises scholarship funds. A number of honors and awards will be presented. Today is the deadline to purchase tickets, which cost $25 each. 

Joy DeGruy, researcher, educator and author, is the keynote speaker for Women’s History Month. She will present “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome” at 6 p.m. Monday, March 7, in the Student Center Auditorium. DeGruy has a bachelor’s degree in communications, master’s degrees in social work and clinical psychology and a doctorate in social work research. She has more than 20 years of professional experience in the field of social work. 

She is the author of “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome -- America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing” and “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: The Study Guide” and is currently writing the follow-up book, “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome Part 2: Be the Healing.” Her books address the ongoing impacts and trauma experienced by ancestors of Africans brought to the Americas as slaves and also how to better understand attitudes and behaviors and create positive change and healing.

DeGruy’s presentation begins week two, “A.F.F.I.R.M.: A Female Focus in Reaching Many.” The last two weeks are “State of the Union: Get InFORMATION” and “H.O.W. to ‘Honor Our Women’.” 

The Women’s Resource Center at SIU is striving to celebrate the accomplishments of women, affirm their value, highlight their goals and work for a better future and the month’s activities revolve around those goals, according to Sylvia Gray, graduate assistant coordinator for the Women’s Resource Center. 

For instance, everyone is invited to come to the Student Center’s north escalator area from 11 a.m. to 2 pm. on Friday, March 4, for “HERstory Day.”  Participants will tell their own stories or the stories of the important women in their lives, jotting down the highlights on cards that will then be displayed at various places and times on campus during the month. 

People can also “Get CIE Certified” at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 10, in the Student Center’s Kaskaskia and Missouri Rooms. The Center for Inclusive Excellence certification training incorporates information on how to practice affirmation of women on an ongoing basis. 

“What’s the T.E.A: Part 1” from 10 a.m. to noon on March 8 and “What’s the T.E.A.: Part 2” from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday, March 11, introduce a new take on “tea.” The first session is at the north escalators of the Student Center while the second is at the south escalators. Organizers say that unlike the typical pop culture reference to “tea” as gossip-telling, this “tea” is “Things Everyone Affirms” and anyone may stop by and create a T-shirt bearing women-affirmative messages. They can then wear the shirts throughout the month during various activities. 

The 2016 Women’s History Month schedule also includes workshops, social activities, additional guest speakers, a health panel, films and much more. The celebration is produced by SIU’s Center for Inclusive Excellence and Women’s Resource Center. 

With the exception of the Celebrate Women Awards Luncheon, all Women’s History Month events are free and open to the public. Find the complete schedule of events and additional information online at www.inclusiveexcellence.siu.edu or on the new SIU Women’s Resource Center Facebook page. Or, call 618/453-3740.