Women’s History Month to focus on civil rights

WHM PR imageBeginning Tuesday, March 4, NIU will celebrate Women’s History Month by hosting a series of events focused on civil rights.

Rebekah Kohli, program coordinator for NIU’s Women’s Studies Program, said that this year is a good time to reflect on American society.

“Since this year is the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, it’s a wonderful time to look back at issues of the past, while also considering civil rights issues that we face today.”

All events are open to the public and free unless otherwise noted.

Events include:

Tuesday, March 4

  • NIU kicks off the month with its tenth annual celebration of “This is What a Feminist Looks Like” Sticker Day. The event aims to break harmful stereotypes that cast all feminists as white, female, middle-class, or politically radical, and to open up the definitions of the word “feminist” to more complicated meanings. Stop by Room 103 in Reavis Hall to pick up a free sticker and wear it with pride. Buttons are also available for $1.
  • As part of this year’s Sticker Day celebration, Katrina Caldwell will offer an interactive presentation on “Shifting Fault (line) & Negotiating Pathways: The Challenges & Opportunities in Constructing Cross-racial Women’s Alliances,” at noon in Holmes Student Center’s Illinois Room. Caldwell is an assistant vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at NIU.

Women's History Month stickerWednesday, March 5

  • What happens when a music icon claims an identity that is controversial and misunderstood in popular culture? Join the LGBT & Women’s Resource Center from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the Sky Room of the Holmes Student Center for “Beyoncé’s ‘F’ Word,” a discussion about the pop star’s visual album and the way she demonstrates feminism as an artist.

Wednesday, March 19

  • “Exploring Civil Rights: A Panel Discussion” will include three distinguished NIU scholars: Laverne Gyant, director of the Center for Black Studies; Dianne Rodgers, associate professor of sociology; and Elvia Arriola, professor of law. The event takes place at 6 p.m. in the Holmes Student Center’s Capitol Room.

Thursday, March 20

  • Two-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and founder and director of Voices for Creative Non-violence Kathy Kelly; Medea Benjamin, founder and director of the women’s peace group Code Pink; and long-time peace activist Ret. Col. Diane Right will present “Three Women Who Stand for Peace: International Civil Rights in the Age of Drones,” at 7 p.m. in the Holmes Student Center’s Regency Room.

Monday, March 24

  • During “Rethinking Gender, War and Peace: Gender and Human Security in the 21st Century,” Laura Heideman, an NIU assistant professor of sociology and community leadership and civic engagement, will examine the Human Security framework and its potential for addressing gendered issues during wartime and peace processes, as well as the challenges this framework imposes in a postwar environment. The talk begins at 4 p.m. in DuSable Hall, Room 240.
Patricia Sullivan

Patricia Sullivan

Wednesday, April 2

  • Patricia Sullivan, professor of History at University of South Carolina, will offer a public lecture on “Race, Gender and the Civil Rights Act – An Historical Perspective,” at 6 p.m. in the Holmes Student Center’s Capitol Room.

Thursday, April 3

  • Patricia Sullivan will offer a seminar on teaching the history of the Civil Rights Movement, at 10 a.m. in the Holmes Student Center’s Illinois Room. The seminar will be based on Sullivan’s experience as co-director of the NEH Summer Institutes at Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute on teaching the history of civil rights.

A complete schedule of discussions, workshops and other activities is available online. Sign language interpreters will be provided upon request; call (815) 753-6515. One week’s notice is preferred.

For more information, call the Women’s Studies Program at (815) 753-1038 or email womenst@niu.edu.

In addition to the Women’s Studies Program, event sponsors include the NIU Graduate Colloquium Committee; Graduate School; LGBT & Women’s Resource Center; Center for NGO Leadership and Development (NGOLD); Department of History; Amnesty International-NIU; NIU Women’s Rights Alliance; DeKalb Interfaith Network for Peace & Justice; Fox Valley Citizens for Peace & Justice; Rockford Peace and Justice; Sauk Valley Peace & Justice; and First Congregational Church of DeKalb (Mission Ministry Committee).

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