Women on the move

Northern Illinois University will celebrate Women’s History Month in March with a variety of events based on the theme of “Women’s Migration and Immigration.”

The events, organized by the NIU Women’s Studies Program and many other sponsors, will examine the gendered nature of migration and immigration from various perspectives.Women's History Month sticker

 “Migration and immigration are critical topics in the news at this time, so we thought this would be an excellent year for public programming around the issues,” said Amy Levin, director of the Women’s Studies Program.

A complete schedule of lectures, exhibits, performances and other activities can be found online.

Events include the following.

Tuesday, March 1

  • The day marks the sixth annual celebration of “This is What a Feminist Looks Like” Sticker Day. Stop by Room 103 in Reavis Hall to pick up a free sticker and wear it with pride. Buttons are also available for $1. 
  • The month kicks off, quite literally, with a women’s self-defense workshop, led by geography professor Lesley Rigg, who holds a black belt in karate. The workshop begins at 6 p.m. in Room 20 of Founders Memorial Library.

 Wednesday, March 2

  • An informational session will be held on the efforts of Women in Black, an international network of women committed to peace and justice, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Holmes Student Center’s Heritage Room. The presentation, which will include student presenters, will answer such questions as “Who are the women in black?” and “What do they do?” It also will apply the Women in Black’s philosophy to the global issue of human trafficking. 

Thursday, March 3

  • A panel on “Nationality, Gender, and the Transgressive Potential of the Narrative of (Im)Migration” will interrogate how the experiences of female immigrants and gender migrants achieve expression through works that combine genres. The panel will take place at 2 p.m. in Reavis Hall, Room 211.

Friday, March 4

  • A vigil inspired by the Women in Black will take place from noon to 1 p.m. in the King Memorial Commons. All are welcome; those planning to attend are asked to wear black to this event. The students plan to spend and hour in silence in solidarity with the vigils that are held by Women in Black groups across the world each week. The vigil will take a stand against the cycle of violence perpetuated against women and raise awareness about human trafficking.

Tuesday, March 8

  • Katharine Donato, professor and chair of sociology at Vanderbilt University, will discuss the gender balance and gendered consequences of international migration in her presentation, “How Many Women? How Many Men? Gender in International Migration.” The presentation begins at noon in the Holmes Student Center’s Illinois Room.

Wednesday, March 23

  • Geography professor Sarah Blue will present “Gendered Labor and Gendered Labor Recruitment: Latino Migrant Experiences in New Orleans,” at noon in Holmes Student Center’s Blackhawk Annex.
  • NIU’s College of Education, in partnership with the Alumni Association, will host “Transformational Leaders: Inspiring Change,” a panel discussion featuring notable NIU alumnae who hold significant leadership positions in their fields. A reception with hors d’oeuvres will begin at 5 p.m. in the Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center, with the panel discussion starting at 6 p.m. RSVP to Gail Hayenga at (815) 753-8370 or ghayenga@niu.edu.

Monday, March 28

  • NIU history professor Aaron Fogleman will present “Gender and Marriage in the Lives of an 18th Century Couple Adventuring the Atlantic World.” The presentation will begin at noon in Holmes Student Center’s Blackhawk Annex

Tuesday, March 29

  • History professor Ismael Montana, an expert in African history, will lead a screening and discussion of “Mama Benz: An African Market Woman,” a film about the critical transnational role female entrepreneurs play in the import of goods to Africa. The screening begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Center for Black Studies.

Thursday, March 31

  • The third annual Women’s Networking Night, “Health Issues Affecting Women Today,” an installment in the Alumni Association’s Chicago Speaker Series, brings two notable alumnae to the NIU Chicago Office for a discussion on women’s health from 6 to 8:30 p.m. A full appetizer buffet will be provided and a cash bar will be available. Registration is required. The featured alumnae are Linda Deering, ’98, M.S. ’92, executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief nursing officer at Sherman Health; and Laura Ferrio, ’86, vice president of patient care services and chief nurse executive at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Call (815) 753-1452 for more information.

 All events are open to the public and, unless otherwise noted, are free. Sign language interpreters will be provided upon request; call (815) 753-6515. One week’s notice is preferred.

In addition to the Women’s Studies Program, event sponsors include the NIU Graduate Colloquium Committee; Graduate School; Women’s Resource Center; Center for Black Studies; Founders Memorial Library; Women’s Rights Alliance; Women’s and Gender Studies Graduate Student Association; Advocates for Choice; Latino and Latin American Studies Program; Latino Resource Center; Division of International Programs; College of Education; Alumni Association; and departments of geography, history, sociology and political science.

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

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