Women's Month Promotes Education, Empowerment
Alma College observes Women’s Month in March with events focused on the theme of “Women’s Education, Women’s Empowerment.”
The keynote speaker is actress and playwright Christina Chan, who portrays three Chinese American women and their experiences of being sold into slavery, prostitution and abandonment in the 1880s.
Chan’s one-women show, “Unbinding Our Lives,” takes place at 8 p.m. March 13 in the Remick Heritage Center. Admission is free and open to the public; no ticket is required.
“We chose to bring Christina Chan to Alma because we hope that attendees will find her performance eye-opening with regard to the historical plights of Chinese Americans in particular,” says Kate Blanchard, assistant professor of religious studies.
Chan, a graduate of Simmons College and Trinity Rep Conservatory, was an artist in residence at the Boston Center for the Arts and a 2002 Somerville Artist Fellow.
Guest speaker Rita Golden Gelman will discuss her experience as a contemporary nomad traveling the world as a full participant in many diverse cultures at 8 p.m. March 21 in the Swanson Academic Center Room 113. Gelman is the author of more than 70 children’s books and two adult books. Her popular memoir, Tales of a Female Nomad, Living at Large in the World, was published in 2001.
“Her presentation will be inspirational, entertaining and informative,” says Joanne Gilbert, the Charles A Dana Professor of Communication at Alma College.
The screening of the human rights documentary film “Las Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo” at 7:30 p.m. March 14 in the Dow Science Center Room L-4 will introduce viewers to themes of motherhood, maternity, crimes against women and rape. The film depicts the movement by Argentinean grandmothers to rescue their stolen grandchildren who were taken between 1976 and 1983 by the military dictatorship.
“The films asks, ‘Is knowing who you are a basic human right?’” explains Stephany Slaughter, assistant professor of modern languages. “This film has us think about women’s grassroots organizing. They started looking for their lost grandchildren in 1977. Now, in 2012, they are still looking.”
A new event for Women’s Month in 2012 is titled Slut Walk, which seeks to reclaim the definition of the word “slut.” A grassroots movement that developed in response to a Toronto constable who said if women didn’t want to be raped, they should “avoid dressing like sluts,” Slut Walk is a way for both women and men to fight the rhetoric of victim blaming and speak out against sexual violence, says Gilbert.
“The participants are reclaiming the language of the dominant culture,” explains Gilbert. “This is an attempt to call attention to the empowerment of women and alliance of men.”
Alma College students have presented productions of “The Vagina Monologues” and raised funds for the local Women’s Aid organization in conjunction with the V-Day campaign since 2002. Sharing women’s stories as a way to resist the social stigma surrounding sexual abuse, Eve Ensler's award-winning play explores the language used to discuss women's bodies, and the discomfort, embarrassment and even shame this causes women to feel about themselves.
All Women’s Month events at Alma College are free and open to the public.
“All of the events are very worthwhile,” says Gilbert. “I hope that people will understand that honoring and empowering women is something that should not be limited to one month a year.”
Women’s Month Events at Alma College
March 9/The Clotheslines Project, a visual display that bears witness to the many forms of violence perpetrated against women and children, is presented from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 9 in the Tyler-Van Dusen Rotunda at Alma College.
March 9-11/Alma College students present “The Vagina Monologues” at 8 p.m. March 9 and 10 and 3 p.m. March 11 in Jones Auditorium at Alma College. Sharing women’s stories as a way to resist the social stigma surrounding sexual abuse, Eve Ensler's award-winning play explores the language used to discuss women's bodies.
March 13/Actor and playwright Christina Chan portrays Chinese-American women in a one-woman show keynoting Women’s Month at Alma College. The presentation takes place at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 13 in the Remick Heritage Center at Alma College.
March 14/A screening of the human rights documentary film “Las Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo” takes place at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 14 in the Dow Science Center, Room L-4, at Alma College. The film describes the search for the children in Argentina whose mothers were murdered by the military dictatorship that controlled the country from 1976-1983. The screening will be followed by a question and answer session via Skype with one of the film’s producers.
March 21/Rita Golden Gelman, author of more than 70 children’s books and two adult books, discusses her experience as a contemporary nomad traveling the world as a full participant in many diverse cultures at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 21 in the Swanson Academic Center Room 113.
March 24/Relay for Life, the annual 24-hour fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, begins at 10 a.m. March 24 in the Stone Recreation Center at Alma College.
March 31/”Slut Walk,” a grassroots movement designed to fight the rhetoric of victim blaming and speak out against sexual violence, begins at 3 p.m. March 31 at Alma College.
Posted: Mon, March 5th, 2012 at 8:35AM