Celebrating women of the past

They say April showers bring May flowers, but it also spurs the start of Women’s History Month in the United States. The Justice and Diversity League (J&DL) encouraged staff and students to celebrate the accomplishments of women through an informational collage displayed in front of the library for curious students. The work of the Justice and Diversity League serves as an ode to the struggles women face and have faced to spark change for future generations. 

Women’s History Month was created in 1981 to celebrate the holiday, starting March 7th, for the duration of a week. It was later changed to be celebrated throughout the whole month. 

In preparation, the Justice and Diversity League educated themselves about women in male-dominated fields that might have slipped under the covers of history. 

“We’re trying to elevate the voices of people who have sadly been marginalized throughout our country’s history,”  J&DL sponsor and social studies teacher Bryant Bull said. “Textbooks, teachers and our popular culture have traditionally only given women a token space in our country’s story, so a month of awareness can raise awareness of this marginalization.”

Representation in history has left out the achievements of women. Justice and Diversity League hopes their efforts towards celebrating encourages young girls to follow the lead of these strong women. 

“The most interesting woman I learned about for Women’s History Month is Angela Davis. She is a political activist, philosopher, academic and author,” J&DL member and junior Emily Plascencia Rojas said. “I really admire her work for racial justice, women’s rights and criminal justice reform.”

Though representation in the past is important, focusing on current issues is just as crucial. J&DL’s goal is also to bring light to issues that women face day-to-day, in their workplaces and on their path to success. 

“I am relieved we are recognizing the issues women face right now as well as looking at the past,” junior Lauren Aguirre said. “A lot of things have changed because of important women in the past, but we still have a ways to go.”

J&DL has worked hard to impact the students and staff through the research they have put into their collage. Their intention is to spread awareness of a part of history others might not know about.

“We want students in our school to have their eyes opened,” Bull said. “This month is not for singling out women as the only important figures in our history. It’s not for making up for past errors of omission and marginalization. It’s for opening conversations. It’s for helping students learn why some people have been relegated to a special page once every few chapters in history books. We want this to be the beginning of our students’ concerted interest in women’s history.”

The collage will continue to hang outside the library for viewing until the end of the month. J&DL’s contribution opens conversations that people don’t usually have and allows students and staff to recognize the troubles women face and push for change.

Source: https://millardwestcatalyst.com/15065/news/celebrating-women-of-the-past/