Hartford, Connecticut, March 15, 2017 – “Be Bold For Change” was the theme of the luncheon program held on March 9 in Trinity College’s Mather Hall Terrace Rooms to celebrate International Women’s Day. Emily Kaufman ’17, Jordan Gershman ’19, and Kendall Mitchell ’17 chaired the event, which was sponsored by the Women and Gender Resource Action Center (WGRAC), Trinity College Black Women’s Organization (TCBWO), The David Project, Trinity Hillel House, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Zeta Omega Eta, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Trinity Women’s Leadership Council, Muslim Students Association (MSA) WMGS, Cleo, and SARALesbians, an off-campus organization. Energy was high as women conversed with one another before the program began and Beyoncé’s “Run the World (Girls)” played in the background. The room was decorated in white, purple, and gold to honor the women’s suffrage movements in the United States and in other countries. Kaufman welcomed the audience and said that the program was designed “to bring together our community to honor women and movements who inspire us to work towards creating positive social change throughout the world.”
International Women’s Day is traditionally observed on March 8. It celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women globally and addresses the importance of achieving gender equality.
WGRAC Director Laura Lockwood helped to shed light on the significance of bringing this celebration to Trinity. “This event is extremely vital to broadening the campus’s education and awareness on these issues,” she said. “We aim to bring together campus members across differences of gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, class, religion, and political affiliation to unite towards creating a more respectful campus culture and just society. Learning the history and stories of non-majority groups, and those that are majority but relegated to second-class status, is crucial to making this happen.”
After a brief video of the January 21 Women’s Marches in Washington, D.C., and around the world, Mitchell introduced various women from the Trinity community to speak about the women who inspire them. Tshion Assefa ’19, a member of Zeta Omega Eta, explained, “One of the most important things my mom taught me was to listen to other people, because everyone has their own struggles.” Karla Spurlock -Evans, dean of multicultural affairs, spoke about the inspiration of Civil Rights leader and activist Fannie Lou Hamer, then broke into a rousing rendition of “This Little Light of Mine.”
Following a series of speeches, Kaufman encouraged all participants at the event to write a letter to someone who has inspired them. WGRAC collected and mailed the letters or delivered them to those addressed on campus. In addition, members of the audience were asked to write the names of women who inspire them on slips of purple, gold, and white paper. The goal of this activity was to create a chain of names to display in Mather Hall to emphasize how women are the links connecting everyone. Prizes were then awarded to the top four winners of the Women’s History Month Trivia Quiz.
In her closing remarks, Mitchell highlighted the underrepresentation of women globally, despite their “producing most of the world’s labor,” she said. Mitchell encouraged participants to educate themselves, take part in movements, and to support one another. The program ended with a video of the Women’s March theme song, “I Can’t Be Quiet.” Trinity plans to continue an annual tradition of celebrating International Women’s Day to honor all women for their strength and to let their voices be heard.
Written by Lorig Purutyan ’17
Photos by Andrew J. Concatelli