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Higher learning celebrates Women’s History

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March is Women’s History Month and a few of our local colleges are taking part in this month’s celebration.

The American women’s movement of the 60s has been credited with causing women to question their role in and out of the home, an extension of the crusade for women’s rights started in the mid-19th century in Seneca Falls, NY.

Women’s History Month’s roots can be traced to a single week-long, local event. In 1978, Sonoma County, Calif., sponsored a women’s history week to promote the teaching of women’s history. The idea actually came from Germany by a woman named Klara Zetkin. It was she who organized the first International Women’s day. In 1981, the week of March 8th was selected to include International Women’s Day.

In 1987, a group of women campaigned with representatives from libraries, schools and museums to expand the celebration. The response from Congress was its declaration of the entire month of March as National Women’s History Month.

In celebration of Women’s History Month most of our local colleges are sponsoring special programs and events Queens College, Queensborough Community College, LaGuardia Community College, St. John’s University and York College.

St. John’s, in particular, is having a very extensive program in honor of this month. March 3rd kicked off all the activities with the opening of the Women’s History Month Library Exhibit, which showcases women that empower the future. In the continuing weeks they have scheduled guest speakers, bible studies, book clubs, and a “chick flick” series.

Some of these events include an anxiety screening at 11:30 on Thursday; on Monday at 9:30 p.m. is a showing of “A League of Their Own;” and on Tuesday at 6 p.m. there will be guest speaker Traci Bowman, an HIV-positive woman who will share her story and give hope to those living with AIDS.

On Wednesday at 6 p.m. guest lecturer Dr. Lily Xiao Hong Lee will present “Contemporary Women Writers in the People’s Republic of China” and at 9 p.m. the lectures continue with “Bible Study: Bad Girls of the Bible.” On Thursday, March 27, at 12:15 p.m. is a “Breast Cancer and Early Detection” seminar, and on Saturday, March 29 there will be a trip to Eleanor Roosevelt’s house. On Monday, March 31, the “chick-flick” series will conclude with the showing of “Thelma and Louise”.

York College, on the other hand, is having a series of lecturers, discussions and workshops that will focus around different women’s issues such as, women of the world, women in sports, milestones for and by women, and, of course, men.

On Thursday they have an award ceremony “A Women Who Has Influenced My Life,” open to students and their families, teachers, and members of the college community. On Wednesday, March 26, at 10:30 a.m., there will be “Women’s Health” and at 6:30 p.m. there will be the small business development workshop entitled “Marketing and Government Contracts.” On Thursday, March 27, there will be “Women and Leadership,” a forum consisting of a panel of elected female officials who will discuss their leadership roles. The final event for Women’s History Month will be “Rising to the Top,” which is a journey along the executive road, taking place on Tuesday, April 8, at noon.    

For more information you can contact the following colleges:

Queens Borough Community College - 718-631-6000

Queens College - 718-997-5000

LaGuardia Community College - 718-482-5935

St. John’s University - 718-990-6161

York College - 718-262-2000

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