On March 30 at 8 p.m. in the Dolan School of Business Dining Room, Fairfield University hosted a talk by Dr. Deborah Gray White, Board of Governors Professor of History at Rutgers University, an event sponsored by the Women’s Studies Program, the Black Studies Program, the History Department and funded by the Humanities Institute of the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. White was also honored for her pioneering work in the field of African American Women’s History; a one-of-a-kind poster was presented to her to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the publication of her path-breaking work, Ar’n’t I A Woman?
Dr. White, who focuses especially on African American History, spoke to an audience full of community members and Fairfield University students. She examined the feminist underpinnings of two seemingly conservative groups, the Promise Keepers and the Million Man March women. She captivated her audience with her strength and ideas about women’s rights, bringing up the inequalities and discrimination that women experience. Her speech was inspiring and informational; audience members walked away with many new ideas on the problems women face.
The event, which was also part of women’s history month in accordance with the “year of activism” here on campus, was just one of multiple events during the month of March, aimed towards bringing about awareness of Women’s issues and encouraging a sense of community.
Another such event was the Women’s Day 2010, which also took place March 30, from 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. in the BCC lower level. This annual event, which was open to the campus, featured visual and performing art done by women about women or relating to gender. There were baked goods for sale at booths set up to benefit the Bridgeport Center for Women and Families, monologues performed by Performing for Change, and informational booths for on-campus groups such as PIECES, an eating-disorder awareness group composed of many Fairfield students, male and female.
These events were part of a month-long set of activities to raise awareness and appreciation; they were wonderful learning opportunities for audience members who don’t regularly think about women’s issues. The events were empowering for women, and helped to bring the campus together to think differently about women and their rights.
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