The Global Brown Center for International Students and the Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender hosted an International Women’s Day celebration Tuesday afternoon. The event was dedicated to promoting “community and celebration centered around the revolutionary lives of international women,” according to the event description.
This event “is so important, especially in our current moment (as) we think about women around the world and everything that's going on right now,” said Felicia Salinas-Moniz MA ’06 PhD ’13, director of the Sarah Doyle Center. Salinas-Moniz emphasized the importance of celebrating women’s accomplishments every day of the year rather than just on one day.
The two centers have collaboratively hosted the event for the past three years. This year’s festivities included bingo, an earring making workshop, a raffle and a photobooth.
The event is “just one of many things that we do together and we wanted to continue the tradition, especially … as we're grappling with global crises around the world,” Salinas-Moniz said. It’s great “to still be able to have moments of celebration, moments of love and levity (and) moments of joy.”
This year’s event theme, “Unhemmed,” served as a reflection on the contemporary women’s movement, according to Salinas-Moniz.
“Many of us are still feeling very frayed at the edges … We wanted to see the idea of unhemmed as being very liberatory, being a sort of site for creativity,” Salinas-Moniz said. “To be hemmed is to be bordered, enclosed and restricted. ‘Unhemmed,’ instead, speaks to the process of undoing such structures and imagining what lies in the unraveling – at the ripped edges. Such an unraveling seeks to draw intimacies across unbordered geographies of places and genders.”
Andrew Heald, the program director at the Global Brown Center, agreed that the theme is relevant to current global conversations.
“I think that one of the things that we really wanted to do with this International Women's Day is focus on … the conversation around global crises and just the state of the world at the moment,” Heald said.
Due to the pandemic, Tuesday marked the first time the event took place in-person in two years. Given public health restrictions, the celebration was also slightly modified this year, according to Salinas-Moniz.
“We usually do a large brunch and we’re known for always having stuffed French toast,” Salinas-Moniz said. Having stopped the tradition due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she said they hope to bring back the brunch next year.
Students who attended the event spoke to The Herald about the importance of the celebration and the opportunities it afforded them.
Rachel Schwind, a postdoctoral research associate in chemical engineering, said that events like this celebration allow her to interact with the broader University community beyond her department.
“There aren’t a lot of women (in my field), so it’s not very common that I get to interact with many other female scientists or just women” in academia, Schwind said. It’s “good for me to be … in this space and see other people that are either in similar career paths or just other … students that might want to go down that route.”
Lydia DeFusto ’22 noted that the “event is a great opportunity to bring the community together and celebrate the achievements … (of) international women.”
“I think it’s really nice to be in the space together, especially (in light of) COVID,” DeFusto said.