The “Women in Global Perspective”
class* (WMST 2020) planned and executed a multifaceted project to
commemorate International Women’s Day, 2007.
IWD falls on March 8 each year, and since we
are on Spring Break at that time, I chose March 1 for our own
celebration and included it in the course as an assignment.
The students took on the project
wholeheartedly and came up with a far more exciting series of
events than I could possibly have imagined when I wrote it into
the course syllabus.
Here is a list of the class’s
activities for IWD:
- Violence against women was one of
the major themes chosen by the class, and the students produced
1) a clever glass-case display in the Culp Center, which will
stay in place for the month of March; 2) a display board at our
booth in the Atrium, and 3) a handout downloaded from a UN
- A second major theme was
women’s accomplishments, and this theme was reflected by
a display board at the booth and a very professional-looking
- One student undertook to collect
signatures in support of the international treaty CEDAW
(Convention on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women),
which the U.S. has never ratified.
With the help of several others, she
collected about 100 signatures and sent them to Sen. Bob
Corker, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations
- The project that generated the most
excitement was the sale of jewelry made by the BeadforLife
collective of HIV-positive Ugandan women.
Total proceeds were over $1500, which went
directly to the collective.
- All of the students except those
who were sick spent at least part of the day staffing our table
- We sponsored an evening showing of
The Shape of Water, about women’s grassroots
activism in several countries.
Though the audience was quite small, about
half of it was students who are not in the class.
Two students took responsibility for
introducing the film and leading discussion afterwards.
- Several students were effective at
getting publicity for the event in the
East Tennessean and on WETS, as well as making flyers
and table tents and promoting the event by social networking
websites and word of mouth.
I am beyond delighted with what these
20 students accomplished—both with their creativity in
generating ideas and with their success at collaboration in
executing those ideas.
I hope that International Women’s Day
will become an annual event.
Instructor, Women in Global Perspective
Photos courtesy of Stephanie Langley-Earhart
* Class members:
Holly Blair, Nicole Brunson, Phaedra Call,
Jennifer Callahan, Kelly Church, Crystal Diaz, James Gibbs, Casey
Gibson, Jeff Hearl, Shelley Hill, Elizabeth Ivers, Ann Marie
Kazubinski, Stephanie Langley-Earhart, Veronica Limeberry, Amelia
Mitchell, Sarah Olivo, Alunda Rutherford, Anita Shell, Katie
Sims, Cydney Vanosdale