In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Women’s Center presented “Women’s HERstory Month 2021: Our Voices, Our Bodies, Our Stories: The Revolution Within Us.” Lisa LaBarbera-Mascote, director of the Women’s Center, said it hosted multiple events this March to explore the relationships between women’s history and personal experiences.
According to LaBarbera-Mascote, the goal of the month-long event is to explore how different environments shape women and how these experiences can be used to spark change and build a sustainable revolution.
“We started the month off with a collaborative keynote with Multicultural [Student] Affairs and the African American Cultural Center, which was an emergent conversation that featured Yaba Blay, Natalie Bullock Brown, Kali Fillhart, as well as Joanay Tann from the Cultural Center,” LaBarbera-Mascote said. “That was a really big jump off to the month and collaboration from not only thinking about the themes from Black History Month but also weaving into Women's HERstory Month as well.”
In addition to being a part of the keynote, Kali Fillhart, a fourth-year studying anthropology and a programming intern at the Women's Center, hosted an event called “Untangling Our Roots.”
“The theme for Women's History Month this year is really about learning our histories, learning our contexts, all of that to move forward and in a revolution that is genuine and sustainable,” Fillhart said. “[Untangling Our Roots] was to help us really get grounded in our context. We spent an hour and a half doing some light research about our cultural contexts, our personal context... We went through like the [NC State University] Libraries and looked at timelines regarding different identities on campus, like women on campus, African Americans on campus.”
There are two remaining events students can participate in, including a research presentation on Friday, March 26 called “Exploiting Inequity: A Pandemic’s Gendered and Racial Toll on the Women and Families in North Carolina.” According to LaBarbera-Macoste, the event is based on qualitative research by the North Carolina Department of Administration’s Council for Women Advisory Board.
“They talked to a number of people in the state to get firsthand perspectives on the impacts of COVID,” LaBarbera-Mascote said. “We'll be talking about what this research and information means for us in North Carolina, specifically, within our roles at NC State. We have this information, so what can we do to impact and make some change?”
Elizabeth Moran, a graduate assistant for the Women’s Center, will host the final event, “Honoring Ourselves as History: A Journaling Workshop” on Wednesday, March 31.
“The focus of it is honoring our history as we are moving forward in the revolution and in our own personal revolutions,” Moran said. “So how we are using our words and tapping into that particular outlet of self-expression to enhance our ability to think about where we've come from and everything that has informed who we are right now as people...that includes identities as a woman or as a nonbinary individual, as a student, as a parent, or friend, or sister, all those different roles that people play.”
LaBarbera-Mascote said Women’s HERstory Month events have benefitted from the collaborations between various campus entities, including Campus Community Centers and the NC State Council on the Status of Women, among others.
“Most of the time, you don't get to see how much work women and femmes have put into the world,” Fillhart said. “It's super important because we get to learn where we come from. That's really what my event last week was about is understanding the timelines and understanding that we're not reinventing the wheel. We're really just harvesting the information from people who've been doing this work for centuries and centuries... That's so powerful for people who often feel alone or feel like they're the only ones doing this work.”
Anyone is welcome to register for the remaining Women’s HERstory Month events on the Women’s Center website.