Women's Herstory month

Courtesy of Tyra Frye

To kick off Women's HERstory Month at NC State, the Women's Center organized a pot-painting art event that encouraged women to dig deep into their own self-care, self-love and personal growth. 

In line with this year's Women's HERstory Month theme, "Grow Together, Heal Together, Grow with the Flow," the event was meant to foster a sense of community and elevate the importance of self-worth and growth while connecting through the arts. 

Alexus Smith, program coordinator for the Women's Center, said she was inspired to arrange the Permanent History: Planting our Roots event by the need to foster mental health and create a space where the community can discuss femininity.

“I know that this [event] is around the time of midterms, and students can be very stressed,” Smith said. “So I hope that they take away relaxation and community and also think about how they want to channel feminine energy or positive energy that is good for their life and their well-being.”

While attendees were designing their pots, they were also engaging with each other to create an amenable safe space for women to connect with each other and let their creativity flow. 

“This is a great opportunity to express my creativity … and also celebrate Women's History Month,” said Nyssa Ndey-Bongo, a fourth-year studying plant biology. “This kind of event brings people together [to] have fun, but it also helps them remember about the purpose of this month.” 

Smith said Women's HERstory Month is all about recognizing the accomplishments of women from a range of areas, including science and sports. This year's theme emphasizes key components of women's growth.

“How can [women] grow together as a community?” Smith said. “How can you find the people that help you grow? And how can you focus on your own personal and community-based healing? I think that's really important, more now than ever — in a post-COVID culture, being able to let ourselves heal, let ourselves grow and to let ourselves be in the moment a little bit more.” 

Taylor Wanbaugh, communications director for the Department of Civil Construction and Environmental Engineering and volunteer with the Women’s Center, said that it’s important to have spaces like these. Besides allowing students to take a break and build community, they also provide an opportunity to learn about on-campus resources. 

“I just hope that people can see this as a place that you can get more involved in … and that there is a community that is very welcoming and accepting of everyone,” Wanbaugh said. “There's just a lot going on in the world right now, related to women and women's rights, so it's nice to have that resource that's available to students, staff and faculty.”

Students and staff agree that the importance of these spaces emphasize both the wellness and activism aspects of Women's HERstory Month, as well as growing the sense of camaraderie between women on campus. 

“I think part of the women's experience at any point throughout history has always been that camaraderie, that fellowship,” Ndey-Bongo said. “This kind of event emphasizes that.”

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