MU Celebrates Womxn’s History Month

better quality_whm

Fresh off the many honoring and educational events at Methodist University during February’s Black History Month, the University is close to wrapping up its March celebration of Womxn’s History Month (WHM). The term womxn has been found in writings as early as the 1970’s, along with the term womyn, to avoid perceived sexism in the standard spelling which contains the word “man or men.”

The WHM celebrations feature a dedicated web page which highlights bios of several faculty and staff members, past and present, who have made valuable contributions to the University in both obvious and “behind-the-scenes” ways. It is also the “go-to” location for the events calendar.

poster_whmTo kick-off the month-long celebration, MU promoted International Womxn’s Day by inviting the campus community to take a pledge to fight inequality, call out bias, question stereotypes, and address all forms of gender inequity. Participants took the pledge by raising their right hand, taking a selfie, and hashtagging it #ChooseToChallenge.

Throughout MU’s campus, signs were placed along walkways highlighting individual womxn in history and their accomplishments; womxn such as Madeleine Albright the first female U.S. Secretary of State, Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani human rights activist who is the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, and Aretha Franklin, known as the “Queen of Soul” and first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

On March 16, CeCe Telfer, a trans female track and field champion, discussed her time as an NCAA athlete with participants via Zoom. Dr. Clifton Bobbitt – associate dean of students and director of campus recreation – scheduled guest speakers on Zoom throughout the month to motivate students.

The Telfer Zoom event was followed eight days later with “Don’t Qualify Me,” a program facilitated by Dr. Kyrstin Krist, associate professor of Physical Education & Exercise Science, which discussed the power of language and images. The program asked questions like, “why do we assume a doctor is a male and then have to qualify the female as a ‘female doctor?’” Krist said, “the power of language and adding these qualifiers can be hurtful.”

MU is hosting a campus-wide WHM celebration today between the Davis Memorial Library and Trustees with music, food trucks, and the opportunity to “splash paint” for the creation of a mural. MU’s strict social distancing and other safety guidelines are, of course, in place.

On March 31, MU will host “Breaking the Glass Ceiling – Womxn in Male-Dominated Fields” at 7 p.m. via Zoom. The link will be emailed to the campus community the day of the event. Also, MU will release a meaningful video, featuring MU students, on the final day of the month.

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