Stand Up and Be Heard!

Western celebrated Women’s History Month with several events in February and March 2011. The events focused on achievements of women who have excelled in poetry, mentoring, exploration, business and criminal justice.

Assistant Professor of History and Non-Western Cultures Dr. Katherine Allocco, chair of the Women’s History Month planning committee, spoke of the importance of the events at Western.

“Women's History Month is a celebration of great women who have made important contributions to society and culture and who have served America in a number of capacities,” Allocco said.

Among the events scheduled were a lecture by Barbara Hillary on March 9. Hillary, a cancer survivor who has explored the Arctic and Antarctic, spoke of her experiences.

Other events included:

• Feb. 23, Elizabeth Alexander, inaugural poet for President Barack Obama.

• March 3, a screening of “The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo.” Winner of the Sundance Special Jury Prize in Documentary and the inspiration for a 2008 U.N. resolution classifying rape as a weapon of war, this film, shot in the war zones of the Democratic Republic of Congo, shattered the silence that surrounds the use of sexual violence as a weapon of conflict.

• March 4, a screening of “Hildegard Von Bingen,” a German film about the life of the 12th-century mystic.

• March 10, a screening of “In Sickness and in Health.” This film documents the debate over same-sex marriage in America.

• March 16, a panel discussion about “Women and Business.” Panelists included Professor of Nursing Dr. Barbara Piscopo; Jessica Gamache, a graduate student studying history; 2010 graduate Shauna Morasco; Assistant Professor of Nursing Joan Palladino; and political science student Debra Salvato.

• March 16, a panel discussion about “Women and Justice.” Prior to the discussion, there was a screening of a music video featuring Haley Noelle singing her song, “Break Me,” about domestic violence.

• March 17, a discussion about Irish novelist Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan): “‘The Wild Irish Girl’ and Revolutionary Rhetoric.”

• March 17, the Midtown Coffeehouse in Alumni Hall presented an hourlong open mic performance, followed by a series of writers, poets and musicians on the theme of women.

• March 31, a lecture and reading to celebrate Martha Talburt, Mentor of the Year.

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Barbara Hillary was a featured speaker during Women's History Month.

A panel discussion about "Women and Justice" was proceeded by the screening of a music video about domestic violence.