During this year’s Women’s History Month, Georgetown is recognizing diversity and community among women on campus with events hosted by various organizations and centers at the university.

Women’s History Month at Georgetown is spearheaded by the Georgetown University Women’s Center each March in partnership with several organizations around campus to elevate women’s voices, history and experiences. The heritage month celebrations reflect Georgetown’s commitment to the Jesuit principle of community in diversity, according to the university website.

The celebrations help illuminate the work of women throughout history that has been previously overlooked, according to Karla Rondon, program coordinator of the Women’s Center.

“Oftentimes, women’s roles and contributions are left out of traditional or mainstream history narratives, and we believe it’s important to recognize, celebrate (in some cases), and learn from the words and actions of women both in the past and today,” Rondon wrote in an email to The Hoya.

ROCHELLE VAYNTRUB FOR THE HOYA | The Georgetown Women’s Alliance set up a “Women on the Walls” photography exhibit for Women’s History Month.

The Women’s Center is excited for the variety of programs offered this Women’s History Month, including the annual Reventón Latino dance showcase, the Black, Resilient, Artistic, Vigilant, Enough Summit, and OWN IT Summit, according to Rondon.

The events on campus highlight the varying experiences of women by engaging with the intersectionality among gender and other social identities. The Women’s Center hopes this month’s programming helps educate the Georgetown community about the role of women in history and connects the community with contemporary female leaders, according to Rondon.

The fourth annual BRAVE summit, hosted by Georgetown University Women of Color, took place Saturday, March 16, and provided practical tools for activism in daily life to its attendees.   BRAVE was founded in the fall of 2015 to empower and elevate the experiences of black women through a series of speakers and panels. The 2019 theme was “Vigilant: Maintaining the Movement.”

Started six years ago by Georgetown students Kendall Ciesemier (COL ’15) and Helen Brosnan (COL ’16), OWN IT, an annual women’s leadership summit geared toward undergraduate women, provides a platform for students to interact with female leaders across a range of industries, identities and backgrounds.

Since its origins at Georgetown, OWN IT has spread its mission of intersectionality through sister summits at universities nationwide, according to this year’s OWN IT Co-Chair Sofia Carratala (SFS ’19).

“Through our various mainstage panels and breakout sessions, OWN IT does take an intersectional approach in evaluating gender as it relates to race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, education and other aspects of identity,” Carratala wrote in an email to The Hoya.

Carratala hopes the Georgetown community will attend this year’s OWN IT summit March 30 and emerge feeling affirmed and empowered by the community of female leaders showcased at the event.

“OWN IT really is a feel-good, empowering day,” Carratala wrote.

Georgetown Program Board also will partner with the Women’s Center this March to continue conversations of intersectionality and female representation in movies through a roundtable discussion on women in film March 25.

Angela Wu (COL ’19), GPB’s films committee chair, said that this kind of discussion helps to demonstrate the importance of female representation in movies and media.

“I think it is important to have conversations about the intersection of gender and media because it is sometimes difficult for us to understand the incredible power of film, of a visual storytelling medium that focuses on the lives of distinguished individuals,” Wu said.

GPB’s films committee is working to be intentional about screening films that represent diverse storylines and casts, including the films Widows, On the Basis of Sex, If Beale Street Could Talk and The Favourite, according to Wu.

In addition to the social, cultural and professional events hosted throughout Women’s History Month, Health Education Services and the Student Health Center partnered to educate undergraduate women about sexual health.

The March 18 event “Caring for Our Sexual Health” addressed topics in women’s health, including information about nutritional information, sexual risks, gynecological exams, insurance and confidentiality, according to HES Director Carol Day.

Day said that this month’s events allow female-identifying students to gain knowledge about themselves from a health standpoint.

“Many students do not have opportunities to learn about their bodies prior to college when they are learning to be independent and are navigating health care solo for the first time,” Day wrote in an email to The Hoya.

Rondon hopes Women’s History Month urges students to support the women in their lives.

“Women’s history is everybody’s history; it’s the history of communities, individuals, and change,” Rondon wrote.

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