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Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories

Women's History Month

February 28, 2023

Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories, the 2023 theme for Women’s History Month, recognizes all women active in storytelling and media through any number of formats such as stage, screen, print, television, podcasts, and more. Women’s History Month, lobbied for by the National Women’s History Alliance, received national recognition in 1980 under President Jimmy Carter. Originally organized by the school district of Sonoma, California, in 1978, as Women's History Week, it was created to reshape American patriarchal history that largely neglected women's achievements.

Storytelling traditions span time and cultures and have been relied upon for generations to both entertain and educate. For many Indigenous cultures history and traditions were passed through oral storytelling and while it was outlawed in the 1880s by the Code of Indian Offenses, many kept the traditions alive despite the threat of legal consequences. Te Ata was a legendary storyteller of the Chickasaw Nation and continued the tradition in spite of these laws, even performing for the Roosevelt’s prior to becoming President and First Lady.

In Toni Morrison’s, 1993 Nobel Lecture, she shares the importance of her writing ‘Word-work is sublime, she thinks, because it is generative; it makes meaning that secures our difference, our human difference – the way in which we are like no other life. We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.’

Other women share their story through other art forms such as Frida Kahlo who shares depictions of her life, family, and experiences through her self-paintings. The Canales Project, Hear Her Song project, honors extraordinary women through songs written by female composers and songwriters. These are just a few of the women artists that share their stories through their work, explore other American women artists through the Smithsonian.

Let us continue to be mindful of the importance of our own self-work (educating oneself). Questioning conventional paradigms and disrupting the social norms that define women as inferior; this includes, discrimination, disregard, control, oppression, exploitation, and violence of women. An important aspect of this self-work is making your feminism trans-inclusive and redefining what it means to be female.

Join the Center for Women's and Gender Equity (CWGE) for their Women's History Month events which include the grand opening of the Marcus Garvey’s Lactation Station, a Project M.E. pop-up and podcast, and a CWGE social media takeover for International Women’s Day.

Take Action:

For additional education and personal development related to diversity, equity and inclusion, the following resources are available: DEI Education and Resources, DEI & Antiracism Resources from the UNC Libraries, the Education Equity Toolkit from the Colorado Department of Higher Education, and the UNITE workshops for faculty, staff, and students.