Advocacy is central to our Student Senate and we’d like to take some time to acknowledge some of the observances during the month of March. Here are just some of the ways in which we can begin to create awareness and advocacy during this month as well as learn about resources that are available.
International Womens’ Day
International Women’s Day is a day to recognize the accomplishments of women and recognize the impacts to gender bias. This day takes place on March 8, which is on a Monday this year.
The day came to be when a group of women, in 1909, at the Socialist Party of America, that in 1910, there was a special recognition for women annually. It was accepted then in Germany. In Russia, it was not accepted until 1917. It was then adopted in 1967 by the Feminist Movement, and became a national observance in 1977, when the United Nations accepted it.
Women have come from not being able to vote or work, with standards of who they should
be to where we are now. We see women all around the world holding positions that we
never would have thought possible before.
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination takes place every year on March 21. Events are held throughout the day to help young people share their voice. It's also a day to recognize the racism that continues to happen and to talk about how to prevent and stand against it.
The day came to be because in 1960, what we call the Sharpeville Massacre, which was a protest that was happening in regards to the “pass laws” of that time, police opened fire killing a total of 69 people. The day was made official six years later, in 1966.
Here are some videos for further education and information.
Self-Injury Awareness Month
Self-injury is the intentional infliction of damage to body tissue. Each year, in March, we take the time to recognize the impact of self-harm. There are many ways that people may self-harm: scratching, burning, scarring, breaking bones, and more. Self-harm can be inflicted anywhere on the body, but where it is most commonly seen is on arms and thighs.
Self-injury can happen at any age, however it is most commonly seen throughout people in young adulthood, who may be experiencing a lot of changes in their life. There are many factors that can play into why people may self-harm. It is important to recognize that the act of self-injury itself is not suicidal. However, when self-injury persists, it can lead to suicidal behavior.
To learn about the different warning signs, this video may be helpful:
World Down Syndrome Day
World Down Syndrome Day became official in 2021 and was given the date of March 21, every year. The meaning behind having it on 3/21, is to recognize the triplication of the 21st chromosome, which causes Down Syndrome.
It is a day to recognize and ensure that those with Down Syndrome have the same freedoms and opportunities, and to break down discriminatory barriers.
Watch this video about a Mom who found out she was having a child with Down Syndrome, and admitted that she was scared of the life her child may have. This video was created in response to her.
Transgender Day of Visibility
The International Transgender Day of Visibility, also known as Trans Visibility Day, is celebrated yearly on March 31. It is a day to recognize the accomplishments of transgender and gender nonconforming people, as well as to recognize the everyday struggles they face.
Trans visibility is minimal, on TV, social media, in public, everywhere. This is crazy to think, when it is estimated that almost forty percent of Americans know someone who is either transgender, or gender nonconforming.
Some transgender and gender nonconforming folx will choose to hide their identity,
and not be visible due to the fear of backlash from family, fear of losing a job or
housing, and many other circumstances.
Things you can do, even through the pandemic are:
- be an ally, which you can do by creating awareness through social media
- share trans stories (with permission, of course)
- practice self-care and remind yourself that it’s okay to not be okay
- honor those who have passed
- learn the barriers when it comes to trans rights
- and so much more!
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