March is Women’s History Month — commemorating and encouraging the study, observance, and celebration of the vital role of women in America. Throughout history, women have faced a distinct set of challenges while continuing to make crucial contributions to our communities in both private and professional settings.
At the University of Kentucky, now more than ever, the community is making strides to an
knowledge, celebrate, and elevate the voices of those history has often overlooked. With programs like Ubuntu, Latinx Heritage Month, the MLK Day celebration, and, most recently, Black History Month, the UK is honoring the communities that have shaped the institution’s story.
To celebrate Women’s History Month, a planning committee, which includes UK Martin Luther King Center’s undergraduate interns and campus partners, will host a variety of events for the campus community to participate in titled Womxn’s History Month.
“Que émocion! I am thrilled to celebrate Womxn’s Herstory Month,” said Ruth Gonzalez Jimenez, MLK Center’s Latino student community specialist. “When I was a student in the UK and an intern at the MLK Center, I helped coordinate Womxn’s Herstory Month. It is a pleasure to now help current MLK interns do the same.”
“Being a part of a committee full of women makes me feel empowered,” said Najiya Clayborn, MLK administrative support intern. “Our voices were at the forefront of this year’s vision. We are confident in our decisions and only want the best for our ladies near and on campus.”
Clayborn emphasized that all of the programs are open to everyone in the UK and in the greater Lexington Community.
The Womxn’s History Month celebration will kick off at 11 a.m. Monday, March 6, with pop-up booths across campus. The UK community is invited to stop by, take a selfie and pick up cupcakes, cookies, cuties, and Womxn’s Herstory Month swag (buttons, stickers, etc.).
On International Women’s Day on March 8, the community is invited to attend the Prominent Women in Islam event with speaker Ustadha Lobna Mulla at 6 p.m. at the MLK Center, to learn the significance and importance of the hijab and why it matters so much to the women who wear it. This event is not only a part of the Womxn’s History Month celebration but is also a part of the UK’s Islamic Awareness Week, hosted by the UK’s Muslim Student Association. This, like all events, are open to the community to learn and engage in intercultural exchange.
The community is also invited to attend the Womxn’s History Month keynote address with Lynae Vanee at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 23, in the Gatton Student Center Ballroom AB. Vanee, an NAACP Image Award nominee, is a multifaceted poet, producer, and director who will speak on the importance of liberating women. A graduate of Spelman College and Boston University, Vanee uses her digital platforms to speak on race, feminism, politics, and inclusivity. Her address will be followed by a moderated discussion with Kishonna Gray, Ph.D., UK associate professor in writing, rhetoric, and digital studies and Africana studies.
The MLK Center will close out the month with the annual Coretta Scott King Celebration and Awards Dinner, where campus champions will be recognized through the Sisters Inspiring Sisters (SIS) Awards. The SIS Awards will recognize a graduate and undergraduate student and a staff and faculty member who have demonstrated commitment, sisterhood, and service to other women on campus and beyond.
For a full list of Women’s History Month events throughout March, see below.
El Mes de la Historia de las Mujeres!
Learn what it means to be a woman in Latin America and the different advances that are being made to gain equal rights for women. The meeting will be in Spanglish (a mix of Spanish and English). If you do not feel comfortable speaking Spanish, you are more than welcome to speak in English. Hay Que Hablar tries to be as inclusive as possible.
- 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, March 1 | Lewis Honors College, room U134
- Hosted by Hay Que Hablar.
135 Years of UK Women Anniversary Luncheon
The UK Alumni Association is celebrating the 135th anniversary of the first female graduate in the UK, Belle C. Gunn. This is a private event; pre-registration is required: https://www.ukalumni.net/s/event/a4k5G000000UUYbQAO/135-years-of-uk-women-luncheon-students.
- Noon-2 p.m. Thursday, March 2 | Gatton Student Center, Harris Ballroom
Womxn’s HERStory Month pop-ups
- 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday, March 6
- MLK Cultural Center | Gatton Student Center A230
- White Hall Classroom Building
- Jacobs Science Building
- Lewis Honors College Scholars Lounge
- Center for Graduate & Professional Diversity Initiatives (Kentucky Clinic location)
- The Office of China Initiatives Lounge
“The Edge of Each Other’s Battles: The Vision of Audre Lorde”
This powerful documentary is a tribute to Black lesbian feminist poet Audre Lorde (1934-1992). One of the most celebrated icons of feminism’s second wave, Lorde inspired several generations of activists with her riveting poetry, serving as a catalyst for change and uniting the communities of which she was a part.
- 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 7 | Donovan Hall, room 001
- Hosted by Lewis Honors College.
Sister Circle: Real Relationships
The second installment of this discussion will focus on healthy relationships.
- 4:30-6 p.m. Tuesday, March 7 | Worsham Cinema, Gatton Student Center
A History of Empowerment
Learn how women have shaped global society in music, politics, and art, and how they have contributed to ensuring that our society continues to prosper.
- 6:10-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 7 | MLK Center
- Hosted by the OZ Chapter of Sigma Lambda Gamma and BIILS: Brotherhood, Inclusivity, Integrity, Leadership, Service
Hijab Try-On and Give-Away
Women in Islam tabling where participants will receive hijabs, learn how to wear one, and learn the differences between Burkas, hijabs, and other headwear across Islam.
- 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday, March 8 | MLK Center
- Hosted by the Muslim Student Association.
Prominent Women in Islam
Learn the significance and importance of the hijab and why it matters so much to the women who wear it. All are welcome to join the conversation.
- 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 8 | MLK Center
- Hosted by the Muslim Student Association and the MLK Center.
Leading Ladies Trivia
Come out and play with the Butterflies of AO and learn more about the trailblazing women in our world.
- 5-6 p.m. Wednesday, March 22 | White Hall Classroom Building, room 110
- Hosted by the Alpha Omicron Chapter of Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority, Inc.
An Evening with Lynae Vanee: Women’s History Month keynote speaker
- 6-7 p.m. Thursday, March 23 | Gatton Student Center, Ballroom AB
- Register here.
- Cosponsored by the Office of LGBTQ* Resources; The Center for Graduate & Professional Diversity Initiatives; Department of Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies; Department of African American & Africana Studies; Underground Perspectives; The Office for Off-Campus & Commuter Students and the Office for Community Engagement.
Outside the Margins: The Health Gap: Gender Equity, Bias, and Everyday Sexism
One in five women says they have felt that a health care provider has ignored or dismissed their symptoms, and 17% say they feel they have been treated differently because of their gender — compared with 14% and 6% of men, respectively. Stereotypes about gender affect how doctors treat illnesses and approach their patients and fuel a lack of inclusivity in research studies. Gender bias can also impact female healthcare providers professionally, leading to fewer women in leadership in academic medicine. Join a panel of UK faculty and UK HealthCare providers as they explore gender bias and what organizations can do to support patients and providers.
- Noon-1 p.m. Tuesday, March 27 | webinar on Zoom.
- Register here.
- Hosted by the College of Medicine Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, the Martin Luther King Center, and Hues in Medicine.
The Coretta Scott King Womxn’s Herstory Month Awards & Celebration Dinner
The event will celebrate highlight and honor members of the campus community who actively embody the work and legacy of Coretta Scott King through their leadership and community engagement efforts, particularly for women of color.
- 5-7 p.m. Friday, March 28 | Gatton Student Center, Harris Ballroom
- Register here or nominate someone for the SIS Awards (the deadline to nominate is March 20).
- Hosted by the Martin Luther King Center
Sarah Bennett Holmes Luncheon
Sarah Bennett Holmes, a distinguished former dean of women at the UK, tirelessly championed the rights of women throughout her career. The annual Sarah Bennett Holmes Awards have been bestowed upon UK employees who have achieved professional and personal success while promoting the growth and well-being of all women in the UK and beyond.
- 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, March 29 | Gatton Student Center, Grand Ballroom
- Hosted by the UK Women’s Forum.
- Contact email@example.com for more information.
For questions about Women’s History Month events, contact González Jiménez at firstname.lastname@example.org. The campus community can further connect to the MLK Center by joining the weekly email listserv, visiting the MLK Center webpage, or following them on Instagram @UK_MLKCenter.
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