Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

Woman up! Westfield State celebrates Woman’s HerStory Month

 Westfield State University’s Department of Diversity/Inclusion, and Student Activities will hold a month-long celebration of events as part of its annual Month Celebrating Women calendar.

For nearly 30 years, Westfield State has held events dedicated towards awareness and celebration of women’s rights and issues involving women globally. What started off as a week-long celebration organized around International Women’s Day (March 8th) is now a month-long tribute complete with guest speakers and film screenings. The month is organized by the department of Diversity/Inclusion and Student Activities alongside faculty and staff.

The goal of Women’s HerStory Month is to bring awareness to issues surrounding women all over the world offering events that are meant to be both educational and enjoyable.

“Diversity/Inclusion & Student Activities is honored to continue the tradition of highlighting the voices, experiences, and contributions of women,” said Lizette Rivera, director of diversity/inclusion, and student activities. “We choose to quote Malala Yousafzai as a theme for this year’s celebration.  ‘We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.’”

This year’s events are:

Monday, March 7- The university will hold a speed networking night with professional women in higher education and leadership positions from 4-5:30 p.m. in Scanlon Banquet Hall.

Tuesday, March 8- Photographer and journalist Diana Mara Henry will give her lecture “Power of the Lens: How movements and media change us,” which explores how media images inspire change from women to civil rights. The event will be held from 12:45-2 p.m. in the Ely Campus Center TV Studio.

Wednesday, March 9- Women who have been incarcerated will read their poetry and creative work from 2-5 p.m. in the Owl’s Nest in the Ely Campus Center. The event is part of the “Voices from Inside” initiative and a Q&A session will follow the performances.

Thursday, March 10-Professor Shoba Rajgopal will present a screening of the film “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry,” an account of the women’s liberation movement of the late 1960’s. The screening will be held at 4 p.m. in the Owl’s Nest.

Monday, March 21- The Multicultural Student Association (MSA) presents “HER Voice,” an opportunity for women who have made an impact on campus to share poetry, video, song, and other means of media at 7 p.m. in the Owl’s Nest.

Tuesday, March 22- Spoken word artist Katie Wirsing, whose work has been featured on college campuses around the country, NPR, and the BBC, will perform at 7 p.m. in the Owl’s Nest.

Friday, March 25- The English department will hold a “Cross-Cultural Literature Symposium” aimed at providing professional-level experience and a broader exposure to world literature, postcolonial, and gender studies for students. The symposium will be held from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. in Scanlon Banquet Hall B and C.

Monday, March 28-Lawrence Watson of Berklee College of Music, will give his presentation “Still on the Journey: A Celebration of women in the civil and human rights struggle from Mary to Ida to Beyonce.” The presentation will show how music teaches us about history and life. The event will be held from 6-8 p.m. in the Owl’s Nest.

All of the events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit  or call Lizette Rivera at (413) 572-5442.


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