March is National Women’s History Month, but since women are pretty historic year-round, it begs the question: Why March? Is this month significant to women’s history, or is it just an arbitrary month on the calendar?
The answer involves a little bit of history and a little bit of coincidence.
From day to week to month
Women’s History Month, which is observed in the US, UK and Australia in March, and in October in Canada, began with a single day. International Women’s Day is March 8, and it has been observed in some shape or form since 1911. It was officially commemorated by the United Nations in 1975 and was officially recognized by the UN two years later.
In the 1970’s, local groups and municipalities began celebrating Women’s History Week. According to the National Women’s History Museum, one of the most notable celebrations was organized in Santa Rosa, California, by the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women in 1978.
The movement was so popular, people began lobbying for a more formal observance, and in 1980, President Jimmy Carter designated the first official National Women’s History Week, beginning on March 8 of that year.
Schools, universities and local governments came to realize that this period of time allowed them to not only celebrate the achievements of women, but look critically at equality and opportunities for women, and educate people on women’s history. It was only a matter of time before the week became a month.
Congratulations to two of our students, Gabriela Robles (Class CCR-A) and Ana Condo (Class 3P, pictured above), who graduated from the hospitality training offered by ROC-NY (Restaurant Opportunity Center – New York)! This was an intensive two-week service industry training completely in English.
This is Ana’s testimony after completing the training: “This training was intense with a lot homework, and it took so much effort. So many times I was considering quitting this training but my teachers never left me and raised me again and again. Now I appreciate it so much. And without a doubt the message of my kids confirms the pride and love they feel for me and that fills me with energy to move forward and feel proud of being a student of University Settlement Society of New York. Thank you so much.”
And this is Gabriela’s testimony: “This training gave me the opportunity to learn hospitality, organization and leadership skills that I will carry with me and I will use them in any professional setting.Seeing my certificate makes me realize my potential. I feel motivated.”
These safety resources, created in collaboration with experts from the Center for Anti-Violence Education, teach targeted individuals how to de-escalate threatening situations and defend themselves in the event of anti-Asian violence. The flyers in 5 Asian languages offer strategies to help individuals safely intervene if they see someone being targeted or to use verbal and/or physical methods to safely exit a threatening situation. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD FREE!
This is a short film exploring the identities and stories of University Settlement community members studying English as a second language in the Adult Literacy Program accompanied by music and dance. The film is a culmination of a month-long teaching artist residency with four different Adult Literacy classes. “What Matters to Us” is a virtual reimagination and application of Creative Traffic Flow’s project, Duets of Difference. In this time of heightened xenophobia and political intolerance, The Duets of Difference project explores how people from different communities with different life experiences can connect in their differences. Students in the Adult Literacy program represent many different ages, ethnicities, and experiences. There were at least 11 different languages spoken amongst the class. “What Matters to Us” explores differences in family, relationships, and how to communicate as an English Language Learner.
This week our students took part in an advocacy campaign for increased state funding for adult literacy programs. Our students met with Alex Flood from Assemblymember Patricia Fahy’s office and Patrick Cronin from Senator Daphne Jordan’s office and talked about what effect their classes have had on their lives. Screenshots from the meetings are above.
Additionally many of our students made short videos to be share on social media talking about the important of their English classes – watch one example below or visit us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to watch more.