March begins Women’s Awareness Month

Women’s Awareness Month (WAM) kicked off on Monday, March 1 and marks the beginning of a series of events throughout the month that celebrate women.

During the month of March, WAM sponsors student-led events that, according to the , are aimed at the, “recognition of women’s achievements and concerns by bringing the role models to campus and addressing issues in our community and society at large.”

“[WAM is an] important endeavor that shows an opportunity for women to get together to try and address issues and raise awareness to women’s issues in general,” said Colleen Riggle, the director of the Women’s Resource Center.

The kickoff event on March 1 included guest speaker Heather Maggs, from Girls Fight Back, an organization that is devoted to teaching self-defense to women and giving them the ability to protect themselves.

On March 6, WAM is organizing the Women’s Day of Service where women can come together to give back to the Atlanta community. There are a total of ten different volunteer projects offered, examples include making lunch for a shelter program in the Salvation Army, cleaning and maintaining Chastain Park and organizing books at the Buckhead Library.

“Women’s Day of Service is a day where female students, faculty, and staff from all across the Georgia Tech campus come together to foster growth in the Atlanta area through volunteering. The event’s aims are twofold in the sense that we are not only working to form camaraderie but also we are working towards causes we believe in and are making a lasting impact. We are volunteering with 10 different organizations and have almost 100 volunteers this year,” said Piyasa Paul, second-year Mgt and Women’s Day of Service chair.

The play, , will be performed at the Ferst Center for the Arts on at 7 p.m. on March 7.

The play is being presented in conjunction with the Office of Diversity Programs and addresses many difficult aspects of life that African American women face in life in America.

WAM’s signature event, Take Back the Night, will take place March 9 at the Campanile. Take Back the Night aims to educate and bring awareness to the Tech community about sexual violence and the night features a remembrance candle light vigil for victims of sexual assault.

During the vigil, victims are invited to share their stories and provide information on resources for women that have experienced sexual assault.

“Sexual violence is a crime that effects everyone and yet, it is still the most under reported crime in the US. Sexual assault victims are our brothers, sisters, fathers, daughters, mothers, sons, and friends. Rape is considered a ‘crime of silence’ and it is my personal mission for this to change. I hope that by hosting Take Back the Night annually, that no one will ever be afraid to tell their story on Tech’s campus….,” said Kelsey Tucker third-year Psych and Take Back the Night event chair.

Another historically popular WAM event is the Red Dress Fashion Show. This year, the event will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Student Center Ballroom. The fashion show features Tech women modeling red dresses and benefits the American Heart Association. The event focuses on informing people about cardiac care, which is especially important to women because it is their leading cause of death.

“Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States and hopefully through events like the Red Dress Fashion Show, we can spread awareness so women can begin to take as many precautionary steps as possible and fight back against heart disease,” said Sarah Walker, third-year PubP and chair of the Red Dress Fashion Show.

WAM and the School of History, Science and Technology are working together to bring the WAM keynote speaker, Mab Segrest, to the Clary Theatre on March 18. Segrest is a feminist writer and activist.

WAM will wrap up it’s the month of events with a presentation entitled, “Multicultural Diversity.” According to the WAM website the event focuses on, “Exploring the Relativity of ‘Normal’…. Just like race and gender are a critical part of understanding the multicultural world we live, disability is equally significant.”