A performance by singer and activist Faith Nolan is the keynote event in commemoration of International Women’s Day on the Hobart and William Smith Colleges campus.
February 25, 2003 GENEVA, N.Y.—International Women’s Day will be celebrated on the Hobart and William Smith Colleges campus on Monday, March 3, with a rally, dinner and performance by singer, song writer and guitarist Faith Nolan. A Women’s Day rally will be held at 11:50 a.m. front of Coxe Hall. Evening activities will begin with dinner at 6 p.m. in the atrium of the Warren Hunting Smith Library, followed by a performance by Nolan at 7 p.m. in the library atrium.
Nolan’s commitment to social justice comes from her life experiences and the people with whom she grew up. Nolan was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her family and relatives were coal miners in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. She later grew up in Toronto’s working-class Cabbagetown. Her music is her political work, a politics firmly rooted in her being a working class woman of African Canadian descent, as well as a lesbian.
Nolan's compositions are strongly rooted in the cultural language of Black North American music: spirituals, gospel, jazz and blues. She hopes her music brings about social change for a fairer and better world, dealing with issues including African Canadian history and heritage, feminism, workers’ issues and children’s rights.
International Women’s Day, observed March 8, is an occasion marked by women’s groups around the world, commemorated at the United Nations and designated in many countries as a national holiday, to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of women’s rights. The date March 8 came about in 1917 when Russian women chose the last Sunday in February to strike for bread and peace. The Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. The day was Feb. 23 on the Julian calendar then in use in Russia, but March 8 on the Gregorian calendar in use elsewhere.