HWS Observes International Women’s Day – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

HWS Observes International Women’s Day

HWS students and Geneva community members came together in solidarity throughout the week of March 8 to celebrate International Women’s Day and to commemorate the movement of women’s rights. Members of HWS Girl Up, the Office of Intercultural Affairs and the Geneva Women’s Assembly sponsored events throughout the week both on campus and in the community.

“The International Women’s Strike is all about building solidarity across history, geography and the diversity of women’s struggles, so it was incredibly moving to see HWS students, FLCC students and faculty, Geneva High School students, and women from across the Finger Lakes coming together on March 8,” says Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric Hannah Dickinson. “As women of all ages and backgrounds gave speeches, shared poems, created collages, or hung objects on the art installation, it was so clear that even our most personal experiences are a product of our collective social conditions and demand a collective response. For at least a few hours, we got to experience what it would be like for women’s invisible and unwaged work to be recognized and for a whole community to have our backs.”

On March 6 a feminist teach-in took place in the Fisher Center. Participants had the chance to read, view and discuss artifacts that depict women’s contributions to political struggles from the past century.

On March 7, HWS students joined the Geneva community at “The Night Before the Strike Party” at FLX Live to make posters for a demonstration on Thursday.

During the official International Women’s Day on March 8, members of the HWS community met on the Quad to watch music performances by Hannah Wood ’18 and Alexis Noelani Martinez ’21. At FLX Live, women at the event contributed photographs, art and objects that represented their work to make a community art piece. Women also shared stories about their experiences and described why they decided to strike. Throughout the day, students volunteered to provide free childcare for striking families and El Morro donated food.

Nhung Nguyen ’19 shared her reasons for participating. “I strike to remind others of all the women who don’t have the privilege to strike,” she reflected. “I strike for Asian women whose bodies became a warzone. I strike because I come from a long line of resilient women.”

To view speeches made on the day of the event, visit the Geneva Women’s Assembly Facebook page.

On Thursday evening, women from both the Geneva and HWS community came together to listen and reflect on the experiences of Asian and Asian-American women during “So, WHERE Are You From?” an event sponsored by HWS Girl Up and the Office of Intercultural Affairs in the Faculty Dining Room.

“International Women’s Day is about recognizing the importance of the connection among women’s rights all around the world,” says Ren Workman ’18, president of HWS Girl Up. “Our event hopes to bring forward these crucial voices and allow for community conversation on intersectional feminism.”

“International Women’s Day is the one day when female-identifying individuals from all over the globe come together to look back at what’s been accomplished and review the present to reflect on what still needs to be done to improve their condition worldwide,” says Director of Intercultural Affairs Alejandra Molina. “Our students, like in years past, joined this global chorus.”