International Women’s Day is a global holiday that celebrates what? You guessed it. WOMEN! This significant holiday was created in 1911 and is celebrated faithfully every year on March 8th. This day is set aside to not only address social issues regarding women, but to uplift and empower them all over the world.
The history of International Women’s Day dates back to the 1900s. It was originally initiated in 1908 to shine a light on women’s oppression and equality. This holiday was utilized as a tool to create conversation around the issues deemed unfair and unjust. According to the website www.internationalwomensday.com, “In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman’s Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on February 28th.”
In 1911, NWD’s name was officially changed to International Women’s Day (IWD) but throughout the years, IWD lost its value and call to action. Many pushed it to the side. According to the website, “The world had moved on and in many spheres feminism wasn’t a popular topic. Something was needed to re-ignite International Women’s Day giving it the respect it deserves and to raise awareness amongst the masses. There was urgent work to do, battles had not been won and gender parity still had not been achieved.” However, the new millennium made it a priority to re-establish and revamp the global holiday to ensure that it’s core values and principles of establishment were displayed and honored.
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day, was #ChooseToChallenge. The chosen theme was selected to call out the inequality and gender bias shown towards women. As we, The Campus Chronicle, celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day, we will highlight a few women who have graced Alcorn State University’s (ASU) campus and have gone on to be influential women within many communities. These women range from judges, doctors, military personnel, etc.
The first woman to celebrate is alumna, Judge Lillie Blackmon-Sanders. Sanders is a judge for the Sixth Judicial District of Mississippi, which serves Adams, Amite, Franklin, and Wilkinson Counties. Judge Sanders is the first female Circuit Judge in the state of Mississippi. She is also a devoted mother and wife and an active member of the Zeta Delta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Sorority, Incorporated.
The second influential alumna is Dr. Jacqueline Walters. Dr. Walters is a philanthropist, health expert, women’s advocate, and award-winning OBGYN. She is a two-time Breast Cancer survivor which sparked her passion to start the 50 Shades of Pink Foundation, which is a foundation that strives to treat the inner and outer beauty of Breast Cancer survivors.
The last inspiring alumna is Mar’Kaja Ramirez. During Ramirez’s Senior year she served as the first female drum major for the Sounds of Dyn-O-mite Marching Band. Post-graduation, she served as an active member of the Gamma Phi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and the Theta Gamma Chapter of Tau Beta Sigma Sorority, Incorporated. She currently is enlisted in the United States’ Army where she is a 2020 Basic Training graduate and is currently working towards her Radiology Technician certification.
We appreciate and love all of our influential women who have and continue to make a lasting impact in our communities.