Notable women from FAMU, FSU to share inspiring stories

Leroy Collins Leon County Public Library

Seven female community leaders will read short passages from inspiring women authors in honor of Women's History Month.

The speakers include: Kristine Harper, a history professor at Florida State University; Anasa Hicks an associate professor of Caribbean history at FSU; Genyne Boston the associate provost for faculty affairs and development at FAMU; Melanie Abrams, an Instructor for the Department of English and Modern languages at FAMU; Sandra Varry, the University Archivist at FSU; and  Maxine Jones, a history professor at FSU.

The event will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 22, at the Leroy Collins Leon County Public Library. Every February the library hosts an African-American read-in to celebrate Black history Month and now it is hosting readings to celebrate Women's History Month.

 "I thought we could tie-in to that crowd and hopefully have people come out the way they did for the African-American read-in," said Mallary Rawls, the library’s youth services information professional. "The majority of the women that are speaking are professors at either FAMU or FSU so hopefully they can come out inspire people and let them know that anybody can do this.”

Justin Smith, a business administration student at FAMU, believes the event has the potential to inspire.

“I think this event will increase aspirations for Black women to be able to inspire others,” Smith said.  “I am glad that the community is doing its part as a whole to recognize women.”

One person in particular, Meg Baldwin, the executive director of Refuge House which is the domestic and sexual violence center serving the eight-county Big Bend area, is another guest speaker who Rawls hopes will be an inspiration. "I know that they do really great things in the community so I wanted to reach out and see if she could come and she was able to."

Although the event is for recognizing women's history and their motivating contributions to society, Rawls hopes to inspire men and women at this event.

"This event is for everyone," said Rawls "it’s for them to just hear inspirational stories that they may not have heard before or and know that women also have a voice."

A photo booth and props will be available for anyone who would like to dress up as Influential women like Ruth Bader Ginsburg who is the associate justice of the Supreme Court and Frida Khalo, who was the Mexican artist known for her portraits after surviving a nearly fatal bus accident.

 “I would love to hear advice from these women about finding the right profession where I can see myself working there for the next 10 years,” Smith said.

 “I hope that hearing these stories will help me learn how to maintain a career over a long period of time despite adversity.”