FAMU needed to do better during Women’s History Month

Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) campus, is filled with hard-working women who are constantly striving to make our illustrious campus a better place. Whether they are a part of the custodial staff or one of the associate deans, FAMU women are a staple in what helps makes this university run.

I have disheartened the lack of campus events celebrating Women’s History Month. I expected more events, panels, and discussions so I could learn more about the women in the community who are breaking barriers and changing the status quo. I’m not saying that I relied solely on FAMU to get me excited about Women’s History Month, but I was excited to see how the university was going to celebrate.

That it is not to say the university did absolutely nothing for Women’s History Month. The Meek Eaton Black Archives hosted a movie night showing “Hidden Figures” and a held a female faculty showcase and panel on March 1st. First Lady Sharon Robinson hosted  “Sound the Alarm: Empowering Women Through Healthy Life Choices” on Fri., Mar. 23. Individual organizations have also hosted events to celebrate the month.

Not only do women help run this campus but they also fill seats in the classroom. According to the U.S. News and World Report website, it was reported in 2016 than 63 percent of the college student population were women.

Freshman Pharmacy student Jehnae Thomas is inspired by women that use their voice for a purpose. She feels that black women are worth celebrating

“It is important to celebrate Women's History Month because at one point women weren't allowed to go out and vote and have a voice”, Thomas said. “It is especially important for African American Women because we were not seen as equal to men.”

Being at a historically black college or university (HBCU) is also something that is not lost on me. Historically, black women have always been undermined, underrepresented and underestimated. Yet, despite the odds stacked against us, we have still continued to bloom. Seeing black women show up and show out worldwide always makes me smile.

In February, screenwriter and director Dee Rees made history as the first African American woman to be nominated for Writing (Adapted Screenplay) at the Academy Awards. In January, Keisha Lance Bottoms was sworn in as the mayor of Atlanta, the second woman to ever do so. Though these women have completely different lives, they both share orange and green blood as FAMU alumnae.

This month is not just about remembering how far we have come, it is important to remember how far we have to go. According to a 2016 study by the U.S. Census Bureau, black women in the United States who work full time, year-round are typically paid just 63 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.

Statistics like these are why we should celebrate the victories of women, no matter how big or small. When someone acknowledges how they were able to get through the hardships of life, they more than likely credit a woman who helped them strive. The phenomenal Maya Angelou once said, ”How important it celebrates our heroes and sheroes”. I could not agree more because, let’s face it, girls run the world.