Meridian Township celebrates womanhood in light of Women's History Month

By Erica Marra
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

March marks Women’s History Month, and the Meridian Township Communications Department is taking full advantage of the opportunity to educate community members about females and their accomplishments of both the past and present. Andrea Smiley, administrative assistant for the Meridian Township Communications Department, said that the township used a variety of methods to celebrate womanhood with community members. “We have shown the importance of Women’s History Month in many ways including sharing on social media, such as Meridian Township’s Facebook page, our HOMTV & Township eNewsletters, an intern story which airs on our government access channel HOMTV 21, and an interview that showcased female athletes, which also aired on HOMTV 21 in our sports show, ‘All Access’,” Smiley said. According to the United States Census Bureau, Women’s History Month first began on March 8, 1857, when female factory workers in New York City staged a protest over poor working conditions. Formally recognized as just one week, it was not until 1987 that the United States’ Congress formally recognized Women’s History Month as the full month of March.

LCC hosts discussion supporting women’s rights

In recognition of women’s history month, two Lansing Community College professors hosted a discussion based upon the HBO documentary “Iron Jawed Angels.”

The viewing took place Tuesday, March 11 in LCC’s library, where a Women’s History Month Display can be found in the atrium until March 31.  The film provided insight into the persistence of women like Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, played by Hilary Swank and Frances O’Connor respectively, during the long and much-resisted suffragette movement. History professor Anne Heutsche, who co-hosted the event with department colleague Jeff Janowick, said that providing such events is important to her because she feels that there is still quite a bit of work to be done to raise awareness about women’s rights. “This is a compelling [and] crucial part of our history, and I would argue that most people do not know of this history,” she said.  “We are standing on the backs of our foremothers without really acknowledging their contributions to the struggle of equality.”

According to Heutsche, these events help students look at issues from a broader perspective. LCC library liaison Lidiya Grote said that along with women’s history events, the library also features displays on Native American history, Black history and more. “Diversity events are important because we do live in a global society,” Grote said.