Bay State College Celebrates Women's History Month
Women's History Month - March 1st through March 31st - celebrates the vital role of women in American history and around the world. The month-long celebration started in 1981 when "Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as Women's History Week," according to the Women's History Month website. This changed from Women's History Week to month in 1987 by the National Women's History Project and as a result, Congress passed Pub L. 100-9, which named March Women's History Month.
Bay State College is celebrating Women's History Month by recognizing the contributions of powerful and influential women.
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg "RGB" (March 15, 1933 - September 18, 2020)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg served as the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1993 through her untimely death in 2020. Ginsburg was the first Jewish woman and the second woman to serve on the Court, who dedicated much of her legal career as an advocate for gender equality and women's rights. According to Women's History, she "was also a voice of dissent to the court's decision in the Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. case, denying a woman's gender pay discrimination claim." Gaining attention in popular culture, she was nicknamed "The Notorious R.G.B." and fully embraced her celebrity status; her influence on the legal system and legacy will carry on for decades to come.
- Laverne Cox (May 29, 1972)
Laverne Cox is an American actress and LGBTQ+ advocate best known for her role as Sophia on the Netflix series Orange is the New Black. Her performance on the show garnered praise and became the first openly transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award. She was honored by GLAAD by being presented with their Stephen F. Kolzak Award for her outstanding efforts as an advocate for the transgender community in 2014 and went on to become the first openly transgender person to appear on the cover of Time magazine. Cox continues to use her platform to help pave the way for the LGBTQ+ community in the film industry and beyond.
- Whitney Houston (August 9, 1963 - February 11, 2012)
Whitney Houston was an American singer and actress who is one of the most awarded female artists of all time, with over 200 million records sold worldwide. Certified by the Guinness World Records, they named her the most awarded female artists of all time. Outside of her booming singing and acting career, Houston founded The Whitney Houston Foundation for Children, a nonprofit organization that raised funds for children in need. The organization aimed at support children with cancer and AIDS, homelessness, and self-empowerment. Considered by many to be a "singer's singer," Houston had huge influence on the music industry and other artists and has continued to do so even after her death.
- Katherine Switzer (January 5, 1947)
Katherine Switzer is an American marathon runner, author, and television commentator who is best known as becoming the first woman to run the Boston Marathon as an officially registered competitor in 1967. Originally considered a "men's only race," Katherine was continually physically assaulted by men who attempted to stop her attempts of running. A photo from the incident garnered great attention and was named one of Time-Life's "100 Photos that Changed the World," per her website. While it took five more years to allow women to register, her courage helped pave the way for women to participate in the Boston Marathon.
Learn more about Women's History Month here.