Emory Report

March 6, 2000

 Volume 52, No. 24

'The Women We Came From': Women's History Month 2000

By Peter Mills

This year's theme for Women's History Month will be "The Women We Come From" and will be keynoted by renowned activist and Cherokee Chief Wilma Mankiller, who will speak March 29 in Cannon Chapel.

"The celebration, which has become one of the most interdisciplinary series of events at Emory, is designed to honor the many women who are our role models, who give us the inspiration to move forward in the footsteps they forged," said Women's Center Director Ali Crown.

Mankiller-the name is a translation of an old Cherokee military title, given to a person who guarded a Cherokee village-is the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, a position she has held since 1985.

The Cherokees have a somewhat unique foundation for gender equity, one which Mankiller is eager to share. "Contrary to what you've read in history books, not all tribes were controlled by men," she said. "Progressive and with a tradition of matriarchy in which women chose and educated the young men who would become leaders, the Cherokees lost track of that balance between the sexes when they adopted values of the American culture at large."

The month-long celebration will feature more than 30 other events. Highlights include:

"Where We Come From: A Presentation Celebrating Emory Dance Faculty, Students and Alums." Carlos Museum, March 9.

"Three Art-Song Composers of the Early Romantic Era," a lecture-recital featuring the works of Clara Wieck Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel and Josphine Lang, with soprano Bonnie Pomfret of the music department. Cannon Chapel, March 24.

"Cabbagetown: 3 Women," a play inspired by Brenda Bynum of theater studies and adapted by Cary Bynum, will be revived after 10 years for two performances. Mary Gray Munroe Theater, March 25 (tickets required).

A national teleconference for women in higher education featuring Johnnetta Cole, Presidential Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Women's Studies. The March 29 event will be transmitted from the University of Minnesota to the Jones Room in Woodruff Library.

Another highlight will be a documentary film exhibition and talk by Suzie Galler titled "I Am Beautiful."

Four years ago, Galler began to travel across the country to talk to women of diverse backgrounds to ask the question, "Why are you beautiful?" The responses were compiled into a book entitled: I Am Beautiful: A Celebration of Women in Their Own Words. Galler will pose the same question on March 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Winship Ballroom.

For more information or for a full schedule of Women's History Month activities, call the Women's Center at 404-727-2000 or send e-mail to astarkm@emory.edu.

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