Women’s History Month

This year, BGSU will celebrate Women’s History Month with the theme “Tackling Injustice: Sports as an Arena of Social Change.” The Women’s Center and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, along with a number of campus departments and organizations, have created a slate of programming that explores the role of athletics — and athletes — in positive social change.

Numerous special events throughout the month of March are designed to inspire audiences to recognize and celebrate women who have challenged injustice both on and off “the field.” All events are free and open to the public.

The first of the two keynote events is “The Toledo Troopers: An Evening with the Winningest Team in Pro-Football History,” featuring the remarkably diverse team of northwest Ohio women who overcame sexism and skepticism to accumulate the best win-loss record in professional football history, in a time before Title IX.

Moderated by Tamara Jarrett, executive director of the Women’s Football Foundation, an all-star panel of Toledo Troopers — Linda Jefferson, Verna Henderson, Olivia Flores, Gloria Jimenez, Terry May, Eunice White and Mitchi Collette — escorted by current BGSU Falcon football players, will share their stories and memories.

The event begins at 7 p.m. March 23 in 202B Bowen-Thompson Student Union.

The second keynote presentation, on March 28, will explore “Women’s Empowerment Through Sport and Exercise: Rhetoric or Reality?”

Dr. Pirkko Markula, a physical education and recreation faculty member at the University of Alberta (Canada) and a scholar specializing in socio-cultural studies of physical activity, will discuss her research on feminist empowerment rhetoric, and what terms such as “empowerment,” “choice” and “liberation” mean for today’s female athletes and physically active women. Her presentation is also the keynote address for annual Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Research Symposium.

It begins at 2 p.m. March 28 in 308 Bowen-Thompson Student Union.

Also from the University of Alberta, Dr. Jim Denison, another prolific and highly respected sport sociologist, will take part in a Sport and Social Justice panel on “Race, Religion, and Social Justice in Sport,” from 1-2:15 p.m. March 31 in 207 Union. Also on the panel, from BGSU, are Dr. Dafina-Lazarus Stewart, higher education and student affairs; and Dr. Nancy Spencer, School of Human Movement, Sport and Leisure Studies.

Denison will be on campus along with other internationally recognized scholars and BGSU faculty from a variety of disciplines committed to social justice to participate in the Social Justice through Sport and Exercise Psychology Symposium April 1-2 in 201 Union. The guest faculty will give talks and visit classes and student groups the week of March 28-April 1.

Among the topics of the symposium are “Sport and the Construction of Gendered Identities” and “Social Justice in Sport: LGBT Inclusion.”

Supporting Women’s History Month 2016 are BGSU Athletics, Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President; Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs; College of Arts and Sciences; College of Education and Human Development; School of Cultural and Critical Studies, School of Human Movement, Sport and Leisure Studies; School of Media and Communication; Graduate Student Senate; Graduate Women’s Caucus, and We Are One Team (WA1T).