March is Women's History Month

illustration of women looking left in profile

Celebrating Women and Nonbinary Persons 

Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.” Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as “Women’s History Week.” In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.” These proclamations celebrate the contributions women and nonbinary persons have made to the United States and recognize the specific achievements they have made over the course of American history in a variety of fields.

Learn about UMass trailblazers and their groundbreaking work.

Women and Non-Binary Persons Focused Events

Becoming You - How to Navigate Hope and Sacrifice to Become Your Most True Self

March 3, 2024, 7:30 pm
ILC S331

Black Feminisms Lecture Series: Mary Pena, Black Feminist Sensory Ethnography and Material Afterlives in Puerto Plata

March 6, 2024, 5:30 pm
South College W245

Author Meets Readers Panel on Equity for Women in Science: Dismantling Systemic Barriers

March 5, 2024, 11:30 am
Lederle, Room A112

Conversations with Women of UMass

March 21, 2024, 5:30 pm
UMass Club, Boston

An Evening with Alok

March 25, 2024, 7:00 pm
Student Union Ballroom

Whales, Candy, Insects & Jellyfish: Three Writers Speculating on Environmental Crisis

March 27, 2024, 6:00 pm
Science and Engineering Library

Trans and Nonbinary Resilience, Resistance, and Self-Reliance

March 28, 2024, 7:30 pm via Zoom

UMass Women into Leadership Fireside Chat: Public Service Leadership

Friday, March 29, 2024, 4:00 – 5:15 PM
Great Hall, 2nd floor, Old Chapel
Register to attend.

Exhibitions & Performances

As We Move Forward, Curated by Juana Valdes and Nhadya Lawes
ON VIEW: February 7 - May 10, 2024
Augusta Savage Gallery

As We Move Forward honors the work and legacy of American sculptor and educator Augusta Savage (1892-1962), who paved the way for future generations of Black artists. Co-curators Juana Valdes and Nhadya Lawes have chosen the works of seventeen BIPOC women artists from Savage’s home state of Florida. The exhibition combines printmaking, photography, sculpture, architecture, ceramics, and other mixed media to create a space of celebration and growth for these emerging artists.

BREACH: LOGBOOK 24 | STACCATO by Courtney M. Leonard

ON VIEW: February 22 – May 10 and Sept 19 – Dec 6, 2024
University Museum of Contemporary Art

The artist Courtney M. Leonard, a citizen of the Shinnecock Nation of Long Island, explores marine biology, Indigenous food sovereignty, migration, and human environmental impact through visual logbooks that investigate the multiple definitions of the term "breach.”

FABRICATIONS and DREAMS by Cynthia Guild, Hampden Gallery

ON VIEW: March 4, - April 15, 2024
Hampden Gallery

FABRICATIONS and DREAMS juxtaposes two series of oil paintings and drawings. In one body of work, Guild presents industrial mechanical imagery representing logic. In the second body of work, she depicts dreamy, snowy alpine scenes of nature that represent escape and reverie.

Guest Artist Concert: Seychelle Dunn-Corbin, Baritone Saxophone

March 28, 2024, 7:30 pm
Bezanson Recital Hall

Guest Artist Concert: Claudia Anderson, Flute

March 31, 2024, 7:30 pm
Bromery Center for the Arts

Suggested Readings

The following is a list of suggested books to celebrate Women's History Month, and is by no means an exhaustive list. You can also peruse Random House's list for the Women's History Month reading challenge. Would you like us to make an addition? Contact us and let us know.

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 
In this personal, eloquently-argued essay—adapted from the much-admired TEDx talk of the same name—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century, one rooted in inclusion and awareness. Drawing extensively on her own experiences and her deep understanding of the often masked realities of sexual politics, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman now—and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky  
Women in Science highlights the contributions of fifty notable women to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) from the ancient to the modern world. Full of striking, singular art, this fascinating collection also contains infographics about relevant topics such as lab equipment, rates of women currently working in STEM fields, and an illustrated scientific glossary. 

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly 
The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space. 

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
In their debut novel, River Solomon continues Octavia Butler's legacy of black science fiction while also including queer and neuroatypical themes and plots with great success. 

The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem by Amanda Gorman 
Amanda Gorman's powerful and historic poem 'The Hill We Climb,' read at President Joe Biden's inauguration, is now available as a collectible gift edition.

Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist by Judith Heumann and Kristen Joiner
A story of fighting to belong in a world that wasn’t built for all of us and of one woman’s activism—from the streets of Brooklyn and San Francisco to inside the halls of Washington—Being Heumann recounts Judy Heumann’s lifelong battle to achieve respect, acceptance, and inclusion in society.

My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg 
 In this collection Justice Ginsburg discusses gender equality, the workings of the Supreme Court, being Jewish, law and lawyers in opera, and the value of looking beyond US shores when interpreting the US Constitution. Throughout her life Justice Ginsburg has been (and continues to be) a prolific writer and public speaker. This book’s sampling is selected by Justice Ginsburg and her authorized biographers Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams, who introduce each chapter and provide biographical context and quotes gleaned from hundreds of interviews they have conducted.

Becoming by Michelle Obama  
Becoming” has the former FLOTUS discussing her childhood, family, motherhood, her own FLOTUS impact, the pressures of being part of the first Black family in the White House and balancing her public life now. 

A History of Kindness by Linda Hogan
Chickasaw writer Linda Hogan has been publishing since the late 1970s. Although she’s primarily a poet, Hogan has also written essays, novels, and a memoir. Her latest poetry collection, A History of Kindness, was released this June and centers the global environmental crisis of the contemporary moment. 

Trans Like Me by CN Lester
In this eye-opening book, CN Lester, academic and activist, takes us on a journey through some of the most pressing issues concerning the trans debate: from pronouns to Caitlyn Jenner; from feminist and LGBTQ activists, to the rise in referrals for gender variant children - all by way of insightful and moving passages about the author's own experience. Trans Like Me shows us how to strive for authenticity in a world which often seeks to limit us by way of labels.

Black Indian by Shonda Buchanan
What does it mean to be both Black and Indigenous in America? What does it mean to be of tri-racial descent? Shonda Buchanan dives deep into her identity and inheritance in this shining memoir. Raised as a Black girl but told stories of her multiracial heritage throughout her childhood, Buchanan calls her book “an attempt to expand, reclaim, and celebrate narratives of the African American experiences as well as the American Indian experiences” that inform her sense of self. 

The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton  
Hillary Rodham Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea, share the stories of the gutsy women who have inspired them—women with the courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done.

Suggested Podcasts

A short list of podcasts by women and nonbinary persons from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. Would you like us to make an addition? Contact us and let us know.

Encyclopedia Womannica
Thinking back to our history classes growing up, we had one question: Where the ladies at? Enter, Encyclopedia Womannica. In just 5 minutes a day, learn about different incredible women from throughout history. In Wonder Media Network’s brand new podcast, we’re telling the stories of women you may or may not know -- but definitely should.

Dare I Say
Imagine if you could overhear intimate, unfiltered conversations between the world’s most influential women? In season one of Dare I Say, the first podcast from HarpersBAZAAR.com, host Olivia Wilde allows us to do just that. The actress and activist takes us inside the sometimes heated, sometimes vulnerable, and always animated discussions that happen when two women—those unafraid to challenge the status quo—sit down to tackle the most pressing issues we’re facing today.

FriendsLikeU‪s‬
Created and hosted by Marina Franklin, FriendLikeUs is a humerous take on hot topics; it features women of color and differing opinions hashing out the week’s buzziest happenings. For the most part, the hosts and guests invited on are from comedic backgrounds, so laughing you will do, but Franklin uses her platform to promote the occasional artist, poet, and Instagram influencer she deems worthy of the know also.

Coffee With My M‪a‬
Hosted by actress Kaniehtiio Horn (LetterkennyThe Man in the High Castle) and her mom, Kahentinetha Horn.  Kaniehtiio Horn is a First Nations actress and her mother is a prominent Mohawk activist whose life has led her into some unbelievable adventures.

iHeartRadio Podcasts for Women's History Month
Celebrate Women's History Month with shows that highlight women's global, political, cultural, economic, and social achievements across
industries curated by iHeartRadio.

What the Trans?!
What The Trans!? is a UK-based weekly podcast with news and interviews, made by and for transgender and non-binary people. 

NPR Special Series: Tell Me More About Women's History
A curated episode list by NPR taking a deeper dive into the history and accomplishments of women.

Latina to Latin‪a
In this interview series, host Alicia Menendez talks to remarkable Latinas about making it, faking it, and everything in between. In often-hilarious and always-revealing episodes, Alicia and her guests take on the challenges of existing, and then thriving, as women of color.

Gender Reveal
The Gender Reveal podcast explores the vast diversity of trans experiences through interviews with a wide array of trans, nonbinary and two-spirit people. Created by journalist and educator Tuck Woodstock, the show also serves as a free educational tool for anyone seeking to learn more about gender.

Woman's Hour Daily 
A podcast not just about history, but everything from the past leading up to the present. In an hour, you'll hear stories and histories from women of all backgrounds that will challenge and motivate you.

Five Must-Listen Podcast Episodes with Indigenous Women
Curated by POD.DRALAND, "a space dedicated to the voices of women in podcasting", this list of podcast episodes features guests, stories, and issues by indigenous women.