“To acknowledge our community as a global village and to create unity with women across borders. To celebrate the beauty and contributions of women around the world. To increase understanding of issues of concern to women. To imagine and dream of our shared future.”
With this mission statement, Jamie Columbus, Chair, laid the foundation for Rochester International Women’s Day.
Since 1975, the United Nations celebrates March 8th as International Women's Day "to recognize the fact that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms require the active participation, equality, and development of women, and to acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security." It's a day when women unite, inspire, and mobilize for meaningful personal and global change.
Our March activities will be designed to honor Rochester’s women through a collaborative partnership with women’s and grass roots organizations, cultural, corporate, neighborhood, government, athletic, media and financial institutions planning to provide promotions and services to women clients. A panel of university students will host a panel discussing the status of women in their country of origin, and The Vagina Monologues will be staged at the Hochstein School of Music on March 8th at 8pm.
Communities and corporations worldwide mark IWD in personal ways making the day their own with activities ranging from craft markets to rallies and conferences (see Internationalwomensday.com.) In past years, Rochester honored IWD by holding conferences, and offering workshops on topics such as women farmworkers, women and disabilities, women and aging, rebel women, and much more.
In 1911 Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland first observed an International Women’s Day to “ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, and safe.” In fourteen countries IWD is an official holiday, and in thousands of cities events are held on March 8.
The United States pays additional tribute commemorating March as “Women’s History Month.”
"While International Women's Day is a global effort celebrating the social, economic and political strides women have made, and reminding us of the inequities that still exist, it also helps us understand and appreciate each other's cultures- a step toward improving relations among the people of the world," said Rhona Genzel, Director of the English Language Center at RIT.
Jamie Columbus was inspired to celebrate International Women’s Day in Rochester “to pay tribute to the women I have encountered and learned from abroad and at home. For some these images may be a virtual passport, my hope being to promote cross-cultural understanding and provide visibility to the value of women worlwide.”
Bleu Cease, Executive Director/Curator of RoCo, says: “We are excited to serve as headquarters for Rochester’s International Women’s Day as part of an ongoing effort to support important community work.”
Rochester Contemporary Art Center’s LAB Space offers RoCo’s artist members a unique opportunity to show their work and share their ideas.
Individuals and organizations are invited to participate in Rochester's IWD, and for further information can email: firstname.lastname@example.org