Women’s History Month

The PNW Bell Tower with a building and greenery in the background

Purdue University Northwest is hosting a range of Women’s History Month events in March 2023 to recognize women and their accomplishments.

From academic events to art showcases, we hope to see you at the Embracing Equity events!

About Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed legislation that authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.” In 1987, after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed additional legislation that designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.”

Since 1995, presidents have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.” These proclamations celebrate the contributions women have made to the United States and recognize the specific achievements women have made over the course of American history in a variety of fields.

History adapted from womenshistorymonth.gov

PNW Event Listing

Women’s Art Exhibition Showcase

March 29

5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Alumni Hall

The College of Humanities, Education, and Social Sciences is hosting a Women’s Art Exhibition as part of our Building Community Through the Arts initiative! Our college is determined to create a supportive, inclusive environment that promotes engagement and conversation. We hope to connect local artists with students, faculty, staff, and community members to build the welcoming and engaging environment we strive for!

Register to Attend

History Matters: Bringing Mercy to the World:

The Sisters of Mercy’s Missionary Experience in the United States and Peru


In 1843, the first group of Sisters of Mercy left Ireland for the United States, establishing its first foundation at Pittsburgh. Three years later, Mother Frances Warde led five young sisters to Chicago. The Mercys planted roots in the US, served immigrants, and were instrumental in building the American Catholic Church.

Over 100 years later, the Sisters of Mercy began a new mission to Sicuani, Peru in 1961. Called to Peru by the Pope and the church leadership, they arrived as missionaries, intending to build an “American-styled” Church. How were these missionaries different? How were they the same? How did the missionary experience change them?

CHESS Film Series: Enola Holmes

March 1

3:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

hammond – CLO 251

This film series is designed to develop new perspectives and encourage discussion featuring several influential movies.

Purdue Northwest Today: PNW Celebrates Women’s History Month

March 2

8:05 a.m.

Tune in to WJOB 1230-AM, 104.7-FM, or the TuneIn app for the Purdue Northwest Today program, “PNW Celebrates Women’s History Month.”

With your host, Julie Wiejak

and guests:

Women’s Leadership Luncheon

March 7

11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Invitation Only

As part of our Women’s History Month celebration, the Women’s Leadership Luncheon honors outstanding leadership among PNW women. This event is by invitation only.

The Women’s Leadership Luncheon recognizes examples of inspirational leadership among the women of PNW, and celebrates the incredible leadership of our women students in particular. The Luncheon will consist of networking and hors d’oeuvres, followed by a seated lunch and keynote speaker. This year we are excited to welcome Celina Weatherwax, class of 2004 (Technology Administration), the current President at MAAC Foundation-Emergency Services Training Center.

Northwest Indiana Women on the Rise Reception (Sold Out!)

March 7

4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Sand Creek Country Club

Join the Society of Innovators and the Purdue University Northwest Leadership Institute as we bring together the leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs that are making an impact across Northwest Indiana.

Our 2023 Women on the Rise are the women shaping business and encouraging economic growth in our region’s communities. They achieved success in 2022 and are bringing that dynamic momentum with them into the new year.

This event is sold out.

Celebrate International Women’s Day at World On Wednesday

March 8

Noon to 1:30 p.m.

Multicultural lounge (CLO 180)

March 8 is International Women’s Day, a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, as well as a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. This week at World on Wednesday, we invite guests to gather in a safe space to share stories about challenges and incredible accomplishments, ideas, goals and any other thoughts about making a positive difference for women worldwide.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Register on myPNWlife

CHESS Film Series: Lady Bird

March 8

3:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

hammond – CLO 251

This film series is designed to develop new perspectives and encourage discussion featuring several influential movies.

Eliminating Racial Disparities in Maternal Morbidity:

Aftershock screening with Keynote by Dr. Janet Seabrook

March 9

Noon to 3 p.m.

Alumni Hall, LSF 170A and Zoom*

Janet Seabrook

Janet Seabrook, M.D., CEO of Community HealthNet Health Care Centers,

The film Aftershock documents two Black fathers’ fight for maternal health care reform when their partners die unnecessarily due to childbirth complications. The men galvanize activists, birth workers, and physicians to reckon with one of the most pressing crises of our time.

After the screening, keynote speaker Janet Seabrook, M.D., CEO of Community HealthNet Health Care Centers, will address the causes of BIPOC women’s disproportionately high rates of maternal morbidity and explain why Indiana’s rates are third worst in the US (keynote broadcast via zoom). Her focus will be on systemic changes alleviating the problem.

Register for the Event

Lunch & Lead: Women’s History & Leadership with Danita Johnson, Ph.D.

March 14

Noon to 1 p.m.


Danita Johnson

Danita Johnson, Ph.D., President and CEO of Edgewater Health.

Danita Johnson, Ph.D. is President and CEO of Edgewater Health. Johnson has been recognized for her many accomplishments including receiving the Sagamore of the Wabash Award, the state’s highest civilian honor. She is also the recipient of the state of Indiana Governor’s Distinguished Hoosier Award and an inductee into the Northwest Indiana Business & Industry Hall of Fame. Dr. Johnson will discuss how woman leaders can help inspire and teach us to live our best lives.

Register to Attend

CHESS Film Series: Little Women

March 22

3:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

hammond – CLO 251

This film series is designed to develop new perspectives and encourage discussion featuring several influential movies.

Breaking Bread: Roe v. Wade Impact on Poor America & the Post-Dobbs Era:

Cheri Lynn Honkala, co-founder of the Poor People’s Army

March 27

12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

Alumni Hall, DSAC 1115 and Zoom

Cheri Honkala

Cheri Honkala

Cheri Honkala is a nationally-renowned advocate for the poor and unhoused. Born into poverty, she was a single teenage mother who completed high school although she and her son were living in her car. She has dedicated her life to eradicating conditions that cause poverty.

Honkala co-founded the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign / Poor People’s Army. Honkala will address the Supreme Court’s rulings on abortion in Roe v. Wade and Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and their impact on impoverished populations.

Register to Attend


Thank you to our sponsors!


  • Cultural Heritage Celebration Committee
  • The Society of Innovators at Purdue Northwest
  • The Leadership Institute at Purdue Northwest
  • College of Nursing
  • College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (CHESS)
  • Department of History, Philosophy, Politics and Economics
  • Department of English and World Languages
  • Office of Student Life
  • Social Justice Club
  • Fine Arts Club
  • Intersectional Feminist Alliance
  • LGBTQ+ Alliance
  • Sigma Global Nursing Excellence

More PNW Events

Apr 03

Life’s Simple 7 Lecture Series – How to Stop Smoking

Join us as we talk about How to Eat Better, the fifth installment of our Life’s Simple 7 health education workshop series!

Apr 07

Distinguished Speaker Series – Andrew Jackura

Join us for our Distinguished Speaker Series to hear PNW graduate Andrew Jackura present, “From Newton to Nuclei”.

Jun 05

Nurse Camp (Hammond Campus)

This 4-day camp will engage participants in learning sessions about basic nursing fundamentals, professional speakers, and hospital shadowing.

Jun 12

Realizing Your Ideas Through 3D Printing

Campers will have a FREE week-long hands-on use of CAD Software, 3D Printers and CNC machines to bring their visions to life.