Purdue Northwest celebrates Women’s History Month with several events

March 8, 2022
Purdue Northwest invites the Northwest Indiana community to join its Women’s History Month recognition during several events across March.

Purdue Northwest invites the Northwest Indiana community to join its Women’s History Month recognition during several events across March.

Purdue University Northwest (PNW) invites the campus and Northwest Indiana community to join in its recognition of Women’s History Month with an event lineup spanning March.

PNW’s month-long recognition began March 7 and features a Frida Kahlo-themed celebration, a luncheon for student leaders, and interactive presentations on topics of intersectionality, representation, social justice, and equity.

PNW’s Building Community Through the Arts program hosts a Kahlo Karnival on March 24, an event celebrating the legacy of renowned Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. The evening celebration includes a digital exhibit, musical entertainment from Chicago-based artist Rosalba Valdez, a flower crown craft activity, instructor-led painting sessions, and a “best-dressed Frida” contest.

The Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies program, Intersectional Feminist Alliance of PNW and LGBTQ+ Alliance will host three thought-provoking lectures with guest speakers on March 10, 27 and 30. The sessions will highlight collective activism, the secret language of South Asia’s transgender hijra communities, and art’s capacity to foster racial and economic parity. The lectures are funded by the Department of English and World Languages and College of Humanities, Education, and Social Sciences.

“I like to treat Women’s History Month as an opportunity to educate, promote and raise consciousness about social issues relating to equity and justice,” says Colette Morrow, professor of English.

Two of the invited guest speakers, Kayla Greenwell and Lorrell Kilpatrick, are PNW alumnae who have exhibited exceptional activism in Northwest Indiana, says Morrow.

“Sometimes people have a hard time imagining what activism can look like in their own lives,” Morrow says. “In reality, we could all do it on a daily basis, we could all find our ways within our resources and our vision to be activists and be leaders in the community. That’s one of the things I hope people get out of the sessions.”

Women’s History Month, typically celebrated during March, recognizes the pivotal roles women have played, their achievements, and their contributions in many areas throughout U.S. history.

In addition to the public events, PNW will invite women student leaders from around campus to a luncheon on March 28 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall on the Hammond campus. The keynote speaker will be Dawn Reynolds Pettit, a PNW alumna who serves as regional vice president of human resources at Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana. Academic unit leaders will be able to nominate members of the PNW community to the Office of Student Life for an invitation to attend.

“The luncheon is a celebration of women leaders in our student body and across our campuses,” says Colin Fewer, associate vice chancellor for Student Affairs and dean of Students. “It recognizes the contributions of the women leaders in our campus community and is a way to make students feel appreciated.”


PNW’s Women’s History Month Events

Free and Open to the Public

Speak Your Truth: The Ladies Get Paid Story

Noon to 1 p.m., March 9

In this month’s Lunch and Lead session, author and founder Claire Wasserman will share lessons from her journey starting and building Ladies Get Paid, a platform, global community, and book that helps women level up professionally and financially.

Claire Wasserman is an educator, author, and founder of Ladies Get Paid. She holds a Master’s Certificate in Behavioral Finance and Financial Psychology and is the host of the John Hancock podcast, Friends Who Talk About Money.

A highly sought-after expert for Fortune 500 companies working to improve diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, Claire has traveled the country teaching thousands of women how to negotiate millions of dollars in raises, start businesses, and advocate for themselves in the workplace. She was named one Marquis Who’s Who 75 Most Influential Financial Leaders of 2021, as well as Entrepreneur Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women.

Claire has spoken at places such as Harvard Business School, Facebook, NASA, and the United Nations, and has appeared on Good Morning America and in the New York Times, among others.

Claire’s book, Ladies Get Paid, is available wherever books are sold.

The Lunch and Lead Series is presented by the Leadership Institute and the Society of Innovators at Purdue Northwest.

RSVP for free.

The Necessity of Collective Action for Resistance: A Candid Dialogue with Black Lives Matter NWI-Gary Co-Organizer Lorrell Kilpatrick

2 to 3:30 p.m., March 10

Lorrell Kilpatrick, a sociologist teaching at Indiana University Northwest and longtime regional activist and disabilities rights advocate, argues that collective action is imperative in achieving social equity and justice. This session will be a dialogue among attendees and Kilpatrick will share strategies that regional anti-racist, environmentalist and immigrant and disabilities rights activists have used to effect change in Northwest Indiana. Watch via Zoom.

Contact Colette Morrow, professor of English, at 219-989-2256 or at cmmorrow@pnw.edu for more information.

Kahlo Karnival: Building Community Through the Arts

5 to 7:30 p.m., March 24

Alumni Hall on the Hammond campus

Join us for our first ever Kahlo Karnival during Women’s History Month. This event is part of the university’s Building Community Through the Arts initiative and will honor the legacy of the artist through art and music.

This event is free and open to the public but requires registration for the instructor-led art workshops, which are limited to 15 participants per workshop. Additionally, a general admission registration is requested for food.

Visit pnw.edu/bcta for more information and registration links.

What ‘Secret’ Reveals: Secret Languages of Women and LGBTQ+ Communities Worldwide

5 to 6:30 p.m., March 27

Fulbright Scholar Mashrur Hossain, Professor of English at Jahangirnagar University and a sexuality studies specialist, surveys secret languages such as Nüshu (“women’s writing” in Chinese) and Polari (London’s “gay language”) and examines Oolti Bhasha, the secret language used by transgender South Asian hijras. He contends that “HijraSpeaks,” as it is called, trans-gresses the hegemonic poetics and politics of the gender binary, troubles and disrupts female/male gendering, and has its own politics of empowerment. Watch via Zoom.

Contact Colette Morrow, professor of English, at 219-989-2256 or at cmmorrow@pnw.edu for more information.

Let’s Talk About Artivism: Creating Racial, Gender, and Economic Justice through Art, Dance, and Music

Noon to 1 p.m., March 30

Vershawn Sanders-Ward is the founding artistic director and CEO of Red Clay Dance Company in Chicago, which strives to awaken “glocal” change ending cultural and socioeconomic inequities by creating, performing and teaching dances of the African Diaspora. Her choreography has been presented in New York, San Francisco, Martha’s Vineyard, Toronto, Dakar, and Kampala.

Sanders-Ward is on the faculty at Loyola University Chicago and has received choreographic commissions from Columbia College Chicago, Northwestern University, Knox College, and the National Theatre in Uganda. This is a Women’s History Month event sponsored by the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program and the Intersectional Feminist Alliance of PNW, a student organization dedicated to intersectional feminist, anti-racist change. Watch via Zoom.

Contact Colette Morrow, professor of English, at 219-989-2256 or at cmmorrow@pnw.edu for more information.