Speaking together — especially with the same message — is more powerful than speaking alone. The power of the collective voice is how a few information tables set up in McGauvran Student Union in 1993 evolved into an annual weeklong Lowell institution.
Lowell Women’s Week, which was built from the successful International Women’s Day event begun on campus in the early 90’s, is an annual celebration of the women and girls of Lowell. While each year’s events follow a general theme, the overarching goal to is to tell the stories, struggles and achievements of females living, working or studying in the city.
The week of events, celebrated during the first full week in March, which is Women’s History Month, began as an effort to share information about women’s issues and achievements with the UMass Lowell community. The Women’s Studies Department helped bring partner organizations to McGauvran Hall on March 8, 1993, where they presented information about their programs and stopping violence against women.
“The first year was one day. The second year was two days. By the fourth year, we had a full week of events that was officially recognized by the city of Lowell,” says professor emerita Anne Mulvey, who has volunteered with the group from the start. “Over the years, Lowell Women’s Week has truly blossomed into the powerful series it is now.”
Many of the community organizations who partner with UMass Lowell for Women’s Week have done so for 17 years. More than 25 events are scheduled for the 2012 celebration, which is themed “All Our Voices.” For a full list of events, visit the official event calendar.
Starting the Week with a Welcome
Each Lowell Women’s Week kicks off with a breakfast where organizers, volunteers and supporters come together to celebrate. In addition to a keynote address, several community members receive Because of Her awards for their work in Lowell.
This year’s awards were given to Molyka Tieng ’00, Pauline Dubey, Helen Blaschke and Joanne M. Richard.
Karen Frederick, executive director of Community Teamwork Inc., encouraged the audience to continue working together in Lowell. “I’ve learned in my work and life that creating change in a community must come from the community, and only the voices of many can bring about that change.”
UMass Lowell Events During Lowell Women’s Week
While the week’s events have spread far beyond the UMass Lowell campuses, several events are planned at the University during Lowell Women’s Week.
Mothers of Rock
March 6, 7 - 10:30 p.m. in Durgin Recital Hall
The Music and Entertainment Industry Student Association presents a tribute to women in music to benefit Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell. Free but donations encouraged.
Women’s Cardiovascular Health – Risk Factors and Pathophysiology presented by Dr. Kay Doyle
March 7, 5:30 – 7 p.m. at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center
Many different risk factors contribute to cardiovascular disease. Understanding how they contribute to cardiovascular pathophysiology and knowing which risk factors can be modified can help lead to better health. For more information call 978-934-4425 or email Kathleen_Doyle@uml.edu.
12th Annual Braided Streams: Women of Faith Speak presented by Imogene Stulken and panelists
March 8, 12:30 - 1:45 p.m. in Coburn 304
Women student panelists from diverse faith traditions reflect on their experiences of the intersection between religion and gender. For more information call Imogene at 978-934-5014 or email Imogene_Stulken@uml.edu.
“Fufu and Oreos” presented by S.I.S.T.E.R.S.
March 8, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall
"Fufu and Oreos" is a semi-autobiographical, semi-improvised one-woman show. Nigerian-American writer and performer Obehi Janice reflects on depression, identity and faith in this acclaimed and witty play.
WORD! Women Organizing Real Differences
Presented by Lowell Community Health Center/ Creative Economy Grant: Women's Leadership Exchange Peace and Conflict Studies Program at UMass Lowell
March 10, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in Alumni Hall
WORD! Women Organizing Real Differences Conference will bring women and young women together for a daylong conference to raise consciousness on Social Justice and provide opportunities to discuss engage and inspire. For more information call Jayson-Ann at 978-337-4300 or email Jayson-AnnWr@Lchealth.org