Dear Beloved Community:
This month Naropa celebrates Womxn’s History Month! We are excited to dedicate March to the womxn who inspire and make Naropa shine. We have chosen to utilize the term “womxn” acknowledging the complex history of identity expressions, intersectional feminism, reclamation, and inclusion of all-female, trans and femme-bodied womxn and girls. Our intention is to create a container for this space that recognizes the broad scope of womxnhood.
Since 1987 Womxn’s History Month has centered and celebrated the contributions of womxn to all facets of society throughout March. International Womxn’s Day, which takes place during Womxn’s History Month was started by the United Nations, took place for the first time on March 8th, 1911. Countries around the world celebrate this day, in honor of the contributions of womxn to culture, political and economic change, and society at large.
The 2022 theme of International Women’s Day is: Gender Equality for a Sustainable Tomorrow.
This theme centers the impact that global climate change has on womxn around the world who are often inordinately affected by the loss of natural resources and the resulting negative impact on local economies, and political structures.
Womxn all over the world are standing up and using their voices, to challenge the status quo and speak to ideas of a sustainable future for all, especially for womxn who live at the intersections of race, class, and heteronormative, patriarchal structures that continue to marginalize womxn and ignore the inequalities that adversely impact womxn’s lives. In order to push this conversation forward, we must acknowledge the ways that the most vulnerable womxn in our communities are affected by environmental racism, gender, and sexual violence that can result in femicide.
Naropa University has a long-standing connection to feminine power and consciousness. Since the very beginning womxn have led the university, from Judy Lief, the first Naropa President to our current Executive Leadership Council in which over half the members are womxn. Truthfully, there are too many womxn to name them all, each one guiding Naropa every day both in the classroom and behind the scenes.
We encourage you to find more than one way to celebrate Womxn’s Heritage Month. Even a simple connection and expression of gratitude to the womxn in your life who inspire and support you can have a big impact. (You can find other ideas here).
Let us continue to honor the contributions of womxn as well as look critically at issues of equality and opportunity faced by womxn from small to big ways and beyond this important month.
Cayla Chambers and the Womxn of Mission, Culture and Inclusive Community (MCIC)