Sam Dunaway | News Editor
Education, awareness and celebration marked the various events and displays involved in Western’s annual Women of Culture celebration sponsored by Multicultural Student Union.
The purpose of the Women of Culture events are to honor the diversity of women from a wide variety of cultures and bring awareness to issues that affect these women.
As Western’s website explains, “This event is inclusive for any member of the WOU community in the pursuit of educating our campus on the importance of women’s rights within different traditions.”
MSU worked with several campus departments, including the Veterans Resource Center and Abby’s House, to make this week possible. The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs presented the “I Am Not Invisible” exhibit which displays the stories of several women in Oregon who have served in the United States military and whose service is often forgotten. Abby’s House presented the Herstory Tour, an informative historical tour of women from various backgrounds and cultures.
In addition to these events, MSU itself hosted a dinner with keynote speaker Shelaswau Bushnell Crier. Bushnell Crier described her background and family life in Louisiana and the difficulties she experienced as a woman of color in the South. She was goal-oriented as a teenager and attended Rice University before moving on to Yale Law School and eventually working at Willamette University in Salem. She is an outspoken advocate, speaking at events such as the Salem Women’s March in 2017, and is continuing her community activism by running for the position of Marion County Commissioner.
Freshman Advocate for MSU and Western sophomore Chris Linares helped plan the events for Women of Culture. Linares explained that, “Women have faced many obstacles and challenges throughout history, and sadly there are still cases where in today’s date, they still do … Even the smallest victory can make an impact, so as a society, we need to celebrate everything that women have and still are facing.”
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Photo by: Sam Dunaway