Gallaudet’s celebration of Women’s Awareness Month

It kicked off with a focus on leadership. Campus Activities Office hosted a Women’s Leadership Retreat on the evening of March 5. It drew on-campus leaders with inspirational messages. First, came Touria Boren, a program specialist in Enrollment Management Services, with “Who are we? Team Building.” The evening moved on to dinner and a keynote with Vicki Hurwitz, Gallaudet’s first lady, entitled “Deaf Women Beat the Odds: If Only I Knew Then What I Know Now.”

The evening concluded with “CAN-CANNOT,” by Tiffany Granfors, Board of Trustees member and executive director of Deaflympics International Committee of Sports for the Deaf.

Next came a global look at women’s rights. The March 24 panel on international women’s rights drew on the experiences of Johanna Katz, an undergraduate from Argentina; Lauren Sanchez, an undergraduate from Cuba; Alicia Sort, an English Language Institute student from Spain; and Kaori Takeuchi, a graduate student from Japan. Each panelist gave a presentation, followed by questions from Dr. Beth Benedict, a professor in the Department of Communication Studies, who moderated the panel. The questions delved into the panelists’ experiences and challenges in seeking equal rights as deaf women.

The leadership retreat’s keynote speaker again contributed to the Women’s Awareness Month events on March 25. On that day, Vicki Hurwitz hosted a Sprint-sponsored Tea Party at House One welcoming a few lucky Bison women and two gentlemen. The group enjoyed a tour of the historic house, followed by tea and scones.

Later that week, Rabbi Rebecca Dubowe of California led a Friday night Shabbat service and shared her story of becoming the world’s first deaf woman rabbi. The event, organized by Hillel, the organization for Jewish life on campus, included deaf, hearing, and hard of hearing people from the campus and local Jewish community.

Another awareness-raising event came March 29, when Deaf Abused Women’s Network’s Sasha Ponappa and Amy Sandstrom Hill presented “Domestic Violence 101,” a presentation sponsored by Campus Activities.

The month concluded in a jubilant and uniquely Gallaudet fashion on March 31. On that day, at the height of the lunch rush in the Jordan Student Academic Center, a band of “bisonettes” performed the Bison Song. This version used the fight song performed at countless pep rallies and athletic events and focused on the women of Gallaudet. It seemed fitting for a month that brought out so many heavy hitters among the ladies of Kendall Green.

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