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UC San Diego Celebrates Women’s History Month

Four event attendees smiling for a photo.
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The Women's History Month kickoff celebration featured a resource fair, a photo booth, refreshments and more. Photos by Daniel Orren and Long Truong, UC San Diego University Communications.

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UC San Diego is commemorating Women’s History Month throughout March with a special lineup of programs that honor the contributions of women in history, culture and society. This year's theme, "Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion," focuses on recognizing the local, regional and global impacts of women, particularly those who have dedicated themselves to eliminating bias and discrimination.

Each year for the annual celebration, the Women’s Center and various campus partners organize an array of events designed to shine a light on the experiences and achievements of women. Programs for 2024 include an empowering open mic night for graduate students, a fair dedicated to showcasing the university’s women-centered student organizations plus a softball game in honor of International Women’s Day. 

“I hope that the campus community will take this year’s Women’s History Month celebration as an opportunity to celebrate the work of the countless women who have advocated, and continue to advocate, for equity, diversity and inclusion on our campus and in our communities,” said Director of the Women’s Center Marnie Brookolo. 

Students participate in the guided painting session.
Students participate in the guided painting session. 

The monthlong celebration kicked off Friday at the Stage Room with a guided painting session of three iconic figures: Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Frida Kahlo and Malala Yousafzai. The free campus event also featured a resource fair, a prop-filled photo booth, refreshments and more. 

“While recognizing Women’s History Month each March creates the space to reflect on the progress that has been made towards gender equity, and celebrate the many contributions of women in history, culture and society, it should also serve as an opportunity to refocus our efforts towards creating a more just world where people of all genders can thrive,” Brookolo added. 

The theme for 2024 holds particular significance for Karen Biestman, who assumed the role of Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Equity and Inclusion at UC San Diego in August of last year. With 30 years of expertise, Biestman’s dedication to promoting inclusion and ensuring equitable opportunities for all students aligns seamlessly with the university's mission to cultivate a more welcoming UC San Diego.

“Celebrating Women’s History affords us an impactful opportunity to craft the narrative, build a sense of belonging, educate intentionally and imagine change,” said Biestman. “The bountiful array of Women’s History Month programming is testament to the inclusive weaving and meaning-making across disciplines, community experiences and diverse voices. The robust agenda celebrates and investigates, affirms and challenges, but ultimately honors the journey of those who shape the Women’s Center and all those whose lives we can touch by the telling of our stories.” 

Below is a selection of Women’s History Month programs. The full event calendar can be found online at the Women’s Center website. 

March 7 | 5-7 p.m.
Grad Open Mic Night  

Graduate students are invited to either perform or simply listen, amplifying the diverse talents of grad students in our academic community. By fostering an environment of empowerment and self-expression, the special event hosted at the Women's Center will create a space to recognize and uplift the unique contributions of women.

March 8 | 11:30-3 p.m.
EmpowerHER: Honoring Women's Achievements

Visit the Computer Science and Engineering building to gather with fellow engineers in celebration of Women's Day at this afternoon event. Dive into your dreams and visualize your path to success with a vision board workshop—or, create a tribute to pioneering women engineers through scrapbooking with famous quotes.

"Celebrating Women’s History affords us an impactful opportunity to craft the narrative, build a sense of belonging, educate intentionally and imagine change."
Karen Biestman, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Equity and Inclusion at UC San Diego
Flower crown making craft.
As part of the International Women's Day crafting event, attendees can make portrait drawings, symbolic self-portrait collages and flower crowns.

March 8 | 2-4 p.m.
International Women’s Day at the Craft Center

Join the Women's Center and the UC San Diego Craft Center at a beautiful International Women's Day celebration with portrait drawing, symbolic self-portrait collages and flower crown making. Registration is required for the crafting events. 

March 11 | 4-6 p.m.
Madhatter Knits x UC San Diego Women’s Center Collaboration

At this gathering hosted alongside Madhatter Knits, learn about the experiences of premature babies and their families and discuss ways to advocate for them in our communities. Attendees will also knit hats to donate to UC San Diego Health NICU. No experience is needed and all materials are provided.

March 13 | 12 p.m.
On Behalf of Women in STEM and Leadership

The Student Success Center is partnering with Diality, a medical technology company, for an insightful discussion on women in STEM and leadership. Hear from Sheila Holley, Director of Human Resources at Diality, as she facilitates a conversation about women in physical sciences. This event aims to create a safe space for students from diverse backgrounds to engage with a seasoned STEM industry expert.

March 14 | 4-5 p.m. 
Feminist Pi Day Trivia

Join the Women’s Center for Feminist Pi Day Trivia centered around the theme of celebrating “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.” Attendees will enjoy pie while competing for prizes such as sweatshirts, bucket hats, stuffed fluffies and more. 

Softball players
The Triton Softball team take on Cal State Bakersfield on March 15.

March 15 | 1 p.m.
Triton Softball International Women's Day Game

Come support the Triton Softball team as they take on Cal State Bakersfield for their International Women's Day Game. Held at the Triton Softball Field, the celebratory game will recognize the women who made a difference in the lives of the players, the athletic department and across campus. 

March 26 | 12-1:30 p.m.
Winter 2024 CRASSH 

In this mini conference, hear from student and faculty presenters who have done research on women's studies topics. The purpose of CRASSH is to recognize research done in the arts, social sciences, and humanities, as well as to encourage UC San Diego undergraduates to pursue research in these fields. 

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