The Women and Gender Resource Center recognizes and celebrates several identity-based heritage or history months throughout the year. In an ideal world, people of all identities would be celebrated and represented in conversations throughout the year, but we know that that is still not the case. Joining with other departments and organizations on campus at a time recognized nationally as a heritage or history month helps us to ensure that these celebrations and stories are present on our campus. As the Women and Gender Resource Center, we focus our efforts on programming at the intersections of the celebrated identity and gender, understanding that even celebrations of marginalized identities can be shaped by patriarchy, sexism, and cissexism.
To see what the WGRC has planned for upcoming heritage or history months, visit our Calendar of Events.
Recognized from September 15- October 15 in recognition of the independence days of five countries, Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month is celebrated nationally, including on our own campus and at the WGRC.
For many years, this has included a Family Game Night event in collaboration with Athletics at a UA Women’s Soccer Team game. Admission to the game is free and we have games and information for the whole family set up at the entrance! Additionally, we often film screenings or panel discussions addressing relevant topics. In 2018, we hosted a screening and discussion of the film, In the Game in partnership with The College of Education. The film is available in the Frances S. Summersell library for continued viewing.
If you are unable to attend our Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month events, but you’d still like to be part of our celebration, consider donating a relevant book to The Frances S. Summersell Library.
Celebrated in October, LGBTQ History Month is an opportunity for the LGBTQ community to celebrate successes of the historical and contemporary LGBTQ rights movements.
We had a variety of fun and interesting programming for LGBTQ History Month in 2020. First, we held a screening in partnership with the University of North Florida of the documentary Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado. We screened the documentary and then held a Q&A with the director, Kareem Tabsch, afterwards. This event was held to celebrate both Hispanic/Latinx History Month and LGBTQ History month.
Next, we had a poetry reading from University of Alabama graduate and 2019 Whiting Award winner Kayleb Rae Candrilli. Candrilli read from their published works, All the Gay Saints and What Runs Over, and held a short poem writing workshop before discussing their process.
Finally, we held a screening of the Netflix documentary, Disclosure. This documentary features a near-exhaustive examination of trans and non-binary representation in popular culture, specifically film and television. The documentary was directed by, starring, and produced by trans people. We screened the film and then held a Q&A session with Sinseriti Banks of Birmingham AIDS Outreach and Lauren Jacobs of Magic City Acceptance Center.
In the past, the WGRC has hosted a variety of different events in recognition of LGBTQ History Month. In 2015, The Women and Gender Resource Center co-sponsored an art exhibit called Family Matters. The exhibit featured LGBTQ youth and statements about their families. In 2016, we hosted a panel discussion called Out of the Closet and Onto Your Screen, which featured discussion about representations of LGBTQ individuals in movies and television shows. Our 2017 celebration included a screening and discussion of The Men’s Story Project: Out Loud. In 2018, we hosted a film screening of Revival: Women and the Word in partnership with the Department of English and Alabama Student Association for Poetry. Both The Men’s Story Project: Out Loud and Revival: Women and the Word are now available in the Frances S. Summersell Library at the WGRC. In 2019, we hosted Samantha Allen, author of Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States. Her work focuses on disputing popular myths about LGBT life in so-called “Red States” and showing the rich, happy, and varied experiences of queer people all across the United States. Real Queer America is also available in the Frances S. Summersell Library.
If you’d like to help keep discussions of LGBT History alive all year, consider donating a book to our Frances S. Summersell Library.
Each November, Native American Heritage Month is celebrated nationally, on our campus, and at the WGRC.
In 2020, the WGRC launched our first Native American Heritage Month Scavenger Hunt and co-hosted a cooking demonstration with Chef GrayHawk Perkins. Additionally, we developed a scavenger hunt with educational “missions” that students could participate over the course of the month at their leisure.
Past activities have included film screenings, book discussions, and day trips to important historical sites. Most recently we hosted Native American author, poet, and educator, Dr. Denise K. Lajimodiere. She came to discuss her book Stringing Rosaries: The History, the Unforgivable, and the Healing of Northern Plains American Indian Boarding School Survivors. Dr. Lajimodiere’s work focuses on educating people on the atrocity of so-called “Boarding Schools” that existed across the United States and harmed generations of Native Americans. Stringing Rosaries is still available in the Frances S. Summersell Library at the WGRC.
If you are unable to take part in the Center’s programming for Native American Heritage Month, you can still take part in our efforts by donating a book to the Frances S. Summersell Library.
The month of February provides an opportunity to celebrate Black History in a formal way.
Programs hosted in recent years include the African American Read-In, African American Heritage Month Trivia Nights, a panel on Black Feminism, and more. Programs in recognition of Black History Month will be announced in January 2021.
If you are unable to participate in WGRC Black History Month activities, you can still be involved in the Center’s efforts by donating a related book to the Frances S. Summersell Library.
Recognized in March, Women’s History Month provides an opportunity to look back at how far women’s rights have come and to celebrate the contributions of women in history and today.
Due to Covid-19, our Women’s History Month events for 2020 were unfortunately cut short. However, we were able to offer a few exciting programs and are looking forward to excellent programming in March of 2021.
In 2020, we were able to host one event to celebrate Women’s History Month: Crafting Feminist Futures. We invited staff, students, and faculty to join us in the Ferguson Great Hall for a morning of arts and crafts centered on celebrating feminism and women’s achievements throughout history. We had multiple tables set up with different types of crafts. Students could decorate mugs, make feminist merit badges, friendship-style bracelets, and even paint on small canvases. Feminist literature was on each table for students to read and take with them, such as The Combahee River Collective Statement. Snacks were also provided.
For International Women’s Day in March we hosted a Lunch and Learn, featuring staff, faculty, and students from across the globe in the Ferguson Forum. We discussed different representations of womanhood, how patriarchy is global, and celebrated the uniqueness of everyone’s cultural upbringing.
If you are unable to participate in our Women’s History Month programming, you can still contribute to our efforts by donating a book to the Frances S. Summersell Library!
Celebrated in May, Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month recognizes the history, experiences, and contributions of Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi Americans.
In 2020, the WGRC hosted a panel of Asian Pacific Islander Desi American students, staff, and faculty who spoke about their experiences growing up in their different communities and here on campus.