Girls Lead Club Celebrates National Women’s History Month

The Long Campaign: Women Set an Example of Strength throughout History

It was a day of fun swag  for sophomores Abby Gogolski and Dan Peral who were randomly selected as winners in the Girls Lead Women in History contest.

It was a day of fun swag for sophomores Abby Gogolski and Dan Peral who were randomly selected as winners in the Girls Lead Women in History contest.

Aileanna Hutchins, Staff Reporter

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Getting as many students involved as possible was a key goal of the WWHS Girls Lead Club during March’s National Women in History Month.  With the help of the makers of the Luna Bar, who donated more than one hundred dollars worth of nutrition bars to the project, the club held a competition asking students to match accomplished women, such as Mary Anderson who invented the windshield wiper, with their achievements.  More than 500 students entered, with approximately half scoring each question correctly.  Entries were then selected at random to win assorted flavors of Luna Bars.

Grand prize winner sophomore Abby Gogolski won not only a Luna Bar but also a $10 Dunkin’ Donuts card and a bundle of Girls Lead swag.   Similar prizes went to second tier winners.  These winners, likewise, were selected at random through a drawing of correct entries.  The club chose a coffee shop gift card as one of their prizes to commemorate Melitta Benz, inventor of the paper filter.  Have you heard of her? Read on to learn more.

If you’re one of the millions of people who enjoy a good cup of coffee, whether hot or cold, you truly owe a thank you to housewife Benz.  In the early 1900’s, she grew frustrated with having to wring out cloth filters or scrub the mess out of the bottom of a coffee pot, so she invented the simple system of placing a piece of paper over the perforated bottom of  pot.  This resulted in a cleaner cup of coffee as well as a cleaner pot!  It’s the precursor to the filters used today at home and in coffee shops like – you guessed it – Dunkin’ Donuts!

The club chose to reach out to the Clif Bar company, the makers of the Luna Bar, on the suggestion of their mentor, Columbia University senior Emily Morgan.  The Luna Bar is the first nutrition bar created specifically for the needs of a woman.  Morgan, who had read about the company’s women’s initiatives including funding breast cancer research, liked the idea of promoting these enterprises as part of National Women in History Month.  She, therefore, reached out to Clif Bar on behalf of Girls Lead.  She connected with a member of their marketing team, Meaghan Praznik, who arranged for the donation.

Along with their free bar, students also received literature explaining how the company has dedicated itself to promoting women’s mental and physical health through two breakthrough initiatives:  LUNAFEST (a film festival for, and about women, and Team Luna Chix to inspire women in sport.  Check their website – http://www.clifbar.com/luna – to learn more and to keep informed of new initiatives launching soon.

In commemoration of  the club’s initiative, Girls Lead would like to share some information about women’s struggle for equality:

The Long Campaign:  Women Set an Example of Strength throughout History

by Alieanna Hutchins, Staff Reporter

The advancement of Women’s equality in the United States has been an issue heavily fought for over decades of struggle. Even those that are reluctant to consider themselves feminists, find it difficult not to feel a sense of pride in the accomplishments of brave women like the Suffragettes who, through determination and tenacity, won women the right to vote. “They are role models to stand up for what’s right,” junior Emily Garcia said.  “I hope that regardless of what anyone says, women as a whole will continue to fight for what they believe in.”

It is the example set by women like them that led others to fight for their rights. Women like Mary Terrell, who campaigned for the rights of women of color who were still barred from voting long after the 19th amendment was passed, and Congresswoman Edith Rogers, who fought to expand the duties and protections of American Servicewoman who had been fighting, unrecognized, since before the Civil War.

American’s have been honoring the many incredible women in our history since the year 1982 when Congress passed a resolution designating the week of March 7 as the first ever “Women’s History Week” in the nation.  Congress continued to pass the resolution yearly until they voted to dedicate the entire month of March to the observation and remembrance of the “vital role of women in American history”, the mission statement of the Women’s History Month since it’s inception. The celebration carries with it deep personal feelings, not only for women, but for all American’s. “It is an essential and indispensable heritage from which we can draw pride, comfort, courage, and long-range vision,” noted Dr. Gerda Lerner, an american historian.

This year’s National Women’s Month “…honors women who have successfully challenged the role of women in both business and the paid labor force.”   The honorees include a Former Secretary of Labor, the Organizer of the First All-Female labor Union, and Civil Rights Leaders of both past and present. Women have undoubtedly made great strides in both the civil and business world, and it is by honoring these women that America can inspire her newest generation of free-thinking, trailblazing, women.

“I urge libraries, schools, and community organizations to focus their observances on the leaders who struggled for equality – ,” Former President Jimmy Carter, known for his human rights work, said upon his speech on the celebration, “– Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Lucy Stone, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriet Tubman, and Alice Paul.” These women’s names have been noted in history only briefly and some with only a fraction of the honor their accomplishments are due, but it our duty as Americans to remember their struggles and strive for the world of equality that they dreamed of.

Whether it be women like Henrietta Lacks, whose unwitting and long forgotten contribution to science lives on in cells used for cancer research the world over, or a more humble heroine in our lives – a mother, aunt, or sister –  everyone can claim to owe inspiration at least in part to a woman in our history. So it is in honor of National Women’s History Month of 2017, that I ask you how you will remember and honor the women who have inspired you?

To learn more, visit these sources:

http://womenshistorymonth.gov/

https://www.nwhm.org/online-exhibits/rightsforwomen/AfricanAmericanwomen.html

https://www.army.mil/women/history/

http://www.loc.gov/vets/stories/women4wars-korea.html

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