Women’s History Month at Island University Celebrates Strength and Accomplishment of Women

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi celebrated Women’s History Month (WHM) during March to honor the triumphs and sacrifice of women around the world. The monthlong festivities, which included more than a dozen in-person and online events, focused on educating Islanders of the strength and accomplishments of women and their allies throughout history.

Faculty in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program facilitated much of the WHM programming, with assistance from Islander Cultural Alliance and the Mary and Jeff Bell Library.

“March offers us the chance to center women’s stories, struggles, and activism, and we hope the conversations started this month will continue throughout the year,” Drs. Jarred Wiehe and Beth Robinson, WGST program coordinators said. “Students interested in a more comprehensive study might consider looking into the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies minor.” 

The kickoff event, held March 1, formally launched the festivities as Islanders were invited to celebrate with food, music, and interact with multiple women-owned local businesses.

WHM also included musical celebrations like “Who Runs the World? GIRLS,” which highlighted the music of women composers; “Solidarity, Not Charity: Why I Joined the Auntie Sewing Squad,” which focused on unity and mutual aid throughout the struggle of the COVID-19 pandemic; and a concert by an all-female Mariachi ensemble “Mariachi Las Altenas.”

Matthew Meza ’22, communication major, says events like “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” which invited participants to walk in high heels, encourages students, faculty, and the community alike to consider the daily hardships of women, including sexual and domestic violence.

“The whole point of this event is to get a new perspective: to step out of your comfort zone,” Meza said. “Events like these keep the dialogue open and going on a topic that most of us never want to talk about, and it shows the women of this university we’re here to support them.”

On March 8, Danielle Feinberg, Director of Lighting for Pixar Animation Studios, headlined as the WHM Distinguished Speakers Series where she spoke of her esteemed career and her support for women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Feinberg is known for her work on Disney classics like “Finding Nemo,” “Toy Story,” “Brave,” “WALL-E,” “Coco,” and the recent Pixar hit “Turning Red.”

“Part of what got me speaking about math, science, and code is to try and encourage girls to see the beauty and possibilities of STEM,” Feinberg said. “You don’t have to necessarily make movies; I want the women I speak with to know there’s more than just what you see in school. And then maybe they’ll stick with it, knowing that there are cool things on the other end that aren’t always obvious.”

Kayla Weeks ’18, says she was in awe of Feinberg’s self-confidence.

“Her talk inspired me and the others in the room to not be afraid of being different – of being the only woman in the room – and to let that difference fuel your motivation and create success,” Weeks said.

Wrapping up the month, Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales issued a celebratory proclamation in honor of WHM during the “Women Making History in South Texas” event on March 31, in the Mary and Jeff Bell Library. The event also included a panel discussion by four notable local women: Irene Cipriano, Coretta Graham, Elizabeth Chu Richter, and Guadalupe Rangel.

To learn more about WHM, visit whm.tamucc.edu