In celebration of Women's History Month, McHenry County College is honoring the contributions women have made in history and to society as a whole.
This year's program of "Women Blazing Forward: Embracing our Future and Honoring our Past" features a variety of fun and educational events to showcase women and address the significant challenges they're facing today.
Kicking off the monthlong celebration is a Harriet Tubman re-enactor, followed by a documentary film, several panel discussions, including history students detailing women's roles pre-Civil War era in America and a female veterans panel.
"People are more aware of women in specific roles, especially with the recent presidential campaign," said Kathy Hayhurst, Women's History Month committee chair.
"Our focus here as an educational institution is raising awareness and giving students opportunities for leadership roles. This celebration is a great way for students and community members to learn about female leaders of the past and their stories."
The following activities are planned for students, faculty, staff and community members:
• The Harriet Tubman program will be presented from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 1, in the Luecht Conference Center. A dramatic portrayal of the renowned leader of the Underground Railroad talks about the life of a slave and about the hardships that Tubman endured and overcame. Hear about the food customs connected to Tubman's life that are still being carried forth in the world today.
• The documentary film "Equal Means Equal" will be shown from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 5, in the Luecht Conference Center. The film focuses on how women are treated in the U.S. today, revealing how discriminatory attitudes and inadequate laws impact women's lives. A panel discussion will follow. The film will be shown again from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 4:30-6:30 p.m. March 16 at MCC in Room B166-167, and 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 18, at Classic Cinemas in Woodstock. The film is not recommended for children younger than 13.
• A panel of moms in business and other influential women will share their challenges and triumphs at a Meals with Moms during a "sold out" breakfast panel discussion at 8 a.m. Thursday, March 9. Panelists will include area entrepreneurs, along with MCC retired faculty. This event is completely full. To be added to a waiting list, contact Sherry Ridge at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• MCC students, faculty and staff will participate in "What the Heck!" a panel discussion from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday, March 13, about the portrayal of women in the media.
• In "How the Other Half Lived: Women's experiences in Colonial and Antebellum America" from 11:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, MCC history instructor Sarah Sullivan and a team of students will present their research detailing women's roles and experiences in the U.S. before the Civil War.
• Women's History Month concludes Wednesday, March 22, with "Women Military Veterans: Journeys and Pathways" from 4:30-6:30 p.m. featuring female veterans who will discuss their "journey home" from military service.
Women's History Month is co-sponsored by the MCC chapter of the American Association for Women in Community Colleges, the MCC Student Life Office and the Crystal Lake branch of American Association of University Women.
The events are free. McHenry County College is at 8900 Route 14, Crystal Lake. Reservations are needed for the Meals with Moms event by emailing email@example.com. For information, contact Kathy Hayhurst at (815) 455-8740.