SPRINGFIELD — In honor of Women’s History Month in March and International Women’s Day on March 8, Bay Path University will present the On the Move Forum in partnership with the Professional Women’s Chamber, the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, the Pan African Historical Museum USA (PAHMUSA), and Enchanted Circle Theater. The event will be held at CityStage in Springfield today, March 8, from 5 to 7 p.m.
This program is funded in part by Mass Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The On the Move Forum will explore the inclusive timeline of women’s history and the women’s rights movement through an interactive presentation, sparking community conversations about gaps and gains in that history.
The forum’s theme, “Know the Past, Chart the Future,” will use literature and philosophy to engage the audience in exploring the status of women regarding race, ethnicity, culture, age, sexual orientation, and the progress made since the first federally funded women’s conference in 1977.
During the program, an educational presentation will feature portrayals of essential historic figures from the timeline of the women’s movement, providing an opportunity for historic ‘conversations’ with Sojourner Truth, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Gloria Steinem, to name a few. Bay Path’s Leanna James Blackwell, director, MFA in Creative Nonfiction, and assistant professor of Creative Writing, will portray Steinem, and Priscilla Kane Hellweg, executive artistic director, Enchanted Circle Theater will present as Eleanor Roosevelt. Remarks will be given by young women leaders from Bay Path University as well.
“This is a great opportunity to walk through women’s history while supporting women in business and inspiring professional women at every level and college students to pursue their dreams — thus creating the world they want to live in,” said Janine Fondon, assistant professor and co-coordinator of the On the Move Forum with Melina Rudman at Bay Path University.
The On the Move Forum also includes a Table Top Business Expo by the Professional Women’s Chamber, as well as an interactive program to highlight women’s history, leadership, and trends.
“Our young women need to know of the history of the great women who paved the way for them — their stories will no longer go silent,” said LuJuana Hood, director of PAHMUSA, which is currently displaying an exhibit of figures in the women’s movement timeline.
Many local businesses, including PeoplesBank, Roberto’s restaurant, Sylvester’s restaurant, Pip Printing, and Cambridge College, have joined On the Move as sponsors. For tickets, call the CityStage box office at (413) 788-7033.