Women's History Month Opening Reception aims to open March strong
Celebrating the women who have helped shaped history, the Michigan Women’s Historical Center and Hall of Fame is kicking off Women’s History Month with its annual event on March 1.
The event goes on from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and will be hosted at the Michigan Women's Historical Center and Hall of Fame, located at 1982 W. Grand River Ave. within Meridian Mall.
Executive Director of the Michigan Women's Historical Center and Hall of Fame Caitlyn Perry Dial said even though the center and hall of fame celebrate women’s history year-round, they like to make a splash in March.
“We like to make a big deal out of March, because that is when the public is generally aware we celebrate women’s history in March,” Dial said. “We’re here to celebrate the accomplishments of Michigan women and the history of Michigan women, and so we really try to make March count.”
The event is free and open to the public. Norma Lewis, author of “Wild Women of Michigan: A History of Spunk and Tenacity” will be speaking and signing her book. Also, MSU’s all-women a cappella group, Ladies First, will be performing anthems of female empowerment.
The banners for the 2017 hall of fame inductees will be be unveiled, including: Bernice Finley, the first African-American to achieve tenure at the School of Nursing at Wayne State University; Elizabeth Wetzel, the first female design director for General Motors; and Ella Mae Backus, the first woman in Michigan to become an assistant U.S. attorney.
As told by its name, Ladies First pioneered female inclusion in a cappella groups at MSU. Current business manager of Ladies First, Olivia Child, said her mother, Robyn Limberg-Child, was one of the founders of the group back in 1985 when a cappella was only available for male students.
Child said the recent sexual abuse scandal of ex-MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar and the university’s response made the decision to participate in this event easy.
“Being an all-girls group especially with the events that have gone on in the past semester or so, we think it’s a really important time for all of us not only to stand together with each other, but also stand together and show support for the rest of the community,” Child said. “All of the women who have gotten us to this point today and all the women who are currently working to get us to a better position, more equality dealing with issues like sexual assault ... we think that as an all-female group it’s really important for us to be involved in that conversation.”