Arcadia Celebrates Women’s History Month

By Caitlin Burns | March 3, 2021

Arcadia University has a long and storied history replete with women who have blazed trails, made history, and etched their impact on local, regional, and global communities. This year, Arcadia celebrates Women’s History Month with several events throughout March for students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members. 

Documentary Showing: “Wild Women Don’t Have the Blues”
Tuesday, March 9, from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
The Office of Institutional Diversity presents the documentary “Wild Women Don’t Have the Blues” which follows pioneering blues women like Ma Rainey, Ethel Waters, Bessie Smith, Alberta Hunter, and Ida Cox. The film brings together many musical renditions with commentary to learn about the women’s experiences and music, stemming from the first work songs of Black field hands performed on stage in 1902 by Ma Rainey.

Arcadia Round Table Talks: “Gilda, Promise Me”
Wednesday, March 10, from 6 to 7 p.m.
The Arcadia Alumni Association hosts its March Round Table Talk, “Gilda, Promise Me” as a virtual book discussion featuring alumna and author, The Hon. Cav. Gilda Battaglia Rorro Baldassari, Ed. D ’62. Through this conversation you’ll learn about Gilda’s life story, including her being knighted by the President of Italy in 2008, as she discusses major themes from her memoir: Gilda, Promise Me.

Philly Jawns Speak: Mississippi Goddam Revisited 2021
Friday, March 26, from 6 to 8 p.m.
The Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice Department, Office of Institutional Diversity, Office of the Provost, Faculty Senate, and the Black Alumni Association of Arcadia University sponsor a panel and discussion on how art meets activism, featuring 10 poets from Philly Jawns: For Women Revisited, a 20+20 poetry anthology in tribute to Nina Simone, a new book co-edited by Debra Powell-Wright and Pat McLean-Smith and moderated by Director of Young Men’s Initiative at Philadelphia Futures Gabriel Bryant. 

Featured Poets: Laura Reddick, Leslie Hamilton, Misty Sol, and Wanda Flowers Peacock, Aziza Kebe, Cora Williams, Jaz, Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon, Sherry Wilson Butler, and Ursula Rucker.

This event happens in tribute to Nina Simone. On March 25, 1965, Nina Simone appeared at the Selma-to-Montgomery March where she met Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and sang the song “Mississippi Goddam!” on a stage built with coffins.

Women Who Lead Forum
Tuesday, March 30, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Mrs. Paayal Nair, Arcadia University ambassador and wife of President Ajay Nair, hosts the inaugural Women Who Lead Forum, which celebrates alumnae and women in the University community who are leaders in the industries and communities where they live and/or serve. Panelists include: Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement Brigette A. Bryant, Group Director of Community Partnerships at Bristol Myers Squibb and Arcadia Trustee-elect Patricia Cornet ’91, Women’s Ice Hockey Coach Kelsey Koelzer, CEO of Morton Comprehensive Health Services and the first woman Mayor of Tulsa M. Susan Savage ’74 ’00H, and Former Arcadia Trustee, Philanthropist, and Director, President, and Treasurer, of the Windmill Foundation Susan Tressider ’84 ’90M. This forum will serve to empower, elevate, embrace and engage women of Beaver College and Arcadia University.