Friday, March 03, 2017

[329] MTSU National Women’s History Month celebrates labor, business trailblazers

MURFREESBORO — Science, entrepreneurship, academia and gender identity are among the topics to be explored in MTSU’s 2017 celebration of National Women’s History Month.

“Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business” is the theme of this year’s observance. In conjunction with the theme, buttons will be distributed across campus bearing the likeness of Madam C.J. Walker, the hair products magnate who was hailed as the first self-made African-American millionaire in the country in the early 20th century.

Walker’s great-great-granddaughter, author and journalist A’Lelia Bundles, will deliver an address at the official opening ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 15, in the Keathley University Center Theater.

Bundles, who has written biographies of Madam C.J. Walker, is a former producer for NBC News and a former producer and executive for ABC News. She maintains the Madam Walker Family Archives and serves as a consultant and historical adviser for Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture, a line of hair care products developed by Sunline Brands.

Another pioneering woman, chemist Dorothy Phillips, will share her story in an open-door question-and-answer session with students from 3 to 4 p.m. and in a 7 p.m. public address Wednesday, March 1, in the Tom H. Jackson Building.

Phillips, the first African-American woman to earn a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Vanderbilt University, was reelected to the board of the American Chemical Society in 2016.

Women interested in science will be able to quiz professionals in various technology fields at the “Women-Powered Tech Roundtable Discussion” from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, March 17, in the Tom H. Jackson Building. The event is hosted by Nashville Geek Girl Dinners, a group that encourages women in the information technology industry.

The biennial Women and Gender Studies Conference, with the theme of “Creating Global Change,” will unite scholars from around the world on the second floor of the Student Union Wednesday, March 22, through Saturday, March 25.

Through workshops, art, poetry, dance, film, invited speakers, panel discussions and the presentation of academic research, the interdisciplinary gathering will shed light on numerous issues. For more information or to register, go to

A panel of students, faculty and staff will discuss attitudes regarding sexuality and gender that they have experienced on campus at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 23, in the State Farm Lecture Hall of the Business and Aerospace Building.

The Academy Award-nominated film “Hidden Figures” will be shown Monday, March 13, through Wednesday, March 15, in the Keathley University Center Theater. The movie is based on the true story of three African-American women mathematicians whose work made astronaut John Glenn’s 1962 history-making orbit of the earth possible. Check for show times at

All events with the exception of the Women and Gender Studies Conference are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Barbara Scales, co-chair of the National Women’s History Month Committee, at 615-898-2193 or or the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at 615-898-5910.

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