Athens, Ga. – In recognition of the 2016 national Women’s History Month theme “Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government,” the Institute for Women’s Studies at the University of Georgia will be sponsoring numerous events in March.

 

Former Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, Leah Ward Sears, will present this year’s keynote address. Justice Sears was the first African-American woman to hold a position on the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia.  In 1992, she was appointed to the Georgia’s Supreme Court, making her the first woman and youngest person ever to sit on that court.  She was also the first woman to win a contested statewide election in Georgia, when she retained her seat on the Supreme Court.  In 2005, she was sworn in as Chief Justice of Georgia’s Supreme Court.  Since then, she has twice been on President Barack Obama’s short list for the U.S. Supreme Court.  She retired in 2009 and now practices law at Schiff Hardin in Atlanta.

 

Her lecture, titled “What Women Want,” will take place on Thursday, March 31 at 6:30 p.m. in the Richard B. Russell Special Collections Libraries, room 271.  A reception will immediately follow the lecture.  Both the lecture and reception are free and open to the public.

 

The Institute for Women’s Studies will continue their tradition of hosting a film festival during Women’s History Month featuring documentaries highlighting stories of women who’s government leadership and public service helped shape America’s history. All of the film screenings will take place at 6:30pm in the Richard B. Russell Special Collections Libraries, room 271. This year’s festival will kickoff on Monday, March 14 with Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed, a film about Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman to run for president.  A screening of Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority, focusing on the first woman of color in the United States Congress, will take place on Monday, March 21. The film festival will close on Monday, March 28 with Mountains that Take Wing: Angela Davis and Yuri Kochiyama – A Conversation on Life, Struggles and Liberation.  This film shares over ten years of recorded conversations between activist, scholar, professor and writer, Angela Davis, and grassroots organizer and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Yuri Kochiyama. All film screenings are free and open to the public.

 

This year’s Women’s History Month cosponsor, the Lucy Hargrett Draper Center and Archives for the Study of the Rights of Women in History and Law, will host the 20th annual rededication ceremony of their exhibit at 1:00pm on Saturday, March 5.  Dr. Toby Graham will speak, followed by gallery tours and a reception.

 

A complete list of Women’s History Month events at the University of Georgia is available online at http://iws.uga.edu/.

 

Women’s History Month at the University of Georgia is sponsored by the Institute for Women’s Studies, part of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, and the Lucy Hargrett Draper Center and Archives for the Study of the Rights of Women in History and Law.

WRITER/CONTACT: Terri Hatfield, 706-542-0066, tlhat@uga.edu