March is Women's History Month! Women's History Month is designated each year in March by presidential proclamation and is set aside to honor women's contributions to American history. Women's History Month originally began as a a local celebration in Santa Rosa, California in 1978. In 1978, The Educational Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women planned and executed a "Women's History Week." The task force chose the week of March 8th for their celebration because it corresponded with International Women's Day. In Santa Rosa, the week was celebrated by holding essay contests, having women from the community present special presentations in classrooms, and ended with a parade in downtown Santa Rosa.
The following year, Women's History Week spread as other communities and people learned about the popularity of the celebration in Santa Rosa. In 1979, Molly Murphy MacGregor, a member of the National Women's History Alliance, participated in The Women's History Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. At the event, MacGregor and historian Gerda Lerner learned about the success of Sonoma County's Women's History Week and decided to initiate similar efforts within their own organizations. MacGregor and Lerner also resolved to support efforts to secure a "National Women's History Week."
In February 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the the first presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8th 1980 as National Women's History Week. Also in February 1980, Representative Barbara Mikulski and Senarot Orrin Hatch co-sponsored a Congressional Resolution for National Women's History Week in 1981. This resolution gained widespread support for its goal of recognizing, honoring, and celebrating the achievements of American women.
As the week continued to grow in popularity, various state departments of education encouraged celebrations of National Women's History Week in the classroom as a means to support equity goals within the classroom. States that supported National Women's History Week created and distributed curriculum and organizations sponsored essay contest and special events.
By 1986, 14 states had declared March Women's History Month. This enthusiastic response from states helped to convince Congress to declare the entire month of March 1987 as National Women's History Month. In 1987 Congress declared the entire month of March as National Women's History Month in perpetuity. Each year, there is a special presidential proclamation honoring the achievements of American women.
Molly Murohy MacGregor, "Why March is National Women's History Month," National Women's History Alliance, accessed December 9, 2019. https://nationalwomenshistoryalliance.org/womens-history-month/womens-history-month-history/.
"Women's History Month," National Women's History Museum, accessed December 9, 2019. https://www.womenshistory.org/womens-history/womens-history-month.
Jean Nidetch Women's Center (JNWC)- The JNWC is committed to creating a supportive and inclusive environment for all genders through programming services, and confidential advocacy for the UNLV community.
Women's Research Institute of Nevada (WRIN)- The mission of WRIN is to understand and improve the lives of women and girls in Nevada through research, education, and action.
American Association of Women Dentists (AAWD)- AAWD provides support and education to women in the dental industry. The mission is to become the recognized resource for connecting and enriching the lives of women dentists.
Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG)- The AWG is an international organization devoted to enhancing the quality and level of participation of women in geosciences and to introduce girls and young women to geoscience careers. Membership is open to anyone who supports AWG's goals.
Organization of Women Law Students (OWLS)- OWLS is for any law students dedicated to supporting women in the legal profession. Their goal is to help members succeed in law school and to provide opportunities to expand professional connections to help members find jobs after graduation. OWLS seeks to enhance and elevate professional networking through opportunities to meet faculty and successful women in the legal community.
Society of Women Engineers, UNLV Student Chapter (SWE)- SWE is an non-profit educational and service organization that empowers women to succeed and advance in the field of engineering, and to be recognized for their life-changing contributions as engineers and leaders.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Medicine Branch of the American Medical Women's Associations, Inc (AMWA)- The AMWA is an association which functions at the local, national, and international level to advance women in medicine and improve women's health. AMWA brings together those in medicine and health-related fields to promote women's health and to support members' professional and personal development.
UNLV Women's Volleyball Club- The UNLV Women's Volleyball Club provides an opportunity for women to continue to play volleyball competitively at the collegiate level. The club provides the opportunity for bi-weekly exercise and wellness, along with allowing participants to establish strong social connections and school pride that enhance their college experience at UNLV.
UNLV Women's Rugby Club- The UNLV Women's Rugby Club brings together women to play a sport and be a part of a team.
UNLV Women's Lacrosse- The UNLV's Women's Lacrosse Club is designed to educate people about the sport of women's lacrosse.
Girls Who Code College Loop- Girls Who Code College Loop helps women hone their computer science skills and engage with other women to take action, collaborate, create, and inspire one another.
Cinefemmes- Cinefemmes is a UNLV student organization founded by UNLV women filmmakers with the goal of creating and developing a space of support for UNLV filmmakers in the pursuit of their careers. The mission of Cinefemmes at the core it to provide guidance, knowledge, opportunity, support and inspiration to the UNLV film community.
Womxn of Color Coalition- The Women of Color Coalition offers spaces that affirm being a women of color is enough with the goal of increasing the success of women of color on campus.