International Women’s Day is Coming to EWU

By Colette-Janae Buck, Copy Editor

Working in partnership with businesses and universities across Spokane, the EWU Women’s Center will bring both renowned visual artist Favianna Rodriguez and regional author Megan Kruse to lead workshops in celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD).

Celebrated annually on March 8, IWD commemorates the social, political and economic achievements made by women around the world, while attempting to build upon those achievements, according to the International Women’s Day website.

Candace Martin, EWU Women’s Studies program coordinator, and this year’s chair of the Spokane Women’s Day event, said the choice to bring Rodriguez to EWU as a keynote speaker and workshop leader was in response to this year’s IWD theme, “be bold for change.”

“We think the way she uses art particularly appeals to our students who are interested in both activism and art,” Lisa Logan, EWU Women’s Center manager, said.

Logan also said that sponsors of Spokane’s IWD were interested in having Rodriguez be a guest at this years celebration.

Sponsors include “EWU Women’s Studies Center, EWU Student Activities, Involvement, and Leadership (SAIL), EWU Chicano/Chicana Studies Program, Gonzaga University Women’s and Gender Studies Program and Gonzaga University Unity Multicultural Education Center (UMEC),” Martin said via email. The sponsor list also included many other local groups and individuals.

“Immigration is a huge topic being discussed right now, and several sponsors were interested in having her, so we decided to fundraise and bring her to EWU,” Logan said.

Rodriguez is based out of Oakland, California, and is known internationally for her interdisciplinary visual art, which she uses as a method of activism to discuss social issues, such as immigration and interdependence. She is also the executive director of Culture Strike, according to a Feb. 13 EWU Women’s Center press release.

“Her mission is to create profound and lasting social change in the world,” said Martin. “She will bring a unique perspective on how to enact that lasting social change.”

Rodriguez will be leading the keynote speech on March 4, from 1:15-2:15 p.m. Afterwards, individuals attending the event can chose between three different workshops. “Applying Mindfulness,” hosted by Dori Langenvin, “Bollywood Dance,” hosted by Naghmana Sherazi and “Activism 101,” hosted by Liz Moore at the Spokane Woman’s Club.

Regional author Megan Kruse, whose debut novel “Call Me Home” was released in 2015, will also be participating in the IWD celebrations on EWU’s campus where she will lead a keynote and discussion on March 8 from 4-6 p.m.

Kruse teaches fiction at Eastern Oregon University. She studied creative writing at Oberlin College and earned her MFA at the University of Montana.

Participants can also take part in the tabling events offered during Spokane’s IWD.

Martin said the event’s sponsors “will be having tabling events where sponsors can present their work and community members can view the resources available in their communities.”

EWU students wishing to attend the event’s scheduled on March 3 and 4 are encouraged to pre-register through the Spokane IWD Eventbrite page in order to reserve one of the 50 available spots, Martin said.

Opportunities to volunteer are also available for interested individuals.

Martin said students looking to get involved can sign up to help during the March 4 event by contacting Annica Eagle of Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and Northern Idaho at [email protected]