Women’s History Month celebrates UC trailblazers

Campus events highlight innovative pioneers

The University of Cincinnati's rich history is marked by countless women innovators who have helped shape the future for more than 200 years.

In the spirit of Women's History Month and in celebration of this year’s national theme, “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories,” UC highlights powerful advocates and reformers through a series of exciting events throughout March.

Beginning on March 3, participate in discussions on Black feminism and reproductive justice after the overturn of Roe v. Wade or enjoy film screenings on combating racism and homophobia. Several events provide fun and safe spaces to engage in personal stories while recognizing UC’s increasingly diverse, equitable and inclusive landscape.

For decades, the expression “having a seat at the table” has been used to gauge people’s access to power and decision making in the workplace, in their communities and in political spaces — access often equated with their ability to enact change. This year’s Black Feminist Symposium theme, “Building Our Own Table, Defining Our Own Terms,” explores the friction between working within oppressive systems versus working from the outside. 

While reflecting on the past, celebrating the present and looking to the future, UC honors its female scholars and staff for their extraordinary accomplishments and tireless dedication. From Alice May Easton and Marian Spencer, UC alumnae who broke racial barriers to the Braun sisters who broke early gender barriers in the biological sciences, UC heroines today continue to become recognized leaders across the globe.

In honor of International Women’s History Day on March 8, UC Women’s Center will open nominations for the Woman of the Year award — honoring a faculty or staff member who consistently works to improve the lives of students and shows a commitment to gender equity while advocating for women and gender minorities. Only UC students can submit nominations, which will be open during the second week in March on the UC Women's Center CampusLINK page.

Check out the full list of events sponsored by UC Student Affairs.

Seventh annual Black Feminist Symposium | March 3 (8 a.m.-4 p.m.)

Location: TUC Great Hall

The Black Feminist Symposium celebrates Black feminist thought, scholarship and activism while uplifting voices through forums, panels and creative work. The focus of the annual symposium aims to unite Black feminist work created at UC with the Tristate community. While connecting student activism with community work, the symposium elevates Black feminist contributions toward achieving social justice.

This year’s symposium theme is “Building Our Own Table, Defining Our Own Terms.” 

Featured speakers and performers:

  • Siri Imani, local activist, hip-hop artist and spoken-word poet
  • Geneva Miller of UC Black Women on the Move
  • Rickell Howard Smith, new CEO of the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati
  • Khisha Asubuhi, owner of Originalitees, a Cincinnati apparel line 
  • Karrington Rainey, Ms. Kuamka 2022, and Jaela Kennedy, Ms. Kuamka 2023

This year’s program is expanded with 14 concurrent sessions, two afternoon networking sessions, a coffee hour and a Black Women in Higher Education networking event. In addition, the event will include a self-care space with journaling, a massage chair and more.

Event is free and open to the public. People of all genders, races, ethnicities, backgrounds and identities are welcome to attend. See full program here.

Light breakfast and lunch are provided to all attendees. Registration is required.

For more information, contact: UC Women's Center at (513) 556-4401 or (513) 556-0173 or email.

‘Race and racism in Cincinnati’ film screening | March 7, 20 and April 11 (6:30-8:30 p.m.)

Location: TUC Cinema (TUC 415 for discussion following the film) 

View the Intercommunity Justice & Peace Center's "Race and Racism in Cincinnati" film series. The three-part docuseries tells the story of Cincinnati’s history from the racial margins — a history that is not often told in school curriculums or in mainstream white culture. All three parts explore how race and racism shaped Cincinnati from its inception to the present day, placing the storytelling authority in the hands of common people, rather than the people who hold power. 

Films are free for UC students, faculty and staff. Registration in CampusLink is required. 

Screening times:

  • Part 1 - March 7, “Early History” (6:30-8:30 p.m.) 

  • Part 2 - March 20, “Reconstruction/Jim Crow” (6:30-8:30 p.m.) 

  • Part 3 - April 11, “Race & Racism Today” (6:30-8:30 p.m.) 

Sponsored by the Center for Community Engagement; Nathaniel R. Jones Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice; and the Center for Truth Racial Healing & Transformation.

‘Southwest of Salem’ film screening, Q&A | March 7 (5:15-8 p.m.)

Location: UC College of Law, room 160

Experience the award-winning documentary “Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four” film screening. Learn about how four Latina lesbian women fight against mythology, homophobia and prosecutorial fervor after being wrongfully convicted of gang-raping two little girls during the Satanic Panic witch hunt of the ’80s and ’90s. Q&A with Anna Vasquez, one of the exonerees featured in the film, follows the screening.  

Light refreshments will be provided.

Ohio Lesbian Archives discussion | March 22 (4-5 p.m.)

Location: TBD

Members of the local Ohio Lesbian Archives (OLA) will share stories of discovery, spotlight some of their collections and highlight this unique source of local women’s and queer history in Cincinnati. The OLA is one of only a handful of such dedicated archives in the U.S. and has been collecting materials by and about lesbians and Greater Cincinnati LGBTQ+ communities for more than three decades. They are open by appointment for students, researchers or anyone curious about lesbian culture, wanting lesbian empowerment or who wants to learn more about histories of local LGBTQ+ communities, movements and individuals.

Loretta Ross: Reproductive Justice as Human Rights, women's history month keynote | March 24 (4:30 p.m.)

Portrait photo of Loretta Ross.

Loretta Ross

Location: TUC Great Hall

Loretta Ross serves as this year’s Women’s History Month keynote speaker for the Women’s Center and the Taft Research Center and is the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies’ (WGSS) distinguished lecturer. Ross’ visit is a collaborative effort by partners across UC who recognize the importance of promoting conversations about reproductive justice in this critical moment following the overturn of Roe v. Wade.

Reproductive justice moves beyond choice and access to abortion. The term was coined by African American women including Ross, in 1994, following the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt. This presentation covers all aspects of reproductive justice which is becoming the primary framework new voices in the movement are using to move beyond the paralyzing debates of abortion politics.


UC Women’s Center; Taft Research Center; UC Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS); UC Department of Africana Studies; UC College of Law; Nathaniel R. Jones Center for Race, Gender and Social Justice; WGSS Graduate Student Organization; UC Fellows of the Graduate School; UC Graduate Student Government and UC Generation Action.

Feminist ‘Crafternoon,’ student-focused event | March 27 (1-2:30 p.m.)

Location: UC Women’s Center, 571 Steger

Join Women’s Center staff for an afternoon of collage-making and other crafts. Created by WGSS graduate student Abby Hobbs and womens’ center student staff, Amaya Boyd.

‘Jones Center mX.po: Social Justice Org Fair for all the ladies and they’ | March 29 (4-6 p.m.)

Location: UC College of Law, room 170

The UC Nathaniel R. Jones Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice in the College of Law presents a social justice expo event featuring women and LGBTQ+ oriented community leaders and organizations. Learn about organizations, volunteer opportunities and potential internship and externship opportunities.

For more information, contact: Jenn Dye (513) 556-7467

The Legs, Hips, Body & Poetry workshop | March 30 (3-5 p.m.)

Location: UC African American Cultural and Resource Center (AACRC), 60 W. Charlton

Register to attend this writing workshop inspired by Lucille Cliftonʼs poem “Homage to my hips,” which defines her body on her own terms — each line celebrates womanhood and honors her “big” and powerful hips.

The workshop provides space for Black women to write poems about their own body, sexuality and womanhood, and empowers Black women participants to make strength training a part of their self-care practice. Participants will each receive a collection of poetry.

  • First half of the workshop, participants will read and discuss poems by Black women poets that explore autonomy, sexuality/sexual relationships, the body, race and womanhood. Facilitators Simone Savannah and Morgan-Allison Moore will lead a writing activity to help participants generate one poem to share at the end of the workshop. 
  • Second half of the workshop, participants hear stories about the facilitatorsʼ body and fitness journeys. Following the presentations, participants will learn and practice the best exercises to grow the glutes and strengthen the legs and hips. Participants will also have the opportunity to share their personal stories and ask questions related to the body and the gym. 
  • Workshop ends with an open mic session where participants may share their poem written during the first half of the workshop. 

Space is limited. Registration required via CampusLink

Presented by Simone Savannah, PhD, and Morgan-Allison Moore

Co-sponsored by UC Women’s Center and the Taft Research Center.

Check back daily for newly added events.


Featured image at top: Graphic by Shutterstock

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