Women’s History Month

Women Marching

Every year since 1995, March has been designated as “Women’s History Month” by Presidential proclamation. The month is set aside to honor women’s contributions in American history. The National Women’s History Alliance, which was instrumental in establishing the celebratory month, selects and publishes the theme each year. The 2020 Women’s History Month theme is “Valiant Women of the Vote,” recognizing the enactment of the 19th amendment granting women the right to vote and more importantly memorializing the women of the past who fought for that right and the women of today who continue to fight for voting rights around the world.

Women’s History Month began as a week-long local celebration in Santa Rosa, California in 1978. The Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women planned and executed the first “Women’s History Week” the week of March 8th to correspond with International Women’s Day. The movement spread as other communities across the United States initiated their own week-long celebrations beginning the following year.

In 1980, a consortium of women’s groups and historians led by the National Women’s History Project (now the National Women's History Alliance) successfully lobbied Congress for national recognition of Women’s History week. In February 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the Week of 8 March 1980 as “National Women’s History Week.”

In 1987, after more lobbying by the National Women’s History Project, Congress began designating the entire month of March as “Women’s History Month.” Since 1995, American presidents have annually issued a proclamation designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.”

Women’s History Month Events

March 3rd – 10-noon “Movin’ with Mo” Fitness Class with Monique Jefferson of Birmingham

Format: In Person, 11F Houston Cole Library

Description: Celebrate health and wellness by working out with fitness instructor Monique Jefferson from Birmingham. Workouts will vary from low-intensity to high-intensity workouts. All are welcome. No experience is necessary.


March 8th at 11:30 – Empowerment March around Trustees’ Circle 

Format: In Person

Description: For the 4th annual empowerment march, participants will meet on the TMB lawn to pick up a poster or make one for the march. At noon, we’ll head to Trustees’ Circle for the march. Put on your WHM tee-shirt and show off your strength and confidence as we march for women’s empowerment at JSU.

The march will be preceded by two poster-making sessions. Supplies will be provided. The first is March 2nd from 11-noon in the TMB auditorium. The second opportunity to make a poster is March 7th at the Women’s Leadership House from 5-7 pm.


March 10nd- 5:30-8:30pm Women’s History Month Keynote Speaker Ashley M. Jones and Annual Awards Banquet 

Format: In Person at Leone Cole

Description: Join the JSU Women’s History Month Committee at our kick-off event featuring an inspiring keynote from Ashley M. Jones, Alabama’s poet laureate at 7 pm. Ms. Jones is Alabama’s first black poet laureate and the state’s youngest poet laureate as well. Her latest collection of poems is Reparations Now! Of the book, Jones has said, “This book is full of poems that are about the need for repair…not only our country, which needs to repair from all of the horrors that is has been through and that it has caused – specifically for… Black people – but also repair on a personal level.”

Prior to Ms. Jones’s presentation, at 5:30 pm, the WHM essay contest committee will present its winners. Food and refreshments will be served at 6:30. After Ms. Jones’s presentation, stay to find out who is JSU’s Student Woman of the Year, Faculty Woman of the Year, and Gender Advocate of the Year and enjoy the presentation of the inaugural Dr. Robert Watts Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Watts who served the university for decades as a faculty member and Dean of the Nursing School and was the first African-American woman to do so.


March 16th - Women's Health, Wellness, & Self-Care Panel at 12pm-1:30pm  

Format: Virtual on Teams 

Link: Wellness Panel Teams Meeting

Gina Mabry, PhD, Department Head, Department of Kinesiology, Jacksonville State University
Trace Fleming-Trice, LICSW, Director of Social Work Field Education and Social Work Instructor, Talladega College and Executive Director, Self-Care For Advocates
Sean Creech, LICSW, PIP, Director, Office of Disability Resources, Jacksonville State University
Marla Johnson Ford, RN, BSN, Retired Nurse

Description of Panel: The Health, Wellness, and Self-Care panel will be held virtually on Microsoft Teams on Wednesday, March 16th from 12:00-1:30 pm. This panel will discuss current research and trends surrounding women's health and wellness in the United States as well as explore experiences of managing health, wellness, and self-care in everyday life. The panel will include experts in the area of women's health, kinesiology, and social work.

Woman of the Year and Gender Advocate of the Year Awards 

Nominations Due: March 1 at 11:59PM 

The Women's History Month Committee invites you to nominate someone from the JSU campus community for one of our three annual awards: Woman of the Year (Faculty/Staff/Administrator), Woman of the Year (Student), and Gender Advocate of the Year. Award nominations are due by March 1st at 11:59pm. Nominees and award winners will be recognized at an awards ceremony following the keynote address on March 10th. The nomination form can be found here: https://forms.office.com/r/YunWnTgxa9


Drawing/Writing Contest for local students 

Submissions Due: March 1 at 11:59 pm

This March 2022, Jacksonville State University in association with The Anniston Star will be conducting a picture and essay contest to celebrate Women’s History Month with the winning pictures and essays published in The Anniston Star. This contest is open to ALL students who reside in Calhoun County including homeschooled students and students of any gender. Entries will be judged by a panel of JSU faculty and personnel of the Women’s History Month Committee. All entries must conform to the appropriate division definition. Please use the following links to see the requirements for each division of the contest. All entries are due March 1st. Winners will be announced at the keynote address on March 10th.



Art Contest

Entries Due: February 8th

Calling all women, artists, poets, writers, individuals, and the like; we invite you to enter our 2nd Annual Women’s History Month Exhibition. We are looking for art works dealing with gender, politics, women, history, and everything in between.  All mediums and art forms are welcome, including writing, visual art, videography, research, etc. Up to 3 entries are allowed and will be juried by our Art Gallery Coordinator Morgan Worsham and Professor of Printmaking Sarah Ellis. Deadline for entry is February 8th. Accepted entries will be announced February 16th. Works must be delivered by February 25th. Show opens March 3rd. Please visit www.jsu.edu/art/hammond-gallery.html for entry form.


Women’s History Month Tee-shirt fundraiser

Due Date February 11th

This year, the WHM committee is selling empowerment tee-shirts to fund prizes in our essay contest.

For only $20 you get a super-cool tee-shirt and the knowledge that you contributed to the education of local students. Follow this link to purchase a shirt through Red Threads: https://redthreadsink.com/jsu-womens-history-month-rosie-word-art-tee/

2022 WHM Shirt

Archive of Previous Years

For 138 years, JSU women have been making history on campus and beyond. English instructor Eliza A. Bowen - one of the first women faculty hired when the institution began in 1883 - was a nationally known writer, still remembered for authoring a definitive astronomy textbook.

Student Heather Whitestone McCallum was crowned the first deaf Miss America in 1995. Dr. Roberta Watts, who became JSU’s first black faculty member in 1969 and first black dean in 1983, was also the first black nursing dean of a non-historically black university in Alabama.

Student-athlete Ashley Martin Cockrell became the first woman to score in an NCAA Division I American football game in 2001. And, of course, there’s JSU friend and former staff member Lilly Ledbetter, who had a piece of legislation bearing her name signed into law by President Obama in 2009.

Inspired by the contributions of these and other legendary JSU women, the campus will recognize Women’s History Month 2021 throughout March. Please mark your calendar for the following events:

Women’s History Month Keynote Speaker, Ashley Cockrell: Kick off Women's History Month with a speech from alumna Ashley Martin Cockrell on March 2, 4 p.m. She was the first woman to score in a NCAA Division I American Football game. Her speech will be held in person at Leone Cole Auditorium. Only 60 seats are available and must be reserved in advance online. It will also be streamed live of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion's Facebook and Instagram pages.

Panel on Work/Family Balance: This panel - comprised of an expert sociologist and JSU faculty, administration, staff and student representatives - will discuss current research and trends surrounding work/family balance in the US as well as experiences of managing work/family balance in everyday life. Join the virtual event on Microsoft Teams on March 3 at 12 p.m.

HERstory of Success: JSU's Women in Leadership: During this virtual panel on March 10, join a student moderator as she interviews women leaders serving JSU's campus, discovering their education and career path, advice for students and professional women, and viewpoints on women's roles. The event will take place at 12 p.m. on Microsoft Teams.

Women in Politics Panel: Join the SGA and the Women’s History Month Committee for a conversation with local politicians on March 12 at 12 p.m. on Microsoft Teams.

Empowerment Photobooth: Join members of the Women’s History Month Committee in person at the Theron Montgomery Building on March 15-18, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., to share words of empowerment and take a selfie. Free Women’s History Month face masks will be given away (while supplies last).

Women’s History Month Awards Ceremony: Join members of the Women’s History Month Committee on March 29 at 12 p.m. as they wrap up the month by celebrating the accomplishments of JSU students, faculty and staff at a virtual award ceremony. Nominations are being accepted through March 15 for one of three annual awards: Woman of the Year (Faculty/Staff/Administrator), Woman of the Year (Student) and Gender Advocate of the Year. Entries are also being accepted through March 3 for a picture and essay contest, held in association with the Anniston Star, open to students of all genders in second grade through college who reside in Calhoun County. Submissions will be judged by a panel of JSU faculty and personnel of the Women’s History Month Committee. Winning entries will be published in the Anniston Star and honored at the March 29 awards ceremony.

Updated 3/13/2020:

JSU has cancelled all campus events until further notice. This includes all Women's History Month events.

Opportunities to Participate Throughout the Month

  • The student gallery in the Art Department will host “The Women’s History Month Exhibition” Art show. Submissions close on February 28. The kickoff for the show is March 10 from 5-7 pmApply to Exhibit Your Art.
  • JSU will be collecting notecards during February and March for our “Women Who Inspire Me Notecard” Project. Nominate an Inspiring Woman.
  • Throughout the month of March, get into the spirit of Women’s History Month by reading a selection from our Women's History Reading List.