In celebration of March as National Women's History Month, Tennessee Tech University's Women's Center has two special events planned.
They include a Tuesday, March 22, presentation about Tennessee women by Beverly Bond, a professor of African-American history at the University of Memphis, and a Tuesday, March 29, discussion about human trafficking and the sex trade by Norma Ramos, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women.
Diana Lalani of TTU's Women's Center said these speakers reflect the purpose of Women's History Month by looking back at women's past achievements and ahead to future accomplishments.
"Women's History Month is a time to celebrate our accomplishments together and a chance to envision more for ourselves," she said.
The theme of National Women's History Month this year is "Our History is Our Strength," and according to the National Women's History Project, the stories of women's achievements are integral to the fabric of history because those stories inspire more expansive visions for the future.
TTU Women's Center Director Gretta Stanger said, "[Dr. Beverly Bond] has contributed immensely to our knowledge of Tennessee women in her co-edited book by the same name. She is helping to write Tennessee women back into history."
Bond has also co-authored with Janann Sherman two other books, Memphis in Black and White (2003) and Images of America: Beale Street (2006), both from Arcadia Publishing.
She is the author of several other book chapters, journal articles and encyclopedia entries that explore various topics related to African-American women's history, and among her current projects is a second volume of Tennessee Women.
At the University of Memphis, she has taught African-American history, African-American women's history, African-American intellectual history, and other courses including a Capstone course in African and African-American studies.
Speaker Norma Ramos will focus on the current women's issues of human trafficking and the sex trade in a presentation at 7 p.m. on March 29 at Derryberry Hall Auditorium.
"We are pleased to welcome Norma Ramos," Stanger said. The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, of which Ramos is executive director, "is considered to be the first international organization to be associated with human trafficking," she continued.
Because of her work with that organization, Ramos is the recipient of the Women's Committee Award and the Flor De Maga Award, both from the Puerto Rican Bar Association.
In 2009, she was awarded the Humanist Heroine Award from the American Humanist Association.
"We have discovered that there are several student organizations on campus that are interested in this very serious and widespread human rights issue, so we hope they will be able to attend her presentation," Stanger said.
Ramos is an eco-feminist who links the worldwide inequality and destruction of women to the destruction of the environment.
A Center Stage event, her presentation — like Bond's — is free and open to the public.
Tennessee Tech University For more information about either event, contact the TTU Women's Center at 931-372-3850.