Sunday, March 8, 2015, marked the 104th observance of International Women’s Day. According to the United Nations, the day was initiated in Copenhagen to honor the movement for women’s rights and build support for universal suffrage. Now, International Women’s Day is a day celebrated in multiple countries worldwide, where women are recognized for their accomplishments “without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic, or political.”
Naturally, as a global news source for women’s voices and perspectives, The WIP has organized a variety of events celebrating International Women’s Day for four of the past eight years. However, this year on Friday March 6th, The WIP hosted its first luncheon and fundraising event at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Monterey, CA. With sweeping views of Monterey Bay and a blue-sky backdrop, the almost 200 guests brought a spirited energy to a successful event.
Titled “Women, Media and Social Change,” this year’s event placed a strong emphasis on the community of women contributors around the world who continue to write, submit, and expose issues that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Opening remarks from Amy Sands, Executive Director for Research Centers and Initiatives at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS), started the event on a positive note, as she represented the strong support from attending MIIS faculty, staff and students. Emcee Daisy Tormé, renowned actress, singer, and host, captivated the crowd with her humor, flair for storytelling, and enthusiasm for women’s rights.
For the first time, two video compilations (see both videos below), one shown at the beginning of the event and the other toward the end, shared the real voices of some of these women, highlighting why The WIP plays a critical role in their lives and for the world.
Associate Editor Kim Amador offered her brief remarks, genuinely expressing her commitment to and love for The WIP’s mission. Director Kate Daniels Kurz followed with words of appreciation for everyone attending and obvious passion for her work. Finally, singer, composer, writer, and voice coach Lisa Goettel led a surprising activity, encouraging everyone in the room to stand up and sing in a powerful expression of unity.
The conversational buzz in the room left a memorable and hopeful impression, as a group of people from a variety of backgrounds connected around a singular mission. In 1975, the United Nations designated March 8th as the official date for International Women’s Day. With growing support worldwide, and organizations like The WIP to propel the progress of women, it’s an international fixture here to stay.
Brittany Lane is a graduate candidate for a M.A. in International Policy Studies with a concentration on Human Security and Development at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. She earned her B.A. in International Relations and Economics from the College of William and Mary. She is passionate about women's rights, gender equity through sport, and youth development. She is a Graduate Assistant for The WIP.