Speakers read famous speeches by influential women

In honor of Women’s History Month and theme of the expression “Nevertheless, She Persisted,” a reading of famous speeches by influential women were given by students and staff on March 21 in the Recital Hall.

The event was moderated by history professors Diana Reed and Alex Peshkoff, who also provided historical context for each woman they represented. Reed initiated the event by reading journalist Ida B. Wells’ speech, “Lynching our National Crime,”

“‘Nevertheless, She Persisted’ focuses on women who persisted in championing the causes and working on behalf of others,” said Reed.

Anthony Wells, a 27-year-old marketing and film production major, was glad he attended and listened to the several speeches read by speakers that varied from political activist Emma Goldman and media propieter Oprah Winfrey.

“It was a great tool to use because it pioneers in the industry and great women leaders to express their struggle,” Wells said.

Melissa Rice, a 46-year-old human services major, was one of the speakers during the event and read Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s “Solitude of Self,” a woman was responsible for leading the early developments of the women’s rights movement.

“I grew up with the feeling that being a woman was not okay,” said Rice. “It’s been a long road, so I feel really honored to be up here and to give this speech.”

Psychology professor Amanda Proscal was the final speaker who read Oprah Winfrey’s speech, which was given at the Golden Globes Award Ceremony this year.

Roz Meyers, a 61-year-old sociology major, was a speaker who read artist Gwendolyn Bennet’s “To a Dark Girl,”

“This was a wonderful event to the extent that it gave opportunities for women to use their voice, to continue and give those speeches for us to continue the story,” said Meyers. “Pass the baton, continue the struggle, reach out to the younger generation including young men because it takes all of us men and women to make a change.”