Campus Women’s Organization celebrates Martin Luther King “week”

By Mollie Durkin

Over the past few days, renowned speakers and community service organizations came to Pitt’s… Over the past few days, renowned speakers and community service organizations came to Pitt’s campus, and last night Campus Women’s Organization contributed to the cause.

“Honoring Women Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement” was the second-to-last event in a series of programs that Black Action Society and other organizations sponsored this week.

Jacquett Wade, coordinator of the Cross-Cultural and Leadership Development Office, discussed the series of events that paid tribute to King. She said the week-long series of events began for the first time last year on King’s birthday.

“His actual birthday is Jan. 15, so it’s important that we honor him on his birthday,” Wade said. “I think it’s important to keep at the forefront the work that Dr. King was a part of, and to be constantly reminded of the work that still needs to be done.”

Robin Lane, political action chair of CWO, said her organization was asked to hold an event for the celebrations this week.

“It was natural for CWO to choose to focus on women in the movement,” she said in an e-mail.

Lane also commented on what she hoped people will learn from attending the event. She said CWO chose to focus on the women who were “behind-the-scenes” of the Civil Rights Movement.

“Of course names like Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King are familiar to people, but we chose to focus on women that most of us have never heard of,” she said. “Women have contributed to all of the major social movements nationally and globally — and we should learn about them in history class along with all of their male counterparts.”

Joy Horner, president of CWO, narrated a PowerPoint presentation on the history of the Civil Rights Movement and the women involved.

The presentation profiled lesser-known women involved in the movement. It included a timeline of important events and a game of Jeopardy between two teams of the dozen attendees. The prizes included bright pink “Vagina Monologues” T-shirts, plenty of condoms and an “If These Walls Could Talk” DVD.

Horner said she was satisfied with the presentation.

“It’s always good to raise awareness, especially for Dr. King — someone who gave their life for the movement.”