March is Women’s History Month, and students in the BHHS Women’s Studies class have been sharing messages with the entire school body over the loudspeaker during morning announcements. The class, which has been a Language Arts elective at the high school for over 15 years, evolved when students approached teacher Kathleen Conklin, asking for a class to be designed for girls to talk about and explore issues that were of deep importance to their daily lives. The course covers topics like the four waves of feminism, dating violence, intersectionality, and other current events and issues. March’s morning announcements by Women’s Studies students are about specific women in history, or general messages about struggles women have experienced. The messages encourage community members to learn about and understand the importance of March being Women's History Month, and to bring attention to all different kinds of women.
BHHS Women’s Studies student Emma Coden (grade 12) is also a three-year member of the BIFF Radio staff. Passionate about spreading awareness of these important issues, Coden created radio content inspired from a class visit by a survivor of human trafficking. “For the script of my production, I wrote about how human trafficking happens way more than we think - how it can happen right under our noses. I stated how force, violence, and manipulation are three main words to describe trafficking, and that we should always be aware of our surroundings. The conclusion of the public service announcement had the human trafficking hotline included, and the general message is to be aware of everything, because trafficking is very serious.” Coden’s hope “is that BIFF listeners take a minute to understand the matters of this issue. Corresponding with our Women's Studies class, I hope that peers who aren't involved with the class can take a moment to comprehend the issues women have faced throughout time, and how it should be learned about not only in the month of March, but year round.” Regarding the Women’s Studies course, Coden adds, “this class has a sense of security and safety to it that I like. It's enjoyable being able to learn and grow from one another while also spreading awareness about such real and serious topics.”
National Women's History Month was established in 1987 by Congress in order to draw attention to and improve the focus on women in historical studies. Community members can reference the March Cultural Observances link for resources for Women’s History Month and other cultural observances in the month of March.