Women's History Month


As recently as the 1970s, women’s history was virtually an unknown topic in the K-12 curriculum or in the public consciousness. It wasn’t until February 1980 when President Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the week of March 8th, 1980, as National Women’s History Week. In 1981, a Congressional Resolution for National Women’s History week was sponsored and support for recognizing, honoring, and celebrating the achievements of American women grew.

Word spread nationally throughout state departments of education which encouraged celebrations of National Women’s History Week through curricular support, essay contests and other special programs. Within a few years, thousands of school communities were celebrating National Women’s History Week, supported, and encouraged by resolutions from governors, city councils, school boards, and the U.S. Congress.

Each year, the dates of National Women’s History Week (the week of March 8th) would change. By 1986, 14 states had already declared March as Women’s History Month. This momentum and state-by-state action was used as the rationale to lobby Congress to declare the entire month of March as National Women’s History Month. In 1987, Congress declared March as National Women’s History Month in perpetuity. A special Presidential Proclamation is issued every year which honors the extraordinary achievements of American women.

We encourage our community to take the time to learn about, celebrate, and share the extraordinary achievements of women in America while overcoming adversity created through systemic sexism and gender stereotypes. All are welcome at any of the special events below and we encourage everyone to utilize the resources at the bottom of this page.

Past Events

  • Food Justice

    March 02, 2023, 4:00pm
    Western Washington University, Carver Gym 104

    Join Dr. Anika Tilland-Stafford, WWU professor of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies; Roxana Pardo Garcia, Executive Director of Alimentando al Pueblo; and Tina McKim, Founder of Birchwood Food Desert Fighters as they discuss ongoing challenges in food justice in our own community and beyond. Part of the Queering Research Series, co-organized by LGBTQ+ Western and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

    Please contact Rae Lynn Schwartz-DuPre for more information or accessibility needs.

    Zoom: Food Justice

  • Women’s Equity in 2023, Panel Discussion & Luncheon

    March 06, 2023, 11:00am
    Bellingham, Technical College, Campus Center, Settlemyer Hall

    Join Bellingham Technical College, Associated Students at BTC, and community partners as we honor Women’s History Month with a discussion around the topic, “Women's Equity in 2023.” Panelists from diverse backgrounds, identities and industries will share their leadership journeys, equity challenges they’ve experienced and how they combat them, as well as where they find joy and opportunities moving toward an abundant future. Free lunch and parking is available and open to all students, employees and community members.

    Megan Link, Link Electric

    Megan is an electrician and owner of Link Electric, LLC, a Bellingham-based company working in residential, commercial, and lighting industrial. She has been in the trade for over 8 years and started Link Electric in 2021.

    Elizabeth Hayes, Cloud Mountain Farm Center

    Elizabeth is the Director of Cloud Mountain Farm Center, a nonprofit research, resource, and education farm in Everson, WA. She has worked in food and farming for over a decade and holds a B.S. in Agronomy and Crop Science from Oregon State. She has worked at all scales of production from regional specialty crops to commodity exports, and is passionate about career development and ownership opportunities for young people in ag.

    Mariajosé Barrera, Mosé Auto

    Mariajosé provides training and information in basic classes both at her shop and at community centers; focusing on empowering women when it comes to the maintenance of their vehicle. Since the beginning of her company's journey, she has spoken at high schools, colleges, and organizations committed to women in trades about alternative career paths like automotive.

    Amy Salinas Westmoreland, Western Washington University

    Amy is the inaugural Director of Multicultural Student Services at Western Washington University. As a higher education leader for the past twelve years, the foundation of Amy’s work is creating accessible, equitable, and inclusive spaces that celebrate and amplify the voices of BIPOC, QTPOC, and other marginalized communities.


    To request disability accommodation, contact the BTC Accessibility Resources Office at least seven days in advance at ar@btc.edu or 360-752-8576.

  • Multicultural Center Community Lunch: International Women’s Day

    March 08, 2023, 12:00pm
    Multicultural Center 735

    All are welcome for food, conversation and friends as we celebrate International Women’s Day and learn about movements for gender justice around the world. For accommodations, please email ess.adei@wwu.edu.

  • Talkin’ Story “Body Neutrality v. Male Gaze”

    March 08, 2023, 12:00pm
    Whatcom Community College Simpson Intercultural Center, Syre Room 217

    The Simpson Intercultural Center invites members of the campus community to participate in Talkin’ Story on Body Neutrality v. Male Gaze in celebration of International Women’s Day. This event aims to create space for productive discourse about the adverse effects of the male gaze in media on the female body, exploring the framework of body neutrality as a solution.

    Please contact Tanya Zaragoza-Rosas for more information or accessibility needs.

  • Center in Community Care During Women’s History Month, with author and community connector, Bonita Lee

    March 15, 2023, 5:30pm
    Whatcom Community College, Syre Center

    Bonita Lee, a fierce advocate for just and equitable systems, joins us to share her journey in honor of Women’s History Month. With over 20 years of community-oriented advocacy, she brings her experiences in public schools and behavioral health social work together to demonstrate the power of women driving systemic change.

    Bonita’s shared belief with Frederick Douglass, paraphrased, “It is easier to build strong [girls] than repair broken [women],” led her to write her first children’s book, Go on Lil’ Sista, Go On. This book is a poetic anthem and a reminder to young Black girls that they can do or be anything they want. In addition to providing Black girls with a visual representation of the diversity within the Black Diaspora, it normalizes seeking Black girls as the protagonist in children’s books, as Bonita recognizes that non-Black children need to see Black lead characters in children’s books to have a shared cultural experience that fosters an appreciation for ethnicities other than their own.

    Please contact Tanya Zaragoza-Rosas for more information or accessibility needs.

  • Acting in Solidarity with Trans Femme People

    March 29, 2023, 12:00pm
    Multicultural Center 735 and Zoom

    As Women’s History Month concludes and just before Trans Day of Visibility on March 31, join LGBTQ+ Western for a conversation about ways we can all take action in solidarity with trans femme people. This event is part of the Multicultural Center's Community Lunch & Learn series.

    Zoom: Acting in Solidarity

Throughout the month of March

Cinema East Film Series presents: ‘The Films of Tanaka Kinuyo’

Pickford Film Center, Bellingham, WA

Film Schedule and Screening Details

WWU Libraries and the Pickford Film Center presents The Films of Tanaka Kinuyo, featuring the films of one of the most famous and revered actresses in the history of Japanese film. This series is presented with CASCADIA International Women’s Film Festival and coincides with Women’s History Month.

Tanaka Kinuyo directed six films during the 1950s and early 1960s, becoming only the second woman to direct films in Japan. She is also the first woman director whose work survives to this day, although the films were not available in any format and had never been screened in North America until last year, when Janus Films released newly restored versions. Pickford Film Center will screen all six films, along with a film that Tanaka stars in from that same period, Ozu Yasujiro’s Equinox Flower.

Films in this series will be shown weekly through the month of March in Bellingham’s Pickford Film Center on Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m. and on several Saturdays at 1:45 p.m. All films will feature introductions from Western Washington University faculty, along with Colleen Laird, Assistant Professor of Japanese Studies at the University of British Columbia, whose research focuses on Japanese women film directors.


These events are a collaborative effort between the following organizations:

Bellingham Public Schools, a collective commitment.
Bellingham Technical College
Whatcom Community College
Northwest Indian College
Western Washington University
PeaceHealth depicting a blue square with the outline of a dove inside it.
City of Bellingham, Washington