(March 14, 2012)

College presents Centenary Women: Our Stories

SHREVEPORT, LA — Student and faculty panelists will lead Centenary Women: Our Stories, an open discussion of what it means to be a woman in America as a member of the Centenary and Shreveport-Bossier communities on Tuesday, March 20. Free and open to the public, the event will be held at 7:00 p.m. in Kilpatrick Auditorium.

Women\'s history month poster

"The forum is important so that people can come together and discuss inequality issues going on for women both in legislation and their day-to-day lives," said Cara Lavendar, president of Centenary's chapter of VOX: Planned Parenthood. "It is a great opportunity to ask questions about experiences unique to women."

Panelists are all involved in campus life and offer unique perspectives:

  • Emily Willet, president of Outreach (LGBTQIA group)

  • Sara Whittington, president of Centenary NOW chapter

  • Cara Lavendar, president of Centenary VOX: Planned Parenthood chapter

  • Dr. Melva Turner-Williams, associate dean of the College

  • Coach Kristen Davis, women's basketball head coach

  • Dr. Kelly Weeks, associate professor of business

"Women's rights affect everyone," said Sara Whittington, president of the College's chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW). "Even though we live in a patriarchal society, everyone has a mother or sister or aunt. Women's rights are human rights."

March is Women's History Month, and this year's theme is "Women's Education—Women's Empowerment." Although women now outnumber men in American colleges nationwide, the reversal of the gender gap is a recent phenomenon.

Title IX of the Education Codes of the Higher Education Act Amendments, passed in 1972 and enacted in 1977, prohibited gender discrimination by federally funded institutions. It has become the primary tool for women's fuller participation in all aspects of education from scholarships to facilities to classes formerly closed to women.

Centenary Women: Our Stories is sponsored by the Office of Student Involvement and the Diversity Committee.