Performers stood in light showers and read poetry that conveyed themes of pride, individuality and inspiration at SF State to celebrate International Women’s Day Tuesday, March 8. Those there in support and those tabling with their organizations in Malcolm X Plaza opened up umbrellas, put on their hoods and continued to show their support, offering a sense of community for all the organizations involved. The event emphasized women’s empowerment with the theme of #womenslay and the help of spoken word performances.
The event was organized by La Raza and the Women’s Center of Associated Students Inc. The event organizer from the Women’s Center, Shani Winston, was very adamant about making the event not just about a celebration, but making sure to inspire and remind men and women that women are capable of anything.
“The hashtag ‘womenslay’ is really to show that women can get what they want done and that we can feel empowered – that was the main goal,” Winston said.
Nayanci Lopez, a philosophy major, was inspired by her belief that women should not just be inspired on a day dedicated to women, but every single day, and decided get on stage and perform her poem.
“Let us break the walls, let us continue, let us survive,” Lopez said.
Women were not the only ones involved in the planning of the event and empowerment movement. The male members of La Raza were the main executors of Women’s Day, as a way for the men to show solidarity and support for women.
“This modern version of the word ‘slay’ is hard to explain, but it’s mainly about being the best you can be,” said Arturo Gomez, the event co-coordinator from La Raza. “We also do a dinner portion of this event where the men cook the meal and really show that we appreciate our women.”
A number of organizations came out to support the movement and celebrate the history and future of women by providing information about sexual health, sharing motivational stories about inspiring and self-made women, and how to be confident and own being a woman.
Organizations included Peer Educators Advocating Campus Health, Educational and Referral Organization for Sexuality, Pacific Islander’s Club and Black Student Union.
Brasheena Baseel, a member of the BSU who was tabling at the event and also participated in a spoken word performance, explained she had experienced discrimination based on her mixed ethnicity. Her reading of a poem emphasized how women are often placed in certain categories and expected to perform certain roles or look a certain way, but each individual is unique which should be celebrated, not criticized.
“I think it’s very important that all different women from all different cultures support one another despite our backgrounds” Baseel said.