International Women’s Day on March 8 is the perfect time to celebrate the 41st anniversary of Women’s History Week — which eventually became National Women’s History Month — at the movement’s birthplace: Sonoma County.
The Movement's Birthplace: Sonoma County
Up until the 1970s, women’s history was practically an unknown topic in school curriculums or in general public consciousness. So 41 years ago, the Education Task Force of Sonoma County created the first “Women’s History Week” starting March 8, 1978. More than 100 women participated by making special presentations in classrooms, and an essay contest drew hundreds of entries. The week’s finale was a parade and program in downtown Santa Rosa.
In February 1980, President Carter declared the week of March 8, 1980 as National Women’s History Week. The National Women’s History Project was founded that same year, with its headquarters in Santa Rosa and a goal of “writing women back into history.”
By 1986, 14 states had declared March as Women’s History Month, and in 1978 Congress declared March as National Women’s History Month in perpetuity.
Sonoma County Women Leaders
Here in Sonoma County we salute the contributions of women in all walks of our society. They’ve taken the lead in the wine industry (Kathleen Inman, Inman Family Wines; Bettina Sichel, Laurel Glen Vineyards; and Marimar Torres, Marimar Estate). They are brewers (Natalie Cilurzo, Russian River Brewing Company; and Amy Levin, St. Florian's Brewery) and distillers (Ashby Marshall, Spirit Works Distillery; and Amy Groth, HelloCello & Prohibition Spirits).
They get their hands dirty (Libby Batzel, Beet Generation Farm; and Jennifer Bice, Redwood Hill Farm). And they cook our food (Duskie Estes, Zazu Kitchen and Farm (pictured below); Sondra Bernstein, the girl & the fig; Crista Luetke (Big Bottom Market and Boon Resort); and Liza Hinman, The Spinster Sisters).
They make life more beautiful (Bonnie Z., Dragonfly Florals; Jan Tolmasoff, Russian River Rose; and Melena Moore Gilbert, Bliss Organic Day Spa). And they are artists and shopkeepers (Katia Vincent, Beekind; Caryn Fried, Valley of the Moon Pottery & North Eagle Gallery; and Andrea Caron, Silk Moon).
And many more.
Learn about the contribution of women in Sonoma County at these upcoming events:
The Vagina Monologues
Join One Billion Rising as they perform an encore performance for Women’s History Month! Based on dozens of interviews with women, The Vagina Monologues introduce a wildly divergent gathering of female voices that address women’s sexuality and the social stigma surrounding rape and abuse, creating a new conversation about and with women. The play is meant to act as a mechanism for moving people to act to end violence.
The Gender Gap in STEM
Learn about women making stides in STEM fields during a panel discussion on The Gender Gap In STEM in honor of Women's History Month. The panelists are an insightful group of women from Microsoft, Keysight Technologies, and Carium, and Dean Lynn Stauffer from the School of Science and Technology. All are welcome!
Monday, March 11, 2019, 6:00-8:00 p.m., Sonoma State University, 1801 East Cotati Ave Rohnert Park, CA, 707.664.2880, www.sonoma.edu/calendar/gender-gap-stem; Free
Celebrating Women’s History with Books, Bubbles
Breathless Sparkling Wines celebrates Women’s History month by exploring iconic women in history with local authors, Saturday, March 16, 2019 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Meet local authors of award-winning women’s historical fiction and learn about the daring women of our past! Photos, presentations, book signing, plus sparkling wine and gourmet flatbread from the Breathless pizza oven. Tickets are $10 each and include a glass of award-winning sparkling wine and flatbread from the Breathless Pizza oven. Breathless Wines is the creation of three sisters, Sharon Cohn, Rebecca Faust, and Cynthia Faust, working with award-winning winemaker Penny Gadd-Coster.
Prepare for an extraordinary evening of thought-provoking conversation with Tracee Ellis Ross, Lucia Garay, and others. Ross is a well-known actress, comedian, television host and a social advocate for equity, who uses her voice and vast social influence as an advocate for joy and self-acceptance and inclusivity. Garay is a pillar of local youth activism and grass-roots movement here in Sonoma County.
March 20, 2019, Mix & Mingle at 4:30 p.m. and speakers at 6:30 p.m.; $58. Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa, 707-546-3600, [email protected], http://socowomenevents.com/