March is Women's History month.
Each year for the past four years I've worked with colleagues in developing the March Into Women's History bracket. We take the NCAA basketball bracket, remove the basketball and add women.
March Into Women's History formed primarily to raise awareness of issues facing women, but other marginalized groups may be included. Ideally, our community will have a greater understanding of issues facing women and minorities and engage in activities designed to increase that knowledge and bolster unity and inclusivity.
A comment leads to action
Several years ago we hosted a panel on campus during March, Women's History Month, titled "Women's Issues in the Workplace." During the question and answer session, a student in the audience commented that she didn't even know March was Women's History Month.
One of our panelists said, "that's because all you ever hear about in March is March Madness and the NCAA basketball bracket."
And another followed with, "We should have a women's history bracket."
And an idea was born.
Since then we've conducted several women's history brackets and plan to continue. The first couple of years we divided the bracket into sections with categories like STEM, sports, arts and entertainment, politics, and business. We tried to find women who represent each category throughout history and around the world mindful that those who were first hold a special place in our bracket. Last year we decided to focus on women who are living.
While 2020 was the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in 2021 we continue to celebrate the strides made to allow people of all genders and all races to vote in democratic elections worldwide. This year's bracket celebrates suffrage and women who have led or lead countries around the world. Keep in mind that not all women (like men) who lead are good leaders or are people we would want to emulate. Some of the women in this year's bracket were impeached; some assassinated; some are in jail. They all represent women who either fought for the right for women to vote or who are the first women to lead their respective nations.
We hope you join us and continue to support our March Into Women's History bracket.
For more information and to vote, please visit MarchIntoWomensHistory.