CPP celebrates Women’s History Month

By Amanda Guevara and Jocelyn Reyes, March 21, 2023

March is Women’s History Month, a time dedicated to celebrating and honoring the many obstacles and accomplishments women have had throughout history. It was first celebrated in 1978 as a means to create awareness of women’s contributions to society. 

CPP has its own history of women overcoming hurdles to achieve pioneering success, in 1957, Cal Poly Pomona was an all-male school. This was until Dorothy McNeil Tucker was hired as an assistant professor of psychology that same year. Shortly after, the first female academic dean hired was Gertrude Boland, as the Dean of the School of Arts and Virginia Hamilton Adair was also among the first three women to work at CPP as a professor of English. 

CPP celebrates this month with multiple events including “Chicanas en El Movimiento -Commemorating 55 Years of Educational Struggle,” a panel led by three Chicana student organizers at the University Library. The Womxn’s Leadership Institute held a free leadership conference at the Womxn’s Resource Center. The African American Student Center also hosted “Black Women’s: High Socie(Tea),” an online event to highlight the empowerment of Black women. 

Since 1987 women history month has been celebrated for all the contributions of women that have previously been overlooked by the world and the disregard of women’s contributions towards the United States history. This month is a time to show women not only the appreciation for their impact but also to recognize their struggle as they continue to face inequality impacted in the world. 

While the campus has set up events to help unite the community in celebration of women, one of the members of Hermanas Unidas de CPP shared her thoughts on the importance of this month. She feels like a month is not enough time, and that it should be a year for her. 

Maribel Diaz, alumni liaison for HAU de CPP. “I feel like even though we have a month, the fight is not really over. There are still women in this world that still need the support and the empowerment to continue living the life they want.” 

Ethnic and Women studies Assistant Professor Shayda Kafai explained there is data that shows if women and students of color educate themselves more about their history and activist movements their graduation rate can improve. 

There is a myriad of female-led groups on campus that help to promote unity for students to encourage each other to support one another’s aspirations. There is a plethora of organizations such as the CPP Society of Women Engineers, Women in Agriculture Club, Cal Poly Pomona sheCodes and Hermanas Unidas de CPP.  

Lupita Cervantes, sociology student, shared her thoughts on this month. 

“I think it’s a big month to remind ourselves that the battle for women is not over yet,” said Cervantes. “I would really like to celebrate women and to put forth that women can do anything that men can also do.” 

This month has been observed all over the world, embracing and continuing to fight for women’s rights and equal opportunities. To learn more about Women’s History Month and to continue celebrating, visit the Womxn’s Resource Center on campus.  

“Without women, where would we be? It’s beautiful to have a month where we can celebrate achievements. We should always be celebrating our achievements,” said Marilyn Leiva, a gender, ethnicity and multicultural studies student. 

Feature image courtesy of Lindsey LaMont

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