In approach of Women's History Month, a Reflection from 2014: In Observance of International Women's Day... A Letter to My Students

Hello Class and Happy International Women's Day,

This day matters. Every day matters because every day can be a day where you contribute to social justice. 

I celebrated International Women's Day at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City with Former Secretary of State and First Lady, Mrs. Hillary Clinton, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, and UN Women Executive Director, Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, to name a few.

Each had poignant words in observance of this special day and it is inarguable that every person gathered in that room was there for one reason--to show support for equality of the sexes, but more importantly, to ardently and ploddingly continue the pursuit of global gender equality. Most would be in agreement that it is time to quicken and intensify our efforts, and as  Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka proclaims, "The 21st century offers an opportunity for a big leap forward-not just baby steps." 

You don't need to be the next Hilary Clinton or UN Women Executive Director to do something about it. You don't need to travel to Africa, Peru, or Yemen to advocate for gender rights. You can do it right here--in your town, your state, your country, your school, and even from your computer. 

Sign digital campaigns, and follow social equality organizations and leaders on Twitter and Facebook. You will have a whole world of information available to you and will learn things that you would not have known if it wasn't for social media. Do something empowering with your cellphones, with your social media accounts--with your lifeNo one person can be responsible for a task that as a global community we need to address but imagine what change can come when driven by a unified force of many.

And through it all, remember to stay positive and believe in the power of possibility. Getting angry doesn't do much besides keep you angry, and keep you from, well, keeping on. The only tried and true emotions that translate well into action and belong in the fight for gender equality are passion, belief, and perseverance. 

This International Women's Day, I invite you to share a positive intention you have for the lives of women, men, boys, and girls. Respond to this message, tweet, post, share, tell, and most importantly, do. Your responses will strengthen your own voice and echo the voices of many, offering inspiration and validation that you do not stand alone. 

Yesterday I was in a room with some important people; but I share the room with important people every time I get to teach you... 

Here's to working towards our goal of gender equality where the strength of our voices matches the boldness of our actions.

Happy International Women's Day, 
Professor Walker

By Danielle Craig.

All Rights Reserved.