GCC Celebrates Women’s Contributions


Mildred Martin-Cetina/ Courtesy Photo

The bicycle group of radical feminists take action during a protest in East Los Angeles.

As people and institutions all over the country celebrated Women’s History Month, Glendale Community College was not an institution  to stay behind. By coordinating a series of events on campus  for the month of March, administrators hoped to educate students about women’s history and to empower them for a successful future.

The month-long series consisted of events such as documentary film screenings, writing women into Wikipedia, guest speakers, science lecture series and informational panels.

In efforts to address the #metoo campaign, the faculty has viewed and selected documentaries to show support and open conversation ground for students dealing or affected by similar circumstances.

Some of the highlights included:  

On March 14, a documentary in the name of “Unrest” was shown. The film follows its director, Jennifer Brea and other people around the world, who are dealing with the illness of chronic fatigue. Oftentimes judged by society, the disease is one of the harshest that people deal with everyday, as it leaves you completely bedridden. Brea talked to GCC students about her illness and how gender affects diagnosis, research of diseases and treatment.

The following day, on March 15, Vaqueros were up for another great film, named “Ovarian Psycos.” The documentary highlights a new generation of feminist women of color from the East Los Angeles. This group of women may just be some of the most courageous around, as they carry around an unapologetic attitude and question injustice wherever it takes place. The gathering included a documentary screening, followed by a Q&A session with the crew members.

On March 21, yet another life-changing documentary was being screened on campus, “The Hunting Ground.” The film talks about the problem of rape on prominent university campuses. It is no surprise to anyone that many of these universities cover up for such events to preserve their name and popular standing.

In the documentary, young women from hundreds of universities across the nation, come together to speak up about the issue.

March 22 and 23 were reserved by the librarians of GCC. In their two day training sessions, they walked students and staff through the steps of how to edit Wikipedia. The main focus of the event was to improve existing Wikipedia articles about women in history. They also spoke about the strengths and weaknesses of the online forum, allowing students to learn about participation in online scholarly communities.

Many faculty members have volunteered their time to share important messages about history, the future, education and more.

As a way to empower children, Mary Jane Biancheri, a child development instructor at GCC took on the sweet task of reading female character driven children’s books at the Child Development Center on campus.

Rachel Ridgeway from the Physical Sciences department, pitched her own image of what it’s like to be a strong woman, during her lecture, “How the work of two women helped inform environmental policy.”

Several faculty wrote and recorded podcasts with the GCC Radio Club, about subjects related to women, their history, gender roles, societal expectations and more.

As a way to encourage people to think about women in the sciences, Diane Murray, a mathematics professor, came up with the idea of putting up personal stories of how female faculty found themselves in the sciences and how they succeeded. Maria Kretzmann and Yvette Hassakoursian have joined together to showcase photographs of women mathematicians and scientists in the hallways for students to read up on.

March was a month of celebration for GCC students and faculty, as it has created a life changing and inspiring community.

Whether it is a woman empowering a woman, a man empowering a woman, or vice versa, it’s a beautiful thing to be a part of.


Marian Sahakyan can be reached at [email protected].