Last year it was hallway decorations and in-person activities. This year, a pandemic hit, and the Woodland Worldwide team needed to switch up their game plan. Woodland Worldwide is essentially a feminist organization, meaning they love celebrating women’s history month. Woodland Worldwide wants to amplify women’s voices throughout March.
This year, the club asked staff, students, and alumni to take the “Choose to Challenge” pledge. The “Choose to Challenge” pledge asks everyone to challenge gender discrimination that you see throughout your day-to-day life.
“You can choose to challenge by calling it out. You can choose to challenge by writing a letter to your senator. You can choose to challenge by doing something as simple as challenging yourself, especially young women. Raising your hand in class and taking a risk, not worrying about being perfect but focusing more on being brave,” said Megan Geary, the Woodland Worldwide advisor. “We can choose to challenge by supporting and amplifying women’s voices.”
There are so many ways you can contribute to this “Choose to Challenge” pledge. Woodland Worldwide supplies some guidance through their social media and Schoology pages.
Through their social media accounts, Geary and the Woodland Worldwide team also highlights important women in history almost every day. Women from Greta Thunberg to Ibi Zoboi have been granted an Instagram post touching upon who they are and what they have accomplished.
Woodland Worldwide is also trying to hold fundraisers while being “COVID-safe.”
“Two years ago, we held a supply drive for homeless and domestic violence shelters in Connecticut. Students this year wanted to continue that work, but the pandemic caused the need to change, so we connected with a service provider, The Hope Family Justice Center, and they requested the donations of gift cards,” said Geary.
Gift cards allow everyone to still receive their needs. If someone needs money on hand for important supplies, gift cards are an excellent way to pay for all of that. Cash is tricky since it can be stolen or spent on other items, whereas gift cards can only be used for specific things. The Hope Family Justice Center is not just supplying financial support but also helping with the mental health of these victims.
“People who suffer [domestic abuse] for long periods of time, really suffer with their own self-confidence, their own self-esteem, understanding that they have value and worth, and realizing that they have strength and skills,” said Geary. “A lot of time abusers want their victims to feel completely and entirely dependent on them, as though they are not smart enough or good enough to have their own job or own their own home.”
Geary believes it is important that Region 16 schools try to focus on adding more stories about women into our curriculum.
“We need to make sure that our students are reading novels and other literature by female writers. We need to be talking about the work that women are doing in science, mathematics, art, athletics, and history,” said Geary. “It cannot just be something we educate people about one month out of a year.”
Woodland Worldwide wants to show students that women need to be heard and represented.
“Women’s history month, as much as I wish we did not need to have it, is a really important time for everyone to focus and concentrate their efforts on bringing equality, real equality, to both genders in the United States of America. [The month] is incredibly important to who [our club is] and what our mission is.”