Since 1995, U.S. presidents have issued a series of annual proclamations designating March as “Women's History Month.” These designations aim to celebrate women's contributions to the United States and their specific achievements in various fields.
At Indiana University, Women’s History Month is about highlighting the women—both in history and today—who are integral to the fabric of the IU community and its heritage.
“Women have and continue to play a pivotal role in shaping IU, as well as the world at large,” says James Wimbush, vice president for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs and Johnson Chair for Diversity and Leadership. “The many activities planned across IU's campuses are designed to showcase these individuals and their important work and contributions throughout IU’s history.”
IU campuses will celebrate Women’s History Month with a variety of programs and events, including panel discussions and workshops. Many of these events are open to the IU community and surrounding neighbors.
To learn more about the contributions of women to IU’s past, present and future, visit the Women of IU Portrait Collection online. This diverse and unique collection showcases IU women's compelling stories of influence, including the first woman trustee, the first woman Nobel Prize winner in economic science and the first woman African American student.
The collection is continually expanding, with additional portraits being added.
One of these individuals is Ciara Thomas. Thomas, a 2022-2023 Jane Jorgensen Diversity, Equity and Inclusion intern, is a second-year doctoral student studying school psychology at Indiana University.
Her primary line of research includes alleviating racial biases in psychological and neuropsychological assessments that disproportionately affect Black children. She is also interested in the disproportionate rate that Black children are misdiagnosed.
This year, Thomas is serving as a Diversity Fellow for The University Graduate School Diversity and Inclusion team to amplify and elevate the voices of underrepresented graduate scholars across the Bloomington campus. She is also working on the Bridging the Visibility Project, highlighting the stories and impact of women, underrepresented minorities and other individuals for contemporary students, faculty, staff, alums and campus visitors.
"It's really important to remain adamant in amplifying the voices of those who are traditionally silenced,” says Thomas. “Having the opportunity to shed light on impactful individuals throughout IU's rich history has been nothing short of inspirational."