‘Unfinished Business’ on March 3 features panels on women’s progress and challenges
\Western Connecticut State University will mark the beginning of Women’s History Month and the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women’s right to vote with presentation of “Unfinished Business: A Celebration of Women Trailblazers” from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 3.
The program, subtitled “Voices on Women’s Suffrage, Political Power and Gender,” will feature panel discussions of past achievements, present opportunities and future challenges for women in a diverse range of professional, political, social and personal endeavors. WCSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Missy Alexander will offer opening remarks, with Professor of Education Emerita Dr. Darla Shaw serving as M.C. Admission will be free and the public is invited to attend the event in the President’s Reception Room, Classroom Building Room 218 on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury.
Women who will participate in the event include prominent figures in historical research, literature, political and social activism, government, civic engagement, the arts, fashion and other fields. Participants in the “Past,” “Present” and “Future” panels are:
- Past: Critically acclaimed Connecticut poet and writer Jenipher Sage-Robison; WCSU Professor of History and Non-Western Cultures Dr. Leslie Lindenauer; fashion designer Doreen Breen, creator of the Warrior Women apparel collection; and Brigid Guertin, executive director of the Danbury Museum and Historical Society.
- Present: Carol Reimers, president of the League of Women Voters of Connecticut; Michele Zommer, political activist and owner of SpunBuzz Marketing for Small Business in Southbury; Lisa Scails, executive director of the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut and member of the Private Sector Network Council for Americans for the Arts; poet Emily Carney, adjunct professor and 2018 recipient of an M.F.A. in Creative and Professional Writing at WCSU; and saxophonist Malin Carta, a WCSU student majoring in jazz music performance.
- Future: WCSU Director of Library Services Veronica Kenausis, activist in the Connecticut chapter of Moms Demand Action, a grassroots organization supporting gun control and public safety measures; Kay Munoz, outreach assistant for U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut; state Sen. Julie Kushner, Democrat representing Danbury, New Fairfield, Sherman and Bethel residents of the 24th District; and Kelley Griffin Bachenheimer, fashion designer of women’s apparel.
Event organizer Melissa Ralston-Jones, WCSU instructor and Art Gallery curator, emphasized the importance of recognizing women’s past and present achievements even as the movement looks toward the future.
“This event is a celebration highlighting women throughout history to the present day who have and continue to make contributions to the women's movement,” Ralston-Jones said. “It is important to remind future generations of the struggle for equality and the work that lies ahead of us.”
Information tables at the event will provide materials from the Women’s Center of Greater Danbury, Moms Demand Action and the League of Women Voters of Connecticut. The evening will conclude with a reception sponsored by the WCSU Office of Diversity and Equity.