Women to be celebrated March 30

Madelyn Kidd, News Editor

A University of Illinois professor of history will speak at the 2022 Women’s History and Awareness Month awards ceremony and keynote presentation on March 30 at 5:30 p.m. in Coleman Hall Auditorium.

Leslie Reagan, a history professor at the U of I, will have a presentation at the WHAM awards ceremony hosted by Eastern’s Women’s, Gender and Sexuality program.

This year’s WHAM theme is feminism and health justice, which plays a part in the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies program’s decision of who will be invited as a keynote speaker.

Jeannie Ludlow, a professor of English and coordinator of the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality program, explained how Reagan was invited to the event.

“Each year, we have a keynote speaker, a scholar or activist whose work is related to our theme, to share their thoughts with us,” Ludlow said. “Reagan writes about a variety of health justice topics, from reproductive rights to mothering to the health effects of Agent Orange (an herbicide used by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War) on the children of war veterans. Given the important Supreme Court cases (about Texas and Mississippi) being decided right now, and the fact that there have been more than 500 state laws proposed in more than 40 states just since January 1, 2022, that would restrict abortion rights.”

Reagan’s topic during the presentation will cover abortion and U.S. laws throughout the presentation and answering the question: Is the past going to be our future?

A change to the WHAM awards ceremony compared to years previous is that the keynote presentation and awards ceremony are being combined to one event this year rather than two.

“This year, mostly because of the COVID pandemic, we chose to schedule our keynote speaker and our awards ceremony at the same time,” Ludlow said. “That way, if some new variant had caused us to need to reschedule, we would only have one event to reschedule.”

 

Madelyn Kidd can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]