WILL Welcomes Women’s History Month


Mike Murray, Photographer

Brookdale’s Women In Learning and Leadership marked the start of Women’s History Month with an on-campus demonstration March 1 on the Lincroft campus.

By Isabel Shaw
“We wanted to start off Women’s History Month with an event that embraced the voices of those who have gotten us to where we are today,” said WILL member Sara Hosbach, 19, of Freehold. “We hope to spread awareness about the women’s movement through the decades and acknowledge the work still to be done.”
Women in Learning and Leadership (WILL) members staged a rally outside the Student Life Center in celebration of the first day of Women’s History Month. Other clubs joined the group, including The Innovation Network (TIN) and The International Students Association (ISA).
Colorful posters were held by each participant and touched on topics ranging from the successful lawsuit granting equal pay for the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team to reproductive health care, to acknowledging Ruth Bader Ginsburg and other leaders of the women’s movement.
“We hope that the posters will inspire students and faculty at Brookdale and help us all to reflect on women’s history” said WILL member Lily Connor, 18, a political science major from Howell. “We also hope this rally will encourage us to think about the choices we make in our personal lives that effect the women around us and how we can better support, uplift and encourage ourselves and others.”
The rally began with Roseanne Alvarez, Professor of English Studies and club adviser, reading “My Heroines” by Marge Piercy. The poem’s message addressed those women who do the work in the background, quietly and diligently on behalf of women’s rights. These are the women “who write our future.”

Alvarez thanked the group and said she was proud and honored to stand with each of them on this first day of Women’s History Month.
“We hope to show others that, although we’ve come a long way there is still much more work to be done. Women all around the world are still fighting for the right to be heard. If we can bring awareness to that, then even this small action today can impact the fight for a voice,” said WILL member Lila Trench, 18, a psychology major from Oakhurst.

The poetry of Maya Angelou was read by members Zafira Demiri and Bouchra El Charabaty. Each woman then took a turn addressing the members and bystanders who gathered and listened to the speakers.

The thread throughout the talks was the feeling of empowerment the women felt when they worked together. Each woman acknowledged how they learned from each other and how working as a group enhanced their lives.

“We hope that this rally will be a way for generations of women to come together and connect over our shared history,” said Lilly Connor.

The rally concluded with a walk to view the Women’s Suffragist Statue commissioned by Brian Hanlon. Located in the MAS main lobby, the sculpture is a representation of a triumphant moment when women walked to Washington D.C. to enact the 19th Amendment more than 100 years ago.

The installation also features marginalized voices and underrepresented figures from the women’s movement and beyond, said Alvarez. The research and photos of these figures are prominently displayed on the wall behind the sculpture. As students walk through the doors and enter the building, it’s the first thing they see.

“The rally is to inspire young women to feel strong and powerful,” said Lila Trench. “After dealing with two years of a pandemic, we hope to bring a little light onto the campus. Hopefully it will inspire others to take action in ways they haven’t thought of before.”