By Anastasia Mitchell (3L)
March is a special time not only because it is the birth of spring but also because it is a time to celebrate, honor, and remember women. Women’s History Month is important to recognize because it is a designated period to celebrate the strides of women in the past, think about difficulties women still face in the present, and plan for ways to make equity a reality for women in the future. Women’s voices historically have been silenced and that is reflected in who we learn about in history class and in the representation seen in politics, media, and higher education – these considerations make Women’s History Month all the more important.
As a woman, I knew coming to law school would be an uphill battle at times. Luckily, I was exposed early on to Richmond Women’s Law and found a group of supportive women dedicated to making my experience as a woman in the legal field better in so many ways. The mentorship program with the Metropolitan Richmond Women’s Bar Association created career-changing connections, faculty dinners garnered invaluable academic advice, and the community of women provided general support to me and the women at UR Law.
This past month the law library brought Women’s History Month to the forefront through the help of Richmond Women’s Law and If/When/How, a reproductive justice organization aimed at transforming legal systems and institutions oppression into structures that realize justice, and a future when all people can self-determine their reproductive lives free from discrimination, coercion, or violence. Below is the slide deck that was on rotation for the duration of March. Seeing these influential women’s faces and stories help to uplift the voices of those who fought for the rights women enjoy today. While the celebration of women in history shouldn’t be relegated to a singular month, having the month to bring more awareness is a nice way to intentionally illuminate how far women have come and how we got to where we are today. To these women I am thankful and honored to share their stories.
3L, The University of Richmond School of Law
President, Richmond Women’s Law
[Editor’s Note] Those slides marked with the logo of Richmond Women’s Law or If/When/How feature women selected by the students of those respective student organizations who display the values of courage, dedication, perseverance, rebelliousness, and resilience. The women featured here are renowned for their achievements, but they represent the millions of women who possess all those aforementioned qualities whose voices were not heard and whose names are not remembered. Let us celebrate these women, and all women, this month and every month, for their contributions.
The Law Library would like to thank the students of Richmond Women’s Law and If/When/How for their participation in this project. And a special thanks to Carl Hamm and Alex Clay Hutchings for designing the gallery.