Film Screenings and More during Women’s History Month



While many of history’s greatest rulers, politicians, scientists, artists and humanitarians have been women most have gone unrecognized. Women have made advances in civil rights, women’s suffrage, environmental justice, reproductive rights, the space race (see the current film “Hidden Figures”) and much more. From Eleanor Roosevelt to Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani schoolgirl who became a global advocate for a woman’s right to education, women have contributed to the advancement of our society and to the advancement of women.

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Rhode Island College will honor women through film screenings sponsored by RIC’s Gender and Women’s Studies Program, a film co-sponsored by the Providence VA Medical Center, a lecture by RIC Associate Professor of Management Jiyun Wu and the creation of a community scrapbook sponsored by RIC’s Women’s Center to historically mark women’s marches and rallies.

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Documentary Films

Wednesday, March 1, 12:30-2 p.m.
Gender and Women’s Studies Suite, Library 1B
“Forbidden: Undocumented & Queer in Rural America” (83 mins.) This award-winning documentary opens with President Donald Trump’s commentary on Mexican immigrants, and then introduces Moises Serrano, a young man who came to America from Mexico when he was 18 months old. Moises is not a legal immigrant and he is gay, living in North Carolina, which presents another set of challenges. Moises’ larger crusade is to expand the rights of undocumented people trying to survive in America. This film is eye-opening and inspiring.

Wednesday, March 15, 12:30-2 p.m.
Gender and Women’s Studies Suite, Library 1B
“Absolutely Safe” (82 mins.) Last year nearly 400,000 women in the United States received breast implants. At a time when more women than ever are making this choice, fewer voices than ever seem to be asking, “Why?” And fewer still are asking, “Are they safe?” “Absolutely Safe” addresses the controversy over breast implant safety. At its heart, the documentary is driven by the experience of the filmmaker’s (Carol Ciancutti’s) own mother. Diagnosed in 1974 with breast tumors, Audrey Ciancutti underwent a double mastectomy with silicone-implant reconstruction surgery. A year later, her implants ruptured and, soon after, her health steadily declined. Audrey believes her debilitating illnesses (joint pain, chronic fatigue, scleroderma) are linked to her breast implants; however, most doctors and researchers deny this link. This film encourages women to make educated decisions about implants.

Thursday, March 16, 5-8 p.m.
Student Union Ballroom
“Soldier On: Life After Deployment” (80 mins.) This screening, which is co-sponsored by the Providence VA Medical Center, includes an introduction by R.I. Gov. Gina Raimondo and RIC President Frank D. Sánchez. Directed by Rhode Island native, filmmaker and founder of Tree of Life Productions Susan Sipprelle, “Soldier On” follows the compelling personal journeys of three post-9/11 female veterans attempting to readjust to civilian life after deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their challenges include the disintegration of some relationships, alcohol and substance abuse, depression, health problems, military sexual trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder and employment difficulties. Following the screening, women’s health staff from the Providence VA will be in attendance to answer questions about health services for women veterans.

Wednesday, March 29, 12:30-2 p.m.
Gender and Women’s Studies Suite, Library 1B
“Precious Knowledge” (70 mins.) This film documents the controversy over Mexican-American studies programs in Arizona public schools. While 48 percent of Mexican-American students currently drop out of high school, Tucson High Magnet School’s Mexican-American Studies Program has become a national model of educational success, with 100 percent of enrolled students graduating from high school and 85 percent going on to attend college. The filmmakers spent a year in the classroom filming this innovative social-justice curriculum and documenting the transformative impact on students who become engaged, informed and active in their communities.

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Lecture

Wednesday, March 22, During Free Period
Alger Hall 105
“Gender Stereotypes and Female Leaders”
Associate Professor of Management Jiyun Wu will focus her lecture on women leaders in the business world, addressing the common stereotypes about women and leadership that women face in the workplace.

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Community Scrapbook of Women’s Marches and Rallies

Liberian Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Leymah Roberta Gbowee once said, “When women gather, great things happen.” This month RIC’s Women’s Center will create a scrapbook reflecting local, national and global women’s marches and rallies.

Members of the RIC community are welcome to come to the Women’s Center to add to the scrapbook by creating their own page, which could include newspaper articles, pictures, poems, pictures of posters, cartoons, original artwork, social media reactions, etc. The scrapbook will remain in the Women’s Center to inspire future students in the years to come.