HIGH POINT, N.C., March 6, 2019 – The High Point community gathered at the YWCA High Point on March 5 in celebration of International Women’s Day and the contributions women make throughout the world.
Among the music, performances and food representing many cultures, High Point University students took an active role in organizing and supporting the event, which has become an annual highlight in the community.
Arianna Coleman, a senior from Delaware who will graduate with a degree in nonprofit leadership and management this spring, worked closely with Maria Mayorga, director of the Latino Family Center and Women’s Resource Center, in planning the celebration. Coleman helped with arranging donations and vendors, organizing activities for children and coordinating volunteers.
“It was beautiful to see members of the community of all ages coming together to celebrate women across the globe,” said Coleman. “This event was so culturally rich. I’m very appreciative to have been involved in planning and executing this wonderful opportunity for people to gather.”
Douglas McCollum, a strategic communication major from High Point, participated for the second year in a row by presenting a poem called “Black Leaves,” relating to the international theme of the event.
“I always feel as if voice is important, and I enjoy watching people gather in their identities to express their own,” said McCollum. “Seeing women come together to celebrate their differences in cultures is special. This event allows students from the university an opportunity to learn how much diversity surrounds them in the city, of which they may not have been aware.”
Several student organizations volunteered during the event, and Women’s and Gender Studies classes contributed from their coursework.
To support the family atmosphere at the event, a class led by Dr. Judy Isaksen, professor of popular culture and media studies at HPU, provided treats for children to enjoy along with crafts, games and other activities. The class attached notes to lollipops written in six different languages containing facts about strong women, body positivity and children’s accomplishments so they could learn while having fun.
“It’s important for HPU students to support and participate in this event,” says Coleman. “The High Point community is made up of so many different types of women with different backgrounds and experiences. Every woman should be celebrated, and this event makes that possible. HPU is High Point’s university, and so we support the different organizations and events in the Triad and connect with the people around us.”