Celebrating Inspirational Women

Wearing purple to symbolize International Women's Day 2018, students, faculty, and members of the Santa Monica College Cheer Squad gathered in front of the main campus library on Thursday, March 8. Music playing from loud speakers created a festive atmosphere, attracting a crowd of enthusiastic supporters. 

"I want this event to celebrate who we are as an international and local community at SMC. We're focusing on inspiring each other with this International Women's Day," said Ana Laura Paiva, Director of Student Assistance and organizer of the SMC International Women's Day event. Students and people on campus were encouraged to speak and share a story about the inspirational women in their life.

When asked what this day meant to her, student and Cheer Squad member Rubie Amaya-Yanez said, "Equality for all women, the beauty within everyone, and finally having that recognition that we're all beautiful, strong, intelligent, and capable."

Nancy Grass, faculty advisor for the Associated Students, said that throughout her life, the treatment of women has improved, but she still strongly believes, “We still aren’t there yet.” To her, International Women's Day is about reflecting on women who have inspired or made a difference in their lives. 

"There are many women who have inspired me," said SMC President Dr. Kathryn Jeffery while listening to speakers of the Women's Day event. "My mother has always been a motivator to me. She used to call me her wisdom child, even though i was the youngest, and it made me feel smart...I had a grandmother who was an entrepreneur...I have a number of people around me that inspire me on a daily basis who are women, and men who support women. And I just think it's important for me to be here today to support the students gathering in honor of Women's history month."

Students also stopped to write messages on a roll of purple paper to women who have inspired them, from Ke$ha to their aunts. SMC student Samuel Gomez stopped to write a note saying, "My grandma and mom inspire me to push forward and to never look back. We only get one."