That was then, this is now

OMSS sponsors celebration of female pioneers of our past

Students can reflect on the history of women throughout the month of March as OMSS sponsors Women’s History Month.

“I think Ferris State is doing a great thing by honoring women,” Ferris legal studies sophomore Keith Reinhardt said. “Women are a very important piece of the university and the world.”

One event is a discussion about SowHope, with guest speaker Ferris Professor Betsy Verwys.

SowHope is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring women around the world by providing them with opportunities through their wellness, education and economic programs.

“My focus is on international issues of injustice against women,” Verwys said. “I think it is important for us as a community to acknowledge what is going on around the world, educate our students on the current issues that many women around the world are facing and empower them to make a difference in the lives of others.”

Verwys will be showing a documentary on SowHope followed by a session of questions and answers.

“My goal is to introduce FSU students to the plight of women around the world: strong, brave women who live on less than $2 a day and carry the heavy burden of raising families in extremely harsh environments-physically and emotionally,” Verwys said.

According to Verwys, Women’s History Month is a time to reflect on strong women who have made an impact on the issues women face.

“I want to show my students that they can be those women and men,” Verwys said.

The SowHope event will take place on March 18 at 11 a.m. in SCI 102.

Women’s History Month events also include the 17th annual WISE dinner theater: Rock, Roll, and Remember on March 21.

“I am most excited for the 17th annual WISE dinner theater because it will be a fun social event and will also be raising money for a good organization,” Ferris music industry management junior Alex Finta said.

WISE is a local nonprofit organization that provides shelter and support services to domestic and sexual violence survivors and their families in the community.

“I’m really excited about this show,” WISE Executive Director Kelly Samuels said. “I really think that it does a great job at highlighting each era, the differences and nuances, and it highlights what women’s roles were.”

According to Samuels, the show is a play with periodical musical numbers capturing a timeline of the 50s through the 80s of the women’s movement as well as rock and roll.

The play, Her Side, demonstrates the different experiences of white women and black women in history.

“In the women’s movement, we really tend to talk about the white women’s movement,” Samuels said. “History books are typically all about middle to upper class white women, but black women have been working forever.”

Samuels felt it was important to introduce more information about the experiences of black women during the movement.

The show will take place at the Holiday Inn and tickets must be purchased in advance. For more information, contact WISE at (231) 796-6600.

A calendar of Women’s History Month events can be found at