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Title: International Women's Day NOLA 2006
START DATE: 3/8/2006
Duration: 4 Hours
Location: Uptown
Location Details:
Event Topic:
Event Type: Lecture/Teach-in
Contact Name: Newcomb College Center for Reserach on Women
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 504 812 8542

Everyone is invited to participate in


6-10 p.m., WEDNESDAY 8 MARCH 2006


Presented by Newcomb College Center for Research on Women in cooperation with the New Orleans Women’s Studies Consortium,, and Girl Gang Productions of 504 865 5238 for more information



6-10 p.m., Dixon Hall Room118 (Wednesday 8 March)

Email or phone 504 865 5238 to reserve table space. Feel free to bring stacks of information to distribute less formally.



7-8 p.m., Dixon Auditorium, Dixon Hall, Newcomb College, Tulane University (Wednesday 8 March)

Community Elder, Artist, Educator, Keepers of the Flame Mardi Gras Indian, and Ninth Ward Resident


Fuller-Matthai Professor of Gender Studies, Connecticut College; and Fall 2004 Tulane Mellon Professor at NCCROW


HERREAST J. HARRISON was born in Lecompte, Louisiana. She attended the YWCA School of Commerce (1957-1958), was selected as a Fellow of the Institute of Politics at Loyola University (1974), and earned Associate (2001) and Bachelor (2003) Degrees in Substance Abuse from Southern University at New Orleans. In 2005, she completed her M.A. in Museum Studies at SUNO. She and her family have deep roots in the Ninth Ward, and have long been involved in work to document, preserve, and foster Mardi Gras Indian culture, along with other aspects of local African-American culture.

Mrs. Harrison has been a successful business owner for over thirty-two years, while working at the same time as a music producer and and an artist. A fifth-generation quilter, she is widely known for incorporating intricate beaded motifs and symbols into her works. She presents quilting workshops to schoolchildren throughout the state of Louisiana, and has travelled to Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean to share her knowledge of the African-American cultural traditions of New Orleans. During recent years, she served New Orleans as an artist-in-residence among students at Oretha Castle Haley Elementary School, Helen S. Edwards Elementary School, and Rabouin High School.

In 2000, Mrs. Harrison received a commission from the Preamble Center in Washington, DC to create the Spirit Quilt, a piece dedicated to lives lost to environmental hazards in communities across the United States. In addition to being exhibited locally at such venues as the Contemporary Arts Center, her beaded and feathered "dress art" regalia has been exhibited throughout Europe and the United States in a traveling exhibition associated with the work of noted Yale University historian Robert Farris Thompson. A collaborative artwork by the Harrison family was acquired by the Anacostia Museum of the Smithsonian Institution in 2004.

MAB SEGREST is chair of Gender and Women’s Studies at Connecticut College in New London. She earned her doctorate in English from Duke University. Her first book, My Mama’s Dead Squirrel, is considered the first book of feminist literary criticism of southern literature. Her second book, Memoir of a Race Traitor, was named an outstanding book on human rights. Her most recent book, Born to Belonging: Writings on Spirit and Justice, is based on her travels in Africa, Asia, and the United States and reflects on the tremendous changes society is witnessing now and how we can envision more human and just alternatives to our current systems. Before rejoining the academy in 1998 as a visiting professor at Duke, Segrest was instrumental in the feminist small press movement and a founding member of Feminary: A Lesbian Feminist Journal for the South. She is the founder of North Carolinians Against Racist and Religious Violence, served on the Board of the Center for Democratic Renewal, and served as the coordinator of the Urban-Rural Mission, a program of the World Council of Churches.

While visiting Tulane during Fall 2004 as a Mellon Professor, Segrest coordinated and hosted “Shake Loose Our Skins,” a literary event featuring returning Zale Writers-in-Residence Sonia Sanchez, Joanna Scott, and Linda Hogan. The podcast is available at


8-9 p.m., Dixon Auditorium (Wednesday 8 March)

After an intermission, we will return to Dixon Auditorium for introductions and speak-outs by representatives of the inspiring groups of women organizing and working on behalf of New Orleans and the Gulf South region post-Katrina. Phone 504 865 5238 or email to get on the list to speak. Plan to talk for 3-5 minutes!

Musical interpretation and moderation by Eluard Burt, II


The first Women’s Day took place in 1908 when socialist women in the United States organized a mass meeting on behalf of women’s political and economic rights. In 1910, at the second International Conference of Socialist Women in Copenhagen, International Women’s Day was formally established, and the first demonstrations were held in Germany on March 19, 1911. Dates of the observance have varied, but the widespread protests by women in Petrograd on March 8, 1917, which triggered the socialist revolution in Russia, also helped to fix that date as IWD.

As one of its founders, Lena Lewis, declared in 1910, IWD was originally not a celebration, but an anticipation of the struggles necessary to “eventually and forever stamp out the last vestige of male egotism and his desire to dominate over women.” For most of the twentieth century, especially in eastern Europe, IWD honored working women-often in ways resembling Mother’s Day--but the resurgence of feminism in the 1970s helped to revive IWD and to refocus its observance as a celebration of the achievements of women, their international connections, and their shared struggle for equality, justice, and peace.

This is the third year that the New Orleans Women's Studies Consortium has been part of organizing IWD observances in New Orleans.

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