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March is usually known for March Madness, the time of year when men’s college basketball is at its peak.  March is also known for Mardi Gras, the wild pre-Lenten party where we throw beads, wear masks, and dance in the streets.  Then there’s St. Patrick’s Day, when we wear green to avoid being pinched, and when everyone is suddenly Irish.  At the end of March, Washingtonians welcome spring with the Cherry Blossom Festival.  We walk along the Tidal Basin to marvel at the pink and white petals in bloom.  March is a great month with lots of reasons to celebrate.

March is also Women’s History Month.  This month promotes awareness of the accomplishments of women throughout American history.  Our city has many events and programs planned, and many of them will take place at notable places that already celebrate women.

The National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) has a new online exhibit called Women in Early Film.  The exhibit pays tribute to women who “have been central to the film industry since its inception in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.”  Visit the site for other online exhibits and resources.  The NWHM does not yet have an actual building, but they are working on it.  Find out what you can do to help the museum break ground, literally.

Montgomery College will be honoring women this month in two special ways.  On Wednesday, March 9, 2011, the Women’s Studies Program will host a scholarship breakfast honoring several women with the On Her Shoulders We Stand Award.  My friend Dr. Deborah Stearns is among this year’s recipients.  Also, the same program is pleased to host a reading and book signing by Feminist writer Marge Piercy.  The event will be held on Thursday, March 24, 2011, at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus from 7-9 p.m.

The NWHM website invites us this month to honor, thank, and celebrate women who have helped to shape our lives.  I know this is a natural and joyful task for all of us.

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