top of page
  • Writer's pictureThe Iris Review

Acknowledging the difficulties and praising the advancement of women.

On the evening of March 27th, 2023, Tennessee Tech’s Multicultural Affairs sponsored a Campus Conversations event titled “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories”. The night featured a discussion on overcoming the professional and personal challenges of being a woman from a panel of distinguished women across multiple areas of Tech, including Dr. Rufaro Chitiyo, Margo Dirkson, Zaire Mattox, and Dr. Helen Hunt. Director Charria Campbell hosted the event and led a conversation that was both inspiring and insightful.

After a brief introduction from each panelist, which included the use of “I am” and “I am not” statements signifying how one’s identity is not singular, the group answered questions from the audience. Inspired by the testaments of these women, the questions took on a more personal nature. Finding equality in a romantic relationship, raising the next generation of women, and the overcoming of sexist indoctrination were the main topics that were brought on by the questions from the audience. The panel transparently responded with their own experiences and what they learned from these. This led to an open but sobering conversation about the challenges that still exist for women in their personal lives and relationships just because they identify as such.

Director Campbell then shifted the conversation towards the topic of female leadership with her own line of questioning. Each panelist was given the opportunity to discuss what motivated them into becoming a leader within their respective field as well as their advice on encouraging other women to seek out these roles. This ignited a discussion on the difficult reality that women face as leaders as they fight to be heard, respected, and create opportunities for other women. As a result, unfortunate experiences of this nature and the wisdom that resulted from them were shared by the panelists. Despite the concerns that were voiced, the progress that has and is being made was celebrated and there was an overwhelming sense of hope for the future generations of female leaders.

The event ended with, at the request of Director Campbell, each panelist sharing who inspires them the most and a piece of advice. Most of the panelists shared that they take inspiration from the women in their families, showing how much influence any woman can have on those surrounding her just by being herself. Much of the advice followed this theme as panelists recommended that women truly get to know themselves, finding people who not only support them but their goals, and taking time to take care of themselves. With this, an honest yet encouraging discussion on the challenges and future of women ended leaving me eagerly anticipating the next event within this series.

Recent Posts

See All

The narrative I or the written pronoun as it appears in poetry has been a topic of interest for writers (and perhaps a thing of misunderstanding for nonwriters) for quite some time. The written pronou

The Timberline Review is a journal run, according to a letter from the editor, completely by volunteers. The Willamette Writers is the company behind the publication, and on their tenth issue, decided

The Alaska Quarterly Review is a semi-annual literary magazine that describes themselves as having “powerful voices”. In their about page their mission statement is that they use “the power of literar

bottom of page