International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day “Words about Women Matter” Contest
March 8, 2017

Sponsored by:
Bixby Center on Population and Reproductive Health,
Center for the Study of Women
UCLA International Institute
Reproductive Health Interest Group (RHIG)
Art & Global Health Center
UCLA Cultural Affairs Commission’s Word on Wednesday

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It is a call on the masses or a call on yourself to help forge a better working world – a more inclusive, gender equal world.

The 2017 theme is #BeBoldForChange.  Thank you to all of the contestants for honoring the boldness of this day by sharing an original story, song, spoken word or poem


On March 8th, students and staff from the UCLA community, as well as a few family and friends, gathered at UCLA’s Kerkhoff Art Gallery to support #BeBoldForCharge.  Sixteen contestants, all women, performed an original work on the theme of “women of the world—learning, laughing, resisting, renewing.” The atmosphere was electric and powerful. The contest was a big success!  We had a wonderful turnout with the room completely packed.

The audience selected the winners. The winning contestants were awarded cash prizes! First place: $75.  Second and Third places: $50.  The First place winner designated an organization to receive a donation from the door proceeds and a contribution from RHIG. In the end, the donations totaled $365.  The money went to Nyanza Initiative for Girls’ Education and Empowerment in Kenya to help them construct a Girls’ Empowerment Center.  This organization is affiliated with “Girls Not Brides,” which seeks to end child marriage globally.

The winners and their presentation are featured here. (We apologize for the moving camera.  We were not prepared to film the presentations and used a handheld camera.  However, the messages came out loud and clear.  Enjoy!)

(1st Place) Rhiannon McGavin

(2nd Place) Alexis Miles

(3rd Place) Sana Rahim


Using the funds provided by the UCLA International Institute and the Center for the Study of Women, we were able to supply everyone with food and drinks from San Sai Grill.  The Bixby Center developed the concept, designed the announcements, selected the contestants, provided the gift cards to the winners, printed the program, and organized the food, handled set-up, and did the filming.  The UCLA Cultural Affairs Commission’s Word on Wednesday helped with the venue, setting up the mic, publicity, and providing one MC.  The Art & Global Health Center also helped with publicity, set-up and collecting money at the door.  RHIG assisted with donations, counting votes, raising awareness and providing another MC. Our Mistresses of Ceremony were Amy Elizabeth Alterman and Leila Malikyar.

Thanks to the Event Committee members Amy Elizabeth Alterman, Elisabeth Nails, Paula Tavrow, Jasmine Uysal, and Rachel Veerman.  Especially to doctoral student Chiao-Wen Lan who graciously handled the correspondence with all the contestants and compiled the information so well for our review, as well as providing her own comments.  And also to Rachel Veerman and her son, Michael, who made sure everything went smoothly and did so much legwork.

Special thanks to Professor Gail Kligman, for spearheading this celebration of International Women’s Day, even though she could not be here in person.  And also to Paula Tavrow, for being the lead organizer and pulling off this wonderful program so quickly.

Photos from the event.

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