West Hollywood to observe Women’s History Month

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Wave Staff Report

WEST HOLLYWOOD — The city will celebrate National Women’s History Month in March with a series of virtual events to recognize and honor women and women’s history.

Throughout the month, a series of street lamp pole banners that honor famous American women, civil rights leaders and women’s rights activists will be on display along Santa Monica Boulevard.

National Women’s History Month officially opened with the unveiling of two new women’s history month street lamp pole banners: one honoring Alicia Garza, principal at Black Futures Lab and co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network; and one honoring business leader and activist Michaela Mendelsohn, CEO/founder and board chair of Trans Can Work.

The presentation was held at the regular meeting of the City Council March 1.

In addition, the city’s display includes a banner honoring pioneering lesbian and feminist activist Ivy Bottini, who died Feb. 25. Bottini, who was 94, began her activism began she joined a New York City gathering of luminaries of the women’s movement that included Betty Friedan, Muriel Fox, Ti-Grace Atkinson and Flo Kennedy.

In 1966, she cofounded the first chapter of the National Organization for Women and designed the organization’s logo, which is still in use today. In 1970, she led a group of women to the Statue of Liberty where they hung a banner that read, “Women of the World Unite,” and in 1978, she fought the Briggs Initiative, which sought to ban gays and lesbians from teaching in California public schools.

She continued her activism through the AIDS epidemic and became chair of the campaign against the No on 64 Initiative, which would have amounted to firing and quarantining of people with HIV or AIDS. Bottini was, for many years, a West Hollywood resident and she served as a co-chair of the city’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board.

Additional street lamp pole banners honor Maya Angelou, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Blackwell, Rachel Carson, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bessie Coleman, Midge Costanza, Jane Fonda, Barbara Gittings, Dolores Huerta, Mother Jones, Coretta Scott King, Wilma Mankiller, Mary McLeod Bethune, Patsy Mink, Connie Norman, Michelle Obama, Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Sanger, Sonia Sotomayor, Gloria Steinem, Elizabeth Taylor and Harriet Tubman.

A series of virtual events will be held throughout the month. They include:

International Women’s Day Celebration from 1 to 2 p.m. March 7, featuring stories about inspiring women written by community members and read by professional actors. The program can be seen online on the city’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/wehotv.

• The fifth annual International Women’s Day Dance Festival will take place March 5-8 at various times each day. Admission prices vary from free to $15. For more information and to register, visit https://bit.ly/2MRxLpU.

• In celebration of women authors, WeHo Reads: In Your Face – Woman Writing Truth will be held virtually from 6 to 7:30 p.m. March 17. The reading and discussion will feature Myriam Gurba and Randa Jarrar celebrating the release of Randa’s new memoir “Love Is an Ex-Country.” Musical guest will be Kelly Caballero. Admission is free. To RSVP and for more information, visit www.weho.org/wehoreads.

• A group of lesbians and queer will discuss their written works from 7 to 9 p.m. March 18. :Reviving the Revolution” will be moderated by Suzette Zazueta and will feature Jewelle Gomez, C.B. Lee, Vero’nica Reyes and Alicia Vogl Saenz. To register, visit https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIoc-2hrzsvG9NwIHPrEGSb8Qr7lZwHSQFZ.•

• Ruth Bader Ginsberg will be celebrated from 6 to 7 p.m. March 19, featuring a panel discussion about the legacy of the late Supreme Court justice. Admission is free. To RSVP and for more information, visit www.wehorbgday.eventbrite.com.

• A panel discussion on the Equal Rights Amendment will be held at noon March 20. Admission is free. For more information, contact hollywoodnowchapter@gmail.com or call (323) 596-7389.

• The 25th annual West Hollywood Women in Leadership Awards and Reception will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. March 25, co-sponsored by the City of West Hollywood and its Women’s Advisory Board, and the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. This year’s honorees are Katie Brightside, artist/designer and creative director of Welcome to the Brightside Agency; Emiliana Guereca, founder of Women’s March Los Angeles and president of Women’s March Foundation; Silvia Salguero, mental health therapist and former city Women’s Advisory Board member; and Fran Solomon, community leader and former city staff member. The event will be hosted by comedian and activist Dana Goldberg.

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the West Hollywood Women in Leadership Awards, a suggested donation of $25 may be made as part of the event to benefit the National Council of Jewish Women, Los Angeles (NCJW|LA) and its efforts advancing economic justice and equity for women. Admission and ticket information is available by visiting www.wehowila2021.eventbrite.com.

A full schedule of City of West Hollywood events and meetings is available at www.weho.org/calendar.