Jeff State to celebrate International Women’s Day

When Mary Martin first saw the documentary “A Powerful Noise,” she knew immediately Jefferson State Community College students needed to see it.

Martin, who works in the culinary department at Jeff State, saw the documentary last year at the request of a friend.

The documentary, which is about three women fighting the odds and making a difference in their communities in Mali, Vietnam and Bosnia, was shown at various theaters across the country on March 8, which is International Women’s Day.

“I didn’t even know there was an International Women’s Day,” Martin said. “I was so moved by it. I thought, ‘Wow, Jeff State really needs to have an International Women’s Day celebration. We celebrate Black History Month and Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we need to celebrate women too.”

That led to the first Jefferson State International Women’s Day event, which will be held March 8 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Segments of “A Powerful Noise” will be shown during the event, and there will be poetry readings and music.

After the event is over, there will be refreshments and a volunteer fair, where non-profit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, First Light, Literacy Council of Central Alabama, Health Talents International and AIDS Alabama will have informational booths set up.

Martin said she hopes the event will inspire local women to lead change in their communities.

“The main focus will be inspiring women to make a difference in our community,” she said. “The women in the documentary are making a difference where they are. We’re encouraging women to do the same thing here in Birmingham.”

The event has already created a buzz around campus, Martin said.

“I’ve just had a lot of people that are really excited, that are really passionate about the power of women in our community to effect change,” she said. “I’m just really hoping, especially, that our younger students can see that anyone can get in there and make a difference. Even if it’s just in a small way, anybody can make a difference.”