In celebration of International Women’s Day, Fairmont State University hosted its second annual event focused on engaging and inspiring women through food, music, entertainment, cultural art exhibits, networking, panel discussions, and student dialogue.
Fairmont State’s Brickstreet Career Development Center and Educational Pathways for International Centers and Students (EPICS) co-hosted the event. Amanda Stinemetz, director of EPICS says the event may celebrate women but the message of the day is universal.
“It’s important to celebrate this day because all students, men and women alike, need to be reminded that they have a voice and flexibility in shaping their own identity,” said Stinemetz. “Through awareness, they know what is culturally expected of them but they have the invigoration and the drive to be who they want to be and who they are meant to be.”
The event’s keynote speaker was Fairmont State alumnae Donna Hopkins. Hopkins is a sports television personality, currently a co-host/reporter on Tony McGee Pro Football Plus on Mid Atlantic Sports Net (MASN), author of Getting to the other side of Victory, Founder/CEO of a non-profit Hopkins Breast Cancer Inc., a public speaker for breast cancer awareness programs, inspirational and motivational speaker, two-time breast cancer survivor and an amputee. She works to share her triumphant journey and to teach individuals how to reset and tap into the hidden strength we all have the passions and the purposes that drive us to not only win for ourselves but for others.
“International Women’s Day is an event where we can gather women of various ages together and remind the next generation that our world relies on them stepping forward and making it a better place,” said Hopkins. “My message today is all about waking up each day with a plan, never taking that day for granted and reminding these students that they have the power and strength inside of them to meet each day’s challenges.”
The event was funded through the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s Diversity for Equity grant program. This grant program purposes to help students not only enter into programs of higher education but also to successfully complete those programs regardless of their demographic characteristics. This celebration helps fulfill that mission by recognizing the accomplishments of women globally and supporting the next generation of women leaders.