Laura Siedlecki

The Miami University Women’s Center will be making its annual Women of Color Celebration a little more personal this year with a commemorative postcard project.

The postcards, shaped like bookmarks, will display a picture of a specific woman, her name, department and years spent at Miami.

They will also feature the woman’s response to questions like, “When I think about my time at Miami, I am especially proud …” and “When I reflect on my experiences at Miami as a woman of color, what stands out for me is …” according to Jane Goettsch, director of the Women’s Center.

Jacky Johnson, Women of Color Awards committee chair, said the celebration launched in 1992.

“Our goal is to bring people together to celebrate the cultural diversity and accomplishments of women of color in the university and in the larger community,” Johnson said.

This event will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 3 in the Multipurpose Room in the Shriver Center and serve as a bridge between Black History Month and National Women’s History Month, Johnson said.

Goettsch said the planning committee wanted to do something special this year so all staff, faculty and students can take part in this celebration. Goettsch said the postcards will be a testimonial creating a personal connection between all the guests.

“In the past we’ve had key note speakers but we want it to be more personal now,” Goettsch said.

The event will also feature an international dinner, entertainment, student testimonials, an award and a scholarship. The testimonials range from students dealing with a difficult childhood, struggling with appearance, sickness and pregnancy, among others.

“It’s really gripping and the best part of the event,” Goettsch said.

The Jennie Elder Suel Award will be given to women who have made positive contributions to Miami and the communities in which they live beyond their official job responsibilities, Johnson said.

The event used to be a luncheon, however, Goettsch said student attendance was low. Beginning in 2009, the event was changed to a two-hour dinner event to make it easier for students and community members to attend.

“People have said that it is the best campus event and a joyous event for both campus and community members,” Goettsh said. “This year in light of a difficult budget, we’ve reduced ticket prices to $5 for students and $10 for non-students.”

The Women’s Center Web site also features other upcoming events including LUNAFEST and Women’s Read-In. LUNAFEST is a national traveling festival of short films from all around the world, both by and for women.

Also, in late March the Women’s Center and Roger and Joyce Howe Center for Writing Excellence will co-host a tribute to Suzanne H. Summers and a writing challenge about women’s education.

To learn more about these events and about Miami’s Women’s Center visit the Web site at or stop by their office at 206 MacMillan Hall.

Tickets for the Women of Color celebration go on sale at the Shriver box office Feb. 1 and postcards and nominations for the Jennie Elder Suel Award are due Jan. 25.