For the last three years, a group of St. Bonaventure University faculty and staff have initiated March Madness-style bracket contest to spur conversations and knowledge about some trailblazing women in history.
Each year, the committee has developed a bracket of accomplished women within the framework of a central theme.
Dubbed March into Women’s History, the initial bracket takes 16 inspiring women in each of four categories for a total of 64 women, much like the NCAA basketball bracket is constructed. (Click here to see a breakdown of the bracket.)
This year, with advocacy as the central theme, the four sub-categories are religion, health care, education and social justice.
Dr. Pauline Hoffmann and Dr. Kimberly DeSimone, professors in the university’s Jandoli School of Communication, led the charge with colleagues from other academic and support areas to develop and launch the initial Women’s History Bracket in 2016. The leadership group has grown since then but the goal to recognize women is still the same.
The group of students, faculty and staff selected a diverse group of women across many eras from an international pool and gave consideration to women who were “first” in a particular area. They chose advocacy for this year’s theme because, nationally and internationally, women have played a large role in advocating for positive changes in society.
“Certainly, 16 women in each category does not nearly sum up the contributions of women in each area,” said Hoffmann. “However, the women we include in our bracket each year have important and notable stories. This is one way we can share those stories.”
Voting in the first round begins today, March 12, and will continue throughout the month until the field is eventually narrowed to two women on March 27, with the winner being announced March 28. The public is invited to view brief bios on all 64 women and cast votes at www.bonabrave.com/marchintowomenshistory.
The organizers’ goal is to start a conversation. “Tell us about who we’ve missed,” Hoffmann said. “Tell us why you voted as you did. And tell us how these women might have had an impact on your own life.”
Announcements and updates will be posted throughout the month on various university social media accounts.
Voting in the first round of 64 women begins March 12 and will continue round by round through March 28, when the winner will be announced at a final wrap-up party on campus. (The location will be announced at a later date.)
The schedule below outlines the dates and times (all EST) for voting:
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