Profile images of women.

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first presidential proclamation declaring a week in March as National Women’s History Week. Seven years later, after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project (now the National Women’s History Alliance), Congress recognized the month of March as Women’s History Month. Since 1995, presidents have issued an annual proclamation to celebrate the contributions women have made to the history of the United States and recognize the specific achievements women have made in a variety of fields. The timeline of women’s history milestones stretches back to the founding of the United States.

The National Women’s History Alliance selects and publishes a yearly theme for Women’s History Month. The 2024 theme is Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. This theme recognizes women who understand that in order for there to be a positive future, bias and discrimination must be eliminated from institutions and experiences.

International Women’s Day

March also honors International Women’s Day on Thursday, March 8, 2024. International Women’s Day is a global celebration marking the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women throughout the world. Many countries celebrate International Women’s Day with marches, educational initiatives and community acknowledgements. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is Inspire Inclusion. The theme is intended to underscore the crucial role of inclusion in achieving gender equality.  

Inspire Inclusion calls for action to break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, and create environments where all women are valued and respected. It encourages everyone to recognize the unique perspectives and contributions of women from all walks of life, including those from marginalized communities.”

Inspiring Inclusion at BSD

A team of thirteen educators from across BSD schools, led by Freedom Johnson, serve as engagement specialists for the Black, Indigenous, Asian-Pacific Islander People of Color (BIPOC) educators team. Developed through a partnership between the Bellevue Educators of Color Network and the BSD human resources department, to attract and retain more educators of color in the district, Johnson coordinates efforts to support certificated staff of color.

In response to requests from BIPOC staff who have shared their desire for a greater sense of belonging and a community of colleagues who understand their perspectives, the engagement specialists host social events and professional development opportunities throughout the year. Currently the group creates a monthly newsletter with information about cultural events, upcoming PD opportunities, self-care tips, recipes and more. In the future, they would like to expand the program to serve classified staff as well as certificated staff.

“Knowing that there is support (personally and professionally) has made all the difference in my sense of belonging, engagement and retention in this district.” – BIPOC BSD Staff Member

The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.