Provo residents celebrate International Women’s Day 2018

Jessue McCloskey dances at Provo City’s International Women’s Day Cirque de la Femme after-party on March 8. (Savannah Hopkinson)

Provo City celebrated International Women’s day Thursday by hosting a multitude of events including a lecture series, various hikes and outdoor activities, and an circus-themed after-party.

“The vibe in the city has just been lighthearted and just refreshing,” Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi said. “Every single person that’s put on an event has done it out of the love of empowering women and helping women.”

The day began with a breakfast and lecture series hosted by Kaufusi in the Provo City Council Chambers. Speakers covered topics including women in art history, sexual assault and LGBTQIA+ inclusion. All speakers spoke of empowering women and ways to make changes.

Tamu Smith addresses the audience during her International Women’s Day lecture. Smith spoke of female empowerment and the strength of women. (Laurie Bradshaw)

“I think that women are the heroes of humanity,” said Tamu Smith, a multimedia influencer and a speaker at the lecture series. “I think that when women get involved in things, no matter what that thing is, things change and they change fast. We have more power than we know.”

Janalee Emmer, a curator at the BYU Museum of Art, also spoke at the lecture series.

“We need to learn these histories and support women in the arts, also in the sciences and technology and all areas,” Emmer said. “So that our rising generation has role models that can help us change our culture, make a society that is one, that has equality and appreciation for all of us, so that women can contribute with all of our unique skills and abilities.”

BYU professor and certified nurse Julie Valentine spoke at the lecture series about ending sexual violence. She shared facts and figures about sexual violence and addressed common myths about sexual violence.

“I want you to understand the scope of this problem and why we need to unite together, because I believe by working together we can make changes to dramatically reduce these numbers,” Valentine said.

Provo citizens celebrating International Women’s Day wait for their tour at Taste Chocolate Factory. (Laurie Bradshaw)

The lecture series was followed by various hikes, picnics and classes all over Provo. Taste, a chocolate factory and store in Provo, held a mini tour of its facilities for women paricipating in Provo’s celebration.

The owners of a new mobile app called Prepify held an emergency preparedness class. The Prepify app aims to help people and families become prepared for emergency situations with easy-to-follow steps and inventories; their International Women’s Day presentation emphasized feminine needs in preparedness kits.

“Our goal is to make preparedness simple and easy for everyone,” said Britton Beckham, co-founder of Prepify.

A circus performer dances at the Cirque de la Femme. (Laurie Bradshaw)

Immediately following the emergency preparedness presentation was the Cirque de la Femme event, an after-party with circus-themed food, mocktails and performers.

Partygoers Abby, Hannah and Sarah Morris said though they were unable to go to other International Women’s Day activities, they thoroughly enjoyed the event.

“I think it’s awesome. I didn’t even know there was a celebration,” Abby said.

Sarah said while she enjoyed the party, she didn’t think the celebration of women should only be one day long.

“I think women should be celebrated always, because we are fabulous,” she said.

Provo women gathered to celebrate International Women’s Day Thursday with dancing, circus performances and themed food at Provo’s after-party. (Savannah Hopkinson)
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