Talk by fomer Cherokee chief kicks off Women's History Month at TTU

A talk by Wilma Mankiller, former principal chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, kicks off events at Tennessee Tech University commemorating March as Women’s History Month.

Her presentation, titled “The Changing Role of Native American Women,” is set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 2, at Derryberry Hall Auditorium.

“Even in a tribe where we value harmony and balance between men and women, I’ve heard women say that men make better leaders,” she said. “We’ve heard it so often, we begin to believe it ourselves.”

But Mankiller, who became the first female in modern history to lead a major Native American tribe, set out to prove her detractors wrong. She was appointed to the post upon the 1985 resignation of her predecessor, but she carried her second election in 1991 with 82 percent of the vote.

As chief, she managed an enrolled population of more than 140,000, an annual budget of more than $75 million and more than 1,200 employees spread over an area of 7,000 square miles. Her task was often compared to that of a chief executive officer at a major corporation.

Other Women’s History Month events at TTU include:

• A talk titled “Getting the Skills to Pay the Bills” by Lachelle Norris at 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 4, in Daniel Hall, Room 204. Norris, an assistant professor of sociology, is also a governor’s appointee to the Tennessee Board of Regents for the Tennessee Economic Council on Women. She will discuss the council during her lecture.

• International Women's Day on Monday, March 8, includes two lectures to be presented in Roaden University Center, Room 342.

At 11 a.m., Comfort Asanbe will speak about "Women's Issues In Nigeria.” A native of Nigeria, Asanbe is an assistant professor of psychology at TTU.

At noon, Girijia Shinde will present "The Role of Women in India.” A native of India, Shinde is a TTU biology graduate who now teaches at Volunteer State Community College.

• Wrapping up TTU’s Women’s History events at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 1, in Johnson Hall Auditorium is a presentation by TTU alumnus Alison Piepmeier and Rory Dicker, who co-wrote the book “Catching a Wave: Reclaiming Feminism for the 21st Century.”

For more information about Women’s History Month at TTU, visit the Women’s Center web site at www.tntech.edu/women/.

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