North celebrates International Women's Day

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Samantha Fredberg

by Samantha Fredberg
International Women’s Day has been celebrated for nearly a century, and North celebrated the holiday for the first time on Tuesday, March 8 with a visit from the first elected Latina senator in the Massachusetts senate.
During C-block, state Senator and North Sonia Chang-Díaz Class of 1996 answered student questions focused around the challenges of being a successful Latina woman and a feminist.
Chang-Díaz told students of her struggles associated with race and gender in her initial campaigning, but reassured students that once she held a position in the state house the hard work payed off. “Once you get through the hard part of getting elected, there’s a high level of respect we all have for each other. We all know how hard it is to get to our jobs, so people judge you on your work or how you treat them. It’s one of the most meritorious ponds to swim in,” she added.
Students asked Chang-Díaz in-depth questions on her opinion of having a woman president, and she expressed that having a woman in office is necessary, yet possibly not achievable yet. “The only way we can break through that glass ceiling is ramming through it. Some people may be ready, others may not,” Chang-Díaz explained. When further questions on presidential candidates such as Hillary Clinton arose, Chang-Díaz said “we’re close, but we’re not there yet. If Hillary [Clinton] sounded like Bernie Sanders, was as widely disliked by colleagues like Ted Cruz, or as junior in her career as Marco Rubio, she would have never been taken seriously. Whether you support her or not, that’s a pretty observable fact.”
When Chang-Díaz finished taking questions from students, junior Julianna Lakomski presented a short film. Lakomski directed the film, and used her friends as film subjects. The film depicted young women walking at night to the narration of an excerpt from the Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath by Sylvia Plath describing a world in which women have no oppressions, and are able to “sleep in an open field, to travel west, to walk freely at night.”
A short performance from Jubilee ended the block’s activities. The group sang Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika, a song incorporated in the South African national anthem and about support and encouragement, which Chang-Díaz discussed with students.