“Only men are doctors.” This statement, asserted by a young girl in 1985, sparked her mother, AAUW (American Association of University Women) member Sandy Hindy, to show her daughter otherwise and led to the founding of the Women’s History Project in 1986.
Celebrating its 30th year in 2016, the Women’s History Project celebrates the accomplishments of women through live presentations about their lives. Sandy started by writing scripts for her daughter’s school and adults presented them. One of the first scripts was a first-person narrative of Elizabeth Blackwell, a doctor.
Since then, the Thousand Oaks chapter of AAUW has written more than 100 scripts, compiling many in a book series. Script selection is done by the AAUW Women’s History Committee in June.
“We sometimes rotate scripts if they haven’t been presented in a while, or often update them. We also select a new inspiring woman (whether living or deceased) to write a script about, especially if her story goes well with a current event,” said a committee member. This year featured a new script about the women of the National Park Service, since the NPS is commemorating its 100th year!
Another recent script profiles former migrant worker Irene Gomez, who is a local resident. Her story of courage, from working in the fields at age 14 to finding a way out and becoming a manager of MICOP (Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project), resounded with the committee.
The scripts are shared with area schools for presentation during Women’s History Month. One Spark Academy students presented for the community at the TO Library for International Women’s Day on March 8, at the Women’s Leadership Conference in Camarillo and The Reserve Senior Living in Thousand Oaks.
P.S. Sandy Hindy’s daughter is now a doctor!