This Friday, March 8, is International Women's Day. Observed since the early 1900s, this annual event is an official holiday in dozens of countries around the world, marking the advancements and achievements of women, while reminding us how far we still need to go, to ensure that full equality for women is gained.
At the Austin Ten Thousand Villages store, local women are recognized and honored as extraordinary changemakers who have made exceptional contributions to our community. But far from being just a one day event, Ten Thousand Villages is celebrating women all week long, with special events each day of the week, culminating in its 5th Annual International Women's Day Awards on Friday starting at 6 p.m.
This year's finalists, in each of the three categories recognized, are:
• Paige Hill — Founder, Urban Patchwork Neighborhood Farms
• Elisabeth Welsh — Program Director, Austin Youth River Watch
• Sarah Young — Youth Director, Discover Green — YEL
Finalists were chosen by a judges panel comprised of previous IWD winners and leaders in Austin’s nonprofit community. The Ceremony will be hosted by 2010 IWD honoree Sara Hickman, who will present awards to three finalists and a winner from each category.
“Through actions and influence these women are distinguishing Austin as a city that’s leading in social change,” Store Manager Kitty Bird said. “It’s inspiring to learn about so many amazing women in our community who are making meaningful social impacts. This event is about celebrating all of them.”
The awards ceremony on Friday, March 8 will be held at the store at 1317 S. Congress Avenue, from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. There is limited seating and an RSVP is required to attend; you can do so via email or Facebook. There are also free daily events all week long:
Tuesday, March 5
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. : Free Yoga Class courtesy of Mimi Curry at beradiantbliss.com.
5 p.m. - 9 p.m.: South Asian Bazaar: Mehndi, Mandalas & More
Sari wrapping, henna art, music, food and 10% off all fair trade products handmade in India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. A portion of all purchases supports Austin-based Tender Heart Foundation, which helps bring education and socioeconomic development to rural communities in Northern India.
Wednesday, March 6
5 p.m. - 9 p.m.: Latin America Romance
Come hear Latin American music performed live and get a 10 percent discount on all fair trade products handmade in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Ecuador, Chile, Haiti, Peru, Mexico, Bolivia, El Salvador, Honduras or Colombia.
Thursday, March 7
5 p.m. - 9 p.m.: 1st Thursday on South Congress
Ten Thousand Villages stays open late for this popular monthly block party that lets Austin fly its weird flag. This event is about as Austin as it gets — don’t miss it!