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Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Women's History Month


Women's History Month Celebration

The Women's History Month Celebration provides a vehicle to honor women, their accomplishments and their contributions to society. The celebration, traditionally a luncheon, humbly began as a potluck event for faculty, staff and students at the University over thirty years ago but has since evolved into the premiere Women's History Month event in Jacksonville. Since 2014, community partners, faculty, staff and students have come together each spring to hear from globally-recognized speakers, who serve as pioneers in advancing women across the world.

The Gender Equity Award and Women's History Month Scholarship are awarded each year during this hallmark event.

Dr. Jocelyn Elders smiling and wearing glasses and a suit jacket with white and black blouseThis year’s Women’s History Month Celebration will be held noon on Friday, March 3 in the UNF Student Union Ballroom.  The keynote speaker is Dr. M. Jocelyn Elders, The 15th Surgeon General of the United States.   Dr. Elders is currently a Distinguished Professor of Public Health at the University of Arkansas School of Public Health and a Distinguished Professor at the Clinton School of Public Policy. Her inspiring life story is documented in the film HEALER, which is about Dr. Elders’ journey from sharecropper’s daughter to making history as the first African American Surgeon General.

At the age of fifteen, she attended Philander-Smith College in Little Rock, AR. Upon graduation, she entered the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant where she received training as a physical therapist. Dr. Elders attended the University of Arkansas Medical School (UAMS) on the G.I. Bill. After graduation in 1960, she was an intern at the University of Minnesota Hospital in Minneapolis and did a pediatric residency and an endocrinology fellowship at the University of Arkansas Medical Center in Little Rock. She ascended the academic ladder to full professorship after her fellowship and board certification in 1976. She also holds a Master of Science degree in biochemistry.  Dr. Elders joined the faculty at UAMS as a professor of pediatrics and received board certification as a pediatric endocrinologist in 1978 and serves as Professor Emeritus University of Arkansas Medical School.

Dr. Elders was nominated as Surgeon General of the US Public Health Service by President Clinton in July of 1993.  During the Senate hearings on her confirmation, Dr. Elders stated “I want to change the way we think about health by putting prevention first. I want to be the voice and vision of the poor and powerless. I want to change concern about social problems that affect health into commitment. And I would like to make every child born in America a wanted child”.   She is committed, passionate and outspoken about health, healthcare, sexuality and AIDS.

For ticket and sponsorship information, contact the Women’s Center at (904) 620-2528. 

Individuals who require reasonable accommodations in order to participate must notify the Women's Center at least five (5) business days prior to the event. For assistance, call (904) 620-2528.