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2020 Women’s History Month Luncheon and Women’s Leadership Development Events Canceled

Due to COVID-19 (coronavirus), the City of Bloomington has canceled the Women’s History Month Lunch scheduled for Wednesday, March 25 at the Monroe Convention Center and also the Women’s Leadership Development Event scheduled for Saturday, March 28 at City Hall.

Although our in-person events have been canceled, we look forward to celebrating all of the Bloomington Commission on the Status of Women 2020 award recipients in an alternate fashion.

Please stay tuned for updates. We will announce how we will be moving forward soon!


2020 Women’s History Month Luncheon

The Women’s History Month Luncheon serves as an opportunity to recognize individuals and collective accomplishments of women in our community. In addition, organizations for women and women-owned businesses will exhibit at the luncheon. The exhibit reservation form is available here.

The theme of the 2020 luncheon is “Valiant Women of the Vote.” The program will include a keynote speaker and award presentations to the 2020 Woman of the Year, Toby Strout Lifetime Contribution and Young Woman of the Year award recipients.

Elaine Weiss
              Elaine Weiss

Elaine Weiss will be the keynote speaker at the luncheon. Weiss is a journalist and author whose work has appeared in The Atlantic, Harper’s, The New York Times, and The Christian Science Monitor, as well as in reports and documentaries for National Public Radio and Voice of America. A MacDowell Colony Fellow and Pushcart Prize Editor’s Choice honoree, she is the author of the highly acclaimed narrative non-fiction book, The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight for the Vote (Viking 2018), hailed as a "riveting, nail-biting political thriller" with powerful parallels to today's political environment. Weiss is also the author of Fruits of Victory: The Woman’s Land Army in the Great War, the inspiring story of a long-forgotten women's movement. She lives in Baltimore.

The luncheon will be held at the Monroe Convention Center (302 S. College) on Wednesday, March 25th. Doors open at 11:15 a.m. for viewing of women’s exhibits. The buffet begins at 11:30 a.m. and the program begins at noon. The cost is $25 per seat or $275 for a reserved table for eight. Ticket sales will begin January 2, 2020 and must be purchased in advance through the BCT Box Office located at 114 E. Kirkwood Ave., hours are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon-Fri and 12-5 p.m. Sat-Sun, or online at Scholarships are available for individuals that need assistance purchasing a seat to attend the lunch.

For more information about the lunch or workshop, contact Sue Owens at 812-349-3468 or


Your sponsorship for the annual Women’s History Month Luncheon will help the Bloomington Commission on the Status of Women recognize women who have made outstanding contributions to our community. We will recognize your contribution publicly at the lunch.


An exhibit allows you to share your message, product or service with others who share your concern about women’s issues.  Exhibits will be located between the buffet and dining tables.  We have 18 exhibit table spaces available on a first come, first served basis, so get your reservations in early. Exhibit tables will be draped with black cloths. Please let us know if you will need an electrical outlet. The doors open to the public at 11:15 a.m. and we ask that you have your exhibit table set up by 11 a.m. The program begins at noon and ends at 1:30 p.m. You may not sell items at your exhibit table or place literature on the dining tables.

2020 Women’s Leadership Development Event

The annual Women’s Leadership Development event is on Saturday, March 28, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at City Hall Showers Building. This year’s theme is “Women: Participation and Progress.” There is no fee for this opportunity to learn how to get involved and make a difference in our community.

The event will begin with registration and a buffet breakfast at 10:00 a.m. The program begins at 10:30 a.m. and includes award presentations to the 2020 Emerging Leader, Shatoyia Moss, and the 2020 Young Woman of the Year, Solveig Hicks. Shruti Rana, Director of the BA in International Law and Institution Program and Professor of International Law Practice at Indiana University will be the keynote speaker at the event. Several recipients of the Leadership Scholarship Initiative will also share information about their leadership experiences.

Shatoyia Moss, the recipient of the Emerging Leader Award, is the Safe and Civil City Director at the City of Bloomington. Moss is receiving the Emerging Leader Award for her work, including the creation of the inaugural Black Girl Summit in November 2019. The summit convened over 100 middle- and high school-aged girls and featured workshops dedicated to empowering young women of color. She is also the chairwoman of Delta Sigma Theta’s Delta Gems program and Academy program and a mentor to three young women, one working as an athletic director in Okinawa, Japan, as well as an IU student majoring in Speech and Hearing Science and an employee at Cook Incorporated in Bloomington.

Solveig Hicks is the inaugural recipient of the Young Woman of the Year Award, created to recognize a woman between the ages of 11 and 18 who has already  impacted girls and women’s issues in the community. Hicks is the president of Young Democrats at Bloomington North High School, and founded the school’s National Organization of Women chapter. In June 2019, she was the primary organizer of the North-South High School reproductive rights rally to protest abortion bans being passed around the country. In 2017, Hicks helped spearhead the successful Tri-North Middle School protest of the school’s dress code which, according to the protesters, reinforced the idea that girls are sexual objects, discriminated against certain body types, took away from learning time, humiliated girls, and promoted rape culture. 

Co-sponsors of this event include the City of Bloomington Commission on the Status of Women and the City of Bloomington Community & Family Resources Department.

For more information contact Sue Owens at