Women’s History Month at Discovery West in Bend, Oregon

Women’s History Month has special meaning for us at Discovery West. We’ve chosen to name all our streets after women who have made history, whether it be in space exploration, science, medicine, sports or another significant contribution. The fact is that women have shaped the world we live in today in ways that many may not even realize, and we are thrilled to highlight their accomplishments.

Each month, we profile a new “woman of discovery” on our blog, writing about the fascinating lives of the women whose names you see on our neighborhood street signs. From astronauts like Dr. Kalpana Chawla and Dr. Ellen Ochoa all the way to physicists like Dr. Goeppert Mayer and Dr. Donna Strickland, we love sharing more about women who have made history by featuring them on our website here

This March, we join the multiple organizations around the globe in commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in history. Women’s History Month originated in the early 1980s, beginning with a week-long celebration of women, and soon – through a petition from the National Women’s History Project – expanding to encompass the entire month. In the United States, the month is set aside to specifically “celebrate the contributions women have made to the United States and recognize the specific achievements women have made over the course of American history in a variety of fields.”

An important part of Women’s History Month is International Women’s Day, observed on March 8. Each year, this auspicious day has a different theme and in 2021 the theme is “Choose to Challenge.” This is a call for challenging norms to instigate change, and take action against bias and inequality.

This conversation has taken on new meaning over the past 12 months, as women have been hit especially hard by the challenges posed by the pandemic. Many have been forced to leave the workforce, with an estimated 3 million in the United States alone.  This is coupled with a rise in domestic abuse, mental illness and increased poverty. “COVID-19 is rolling back on women’s economic gains of past decades” and many are calling for deliberate action to curb this fallout for women.

Against this backdrop, it is the perfect time to raise women up and celebrate their achievements. It’s something we take seriously at Discovery West! You’ll not only see the theme of “Women of Discovery” in the names of our streets, but if you take the trail under the bridge at Skyline Ranch Road, you’ll see layered stencil mural portraits by Bend, Oregon artist Douglas Robertson featuring a few of the women