By Luce Cada '23
The Woman’s Place Project (WPP) is a Notre Dame tradition begun by Sister Maureen Hilliard 26 years ago. The project was inspired by The Dinner Party, Judy Chicago's iconic 1970's feminist project. The Woman's Place Project is an interdisciplinary project that asks each freshman to research a woman and create a table setting based on her life and accomplishments. The work of the entire freshman class is traditionally displayed in Julie Billiart Hall so that people view their settings and learn about women who have made an impact across time and industry. On the evening of March 24th, Notre Dame held its second virtual Woman’s Place Project and celebrated the work of the Class of 2024 Dragons.
Typically, freshmen devote time in their religion classes to researching their woman, which is assigned to them. These women can range from Dolores Huerta, an American labor leader and civil rights activist, to Harriet Tubman, the woman known for helping to rescue enslaved people through the Underground Railroad. Layla Khoubyari ‘24 and Malia Kazem ‘24 researched those women, respectively, and recorded a video explaining their table setting and sharing the toast they wrote for their honorees. Last year, I took part in this tradition and researched the author J.K. Rowling, best known for writing the Harry Potter series. The most enjoyable piece to create is the plate, which is also the most notable. Students can either paint plates in their ceramics classes or at places like Color Me Mine. This year, freshmen took plates home and painted them with ceramic markers. Even with new circumstances, the freshmen were able to create something amazing.
The Class of 2024 truly let their creativity and work ethic shine through the place settings they created and learned many life skills along the way. The WPP prepares them for what’s to come in the rest of their high school career and lives with important skill including research and time management. Along with creating good memories, taking part in this ND tradition starts them on their own path to making a difference in the world and taking their place at the tabel of women's leadership.