History walk honor’s Waco women

Rylee Seavers | Broadcast Reporter

Three members of the Baylor community have found a new way to celebrate Women’s History Month and highlight the contributions of the women of Waco history.

Dr. Lisa Shaver, director of Baylor’s women’s and gender studies and associate professor of English, said there have been many influential women in Waco, but they are often not acknowledged.

“Often, women’s history is excluded when you talk about towns or universities or our country, and so this is an opportunity for us to highlight women’s contributions to the development of Waco,” Shaver said. “And also, at the same time, highlight some key themes in Women’s studies that you find in our own Town.”

Ashley Bean Thornton, organizer of Waco Walks and director of informed engagement at Baylor, said history is often focused on men’s history, so Women’s History Month is an opportunity to remember influential women and look at how history has impacted them. She said Waco is a great place to do that.

“We have the Old South and the Wild West kind of coming together… and then also the religious element from Baylor, and all of those things mixed together just make Waco a really interesting little whirl wind of history,” Thornton said. “And of course, the women’s element of that is just what we are focusing on this particular time, but the overall history of Waco is really fascinating.”

Lake Forest, Ill. sophomore Sarah Trammell said she didn’t know much about Waco’s history before working on the women’s history walk, but was surprised at what her research revealed.

“It’s been really cool to see how many women from Waco there have been who were influential in Waco, or even influential outside of Waco, in Texas or even in the United States,” Trammell said.

The walk was one mile long and highlighted multiple Waco landmarks. Shaver, Thornton and Trammell said they hope the walk will become an annual event for Women’s History Month.