My experience of stepping into Mary Alston Hall at the University of Alabama is eerily akin to plunging back in time to the days of my childhood.
I am staring at more than 70 framed paintings of affluent men. Twenty-year-old confident Madison transformed into little Madison — a girl who sits in a classroom quietly as her teacher lectures about the multitude of successes men have accomplished.
I find myself nearly a decade later, asking the same question as I did when I was a child — why aren’t we talking about the abundance of influential women?
As a student on campus involved in multiple organizations, I have met so many women who have been hidden from the spotlight of success. Where is the platform for them to shine as brightly as all these men do?
This is where the Polaroid Project comes in.
For the entirety of the upcoming spring semester, I will be partnering with GirlSpring and interviewing one successful woman on campus for every successful man put on a pedestal in Mary Alston Hall. I will take a Polaroid picture after each interview and will replace a man in the photo of the hall. These women will be professors, SGA members, debaters, athletes, engineers, artists, scholars, all who contribute daily to UA’s campus. The experiences of these women will differ based on their intersections, and all of their intersections will be addressed in each interview. Let me make this clear: this isn’t just a platform for women who experience sexism, it’s a platform for women who encounter ableism, homophobia, racism, etc. — and who have risen above it all.
I am thrilled to share these women’s intersectional stories, and give Mary Alston Hall the copious amount of distinguished women it deserves.
Below are the interviews that have occurred thus far, updated weekly: