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Feature Story

An On-going Series of Articles Written for Maywood Chamber Members.

 

M A R C H   2 0 1 9

 

MCC Celebrates Women

 

 

Annual Themes for

Women's History Month

Declared by

National Women's History Project

2019

Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence

2018

Nevertheless, She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination against Women

2017

Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business

2016

Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government

2015

Weaving the Stories of Women's Lives

2014

Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment

2013        

Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

2012

Women's Education - Women's Empowerment

2011

Our History is Our Strength

2010

Writing Women Back into History

2009

Women Taking the Lead to Save Our Planet

2008

Women's Art Women's Vision

2007

Generations of Women Moving History Forward

2006

Women, Builders of Communities and Dreams

2005

Women Change America

2004

Women Inspiring Hope and Possibility

2003

Women Pioneering the Future

2002

Women Sustaining the American Spirit

2001

Celebrating Women of Courage and Vision

2000

An Extraordinary Century for Women 1900-2000

 

 

by Dan Perkins, MCC Board Member

 

 

 

As a visitor to this website, there's a good chance you know the month of March is designated as Women's History Month; but do you know the history of the designation, and who selects the annual theme of the celebrations?  If you read on, there is a chance you will find something new and worth knowing in this article, which celebrates the accomplishments of distinguished women, beginning with women serving on the Chamber Board.

The women who serve on the Board of the Maywood Chamber of Commerce fall into one of four categories, as shown below:

 

Outstanding Women Serving on the MCC Board

 

Corporate Leaders

 

Marta E. Alvarado, Ph.D., B

Director, Community Services

Westlake Hospital

 

Jennifer L. Koehler

VP, External Affairs

Loyola University Health System

 

 

Educational Leaders

 

Catherine Hegarty

Director of Development

Walter Christian Academy

 

Amanda Turner, Ph.D., MSW

Dean, Enrollment

Triton College

 

 

Engaged Residents

 

 

Albertine Alexander

 

 

Audrey C. Jaycox

 

 

Entrepreneurs

 

Viola Mims

Owner

Vintage Realtors

 

Karen Yarbrough

Owner

Hathaway Insurance

 

 

Women are an integral part of the membership of the Chamber.  The Chamber is also delighted to be part of a community that has a woman as its mayor.  Edwenna Perkins is now in her second term as Maywood's mayor.

One of the most beneficial aspects of designating March as Women's History Month, is that it affords everyone an opportunity to reflect upon the enormous accomplishments and contributions women have made in all walks of life, both past and present.  Drawing attention to notable women is worthwhile because it encourages young people to dream big and to have the confidence that, with persistence and effort, they can go as far as their abilities will take them.

Each year, the National Women's History Project selects a theme to help focus and coordinate women's celebrations during the month of March.  This year, the theme is: Visionary Women: Champions of Peace and Non-Violence.  A list of previous themes, dating back to 2000, is provided in the left column of this page.

If you are looking for women who have made notable past contributions to our nation and the world, you would do well to visit the Smithsonian's website.  The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture has a moving tribute to trailblazing women who worked to empower themselves and their communities by advocating for civil rights, full equality and women's suffrage.  Below are just two of the women highlighted:

Mary Church Terrell, and fellow activists, founded the National Association of Colored Women (NACW) in 1896.  Terrell was a tireless fighter for equality; and at age 86, worked to desegregate public spaces in Washington, DC.

Ida B. Wells helped exposed racial injustice and violence through her groundbreaking reporting of atrocities against Black Americans in the South.

Black women have contributed in extraordinary ways to advancements throughout American society: in business, education, the sciences, aviation, healthcare, the arts and sports, to name a few.

Speaking of sports, most individuals of a certain age can recall seeing the outstanding performances of Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who won a total of six Olympic medals for the heptathlon and long-jump competitions, including three golds, one silver, and two bronzes.

When it comes to the world of entertainment, much has changed.  In recent years, Black women has attained prominent roles in major motion-picture films.  In 2016, Hollywood released the film, Hidden Figures, which tells the story of three brilliant African American women were were the brains behind one of the NASA's most notable projects.  The cinematic success of that film meant millions of Americans learned the names of the three women: Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson.

Black women represent an important part of the mosaic of women who have worked to elevate life on earth.  Asian women, Latinas, indigenous women, and women of European descent have equally rich stories of triumph over obstacles and adversity.  The contributions of each group warrants thoughtful attention and reflection. 

It is both exciting and uplifting to see the progress women have made in America since gaining the right to vote.  Women have enjoyed the benefits of full citizenry for a little over 100 years, but those years are arguably among our nation's best.

On March 5, 2019, Nancy Pelosi, current Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and the first woman to serve as Speaker (2007-2011), tweeted this little-known fact:

March 5, 1933 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) appointed Frances Perkins to serve as his Secretary of Labor, making her the first woman appointed to the Cabinet.

In the span of eighty six years, women have attained meaningful jobs and positions throughout the work force.  Our society is enriched when women are allowed to flourish. 

We do well to take time to recognize the enormous value women bring to our world, every day.  On behalf of a blessed nation, I say to the women of Maywood, and to women everywhere, "Thank you."

 

 

 

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