From left: Patricia Depew Wirth, controlling administrator of the Turning Point Suffragist Canonizing organization, and Herndon Town Council affiliate and Agency for Women 2018 honoree Grace Cunningham in advanced of the affectation highlighting the designs for the civic canonizing planned for suffragists, to be congenital in the Occoquan Regional Park in Lorton. Photo by Andrea Worker.
March is Women’s History Month, and the affair for this year’s celebrations is “Nevertheless, She Persisted,” apropos to the now-famous byword that was allotment of Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s admonishment of Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in February of 2017 afterwards a party-line vote to stop Warren’s accent adjoin the arrangement of Sen. Jeff Sessions as the U.S. apostle general.
“Sen. Warren was giving a diffuse speech,” said McConnell at the time. “She had appeared to breach the rule[s]. She was warned … nevertheless, she persisted.”
Since then, that byword has become a ambulatory cry for women’s rights advocates and others about the world, and is a applicable description for the women called by the Fairfax Canton Agency for Women as their 2018 honorees, according to Michelle Mueller, the county’s communication to the commission, who led the affairs at the commission’s accession on March 6 at the Government Center.
The women called as this year’s recipients for acceptance by the canton “have exemplified that persistence,” said Mueller in her remarks, abnormally in their assignment to “fight all forms of bigotry adjoin women.”
Sheila Coates, a sixth bearing Virginian, Coates has been “persisting” for over four decades. The architect and admiral of Black Women United for Action back its birth in 1985, Coates has served on the lath of the Civic Council of Women’s Organizations and as a agent to the Civic Summit on Africa. She auspiciously lobbied for a minority-at-large position to the Fairfax Canton Agency for Women, as able-bodied as for the arrangement of an African American woman to the lath at George Mason University — a aboriginal for the academy which she abounding and breadth she advised accessible administering and political science. Coates continues her work, confined on a cardinal of boards, panels and committees, and advising and educating on women’s rights issues.
Grace Wolf Cunningham is confined her fourth appellation on the Herndon Town Council and is the aboriginal Korean American adopted official in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Cunningham is an adviser to the Washington Coalition for Comfort Women’s Issues (WCCW). The group’s name comes from the delicacy accustomed to the added than 200,000 women trafficked as disciplinarian during Apple War II by the Japanese aggressive as “comfort” for the angry troops and was started to alarm for accepting of, and adjustment to these victims. In accession to their founding mission, today, WCCW continues to apostle for the rights of wartime victims and is committed to the “eradication and blockage of crimes.” Cunningham was the active force abaft the accession of the “Peace Garden,” apparent at the Government Center in 2014, as a canonizing to those “Comfort Women” and as a admonition of the allegation to abide acute and abide to action animal trafficking.
Laura Harris is addition adept in the action adjoin bigotry and as a best for victims of calm violence. Harris has formed for Fairfax Canton Juvenile and Calm Relations Court Casework Unit for over 30 years and led the allegation to accompany canton casework and assets calm in a accommodating acknowledgment to calm violence, active in establishing the canton Calm Abandon Prevention, Policy and Coordinating Council, as able-bodied as the Calm Action Center. Among her achievements, Harris additionally helped to alpha the advance “Attorney for the Day Program” which provides pro bono acknowledged casework to audience gluttonous careful orders in calm abandon situations, but who cannot allow attorneys or who face challenges compassionate their rights and the acknowledged system.
Lidia Soto-Harmon, the CEO of the Babe Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital, believes in developing and acknowledging approaching leaders, acceptable that all adolescent women accept the befalling to succeed. To that aim, Soto-Harmon works to accomplish abiding that no babe or advance is afar from abounding accord in Babe Scouts because of banking difficulties. Adding to her resume of years of activism, Soto-Harmon currently serves as the babyminding armchair for the Meyer Foundation, an alignment that “works on advancing and advance in solutions that body an candid Greater Washington association in which women of blush and economically accessible thrive.”
Assisting Michelle Mueller in presenting certificates to the honorees were Fairfax Canton Lath of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova, and Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins. At the approved Lath of Supervisors’ Meeting which followed the reception, Bulova presented a proclamation, accustomed on account of the Agency for Women by Cunningham, declaring March 2018 as “Women’s History Month, and a time to account all women who abide to action and accomplish in bringing absolute change to the lives of assorted American Women.”
ACKNOWLEDGING THE WOMEN who sacrificed in the accomplished to accretion the befalling for women of today to succeed, the accession additionally included a affectation of the planned Turning Point Suffragist Memorial, a garden-based canonizing to be amid aural the Occoquan Regional Park in Lorton — already allotment of the bastille breadth area women suffragists were incarcerated.
Executive Administrator of Turning Point Patricia Wirth was on duke to advertise the assets of the canonizing and admonish attendees of the contributions of the women “who came afore us.” Wirth says they still haven’t aloft all the funds bare to body the civic memorial, but declared that behindhand of what appearance of accomplishment has been accomplished by that time, “there’s activity to be an actualization accident on Aug. 26, 2020.”
Cunningham vowed to “put burden on my colleagues to accord to the fundraising efforts for the memorial. We are so advantageous to alive in amazing Fairfax County,” said Cunningham, “where we accept a woman as our Lath of Supervisors chair, a woman armchair for the accessible academy board, mayors like Lisa Merkel of Herndon, women confined our breadth in the accompaniment assembly and so abounding more, clashing abounding added jurisdictions beyond our arena and the country — and we wouldn’t accept this befalling after these women who sacrificed to get women the appropriate to vote.”
For added about Women’s History Month and the Agency for Women, see www.fairfaxcounty.gov/cfw. The Turning Point Suffragist Canonizing Association has a Facebook folio and advice on www.suffragistmemorial.org. A accessible Women’s History Month Celebration is appointed for Saturday, March 17 from 1:30 – 4:40 p.m. at Thomas Jefferson High Academy for Science and Technology in Alexandria. Those absorbed in accessory can RSVP and acquirement the $7 tickets at www.womens-history-month-2018.eventbrite.com.
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