Celebrating Women for All they Do



It’s March—Women’s History Month, when we laud and remember celebrated women who have left their mark on the world. We are reminded of the many firsts accomplished by women, many of them happening in very recent history.

Aretha Franklin was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; it happened 35 years ago in 1987. In 1988, Olympic Figure Skating Bronze Medalist Debi Thomas became the first Black athlete (male or female) to medal in the Winter Olympics. Sheila Oliver was elected to the office of NJ Lt. Governor in 2018; the first female Democrat African American Lt. Governor in U.S. history. And in 2021, Kamala Harris became the first woman to hold the office of Vice President of the United States of America.

While there are surely more firsts to come, it’s not only the firsts that count. There are women of distinction who have dedicated their lives to service while forging paths for other women to follow before branching off to explore and achieve on their own. The book of Proverbs’ 31st chapter describes the traits of a good woman. Many of the women we celebrate, especially those at the “Great American Emancipation Awards” embody the qualities described therein:

• She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. —Proverbs 31:17 ESV

• She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. —Proverbs 32:20 ESV

• She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. —Proverbs 31:26 ESV

• Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. —Proverbs 31:30-31 ESV

As you look upon the photos from the Gala, please note the happiness and beauty in the faces of the women. It’s no coincidence they are all smiling while celebrating and being celebrated. Please know and understand the challenges many of these women face and faced. Praise their triumphs as so many were won when women were simply not the norm in the workplace or the church pulpit. It would be remiss not to mention that a good portion of these women forged these paths, knocked down these doors, and shattered ceilings to accomplish these feats while raising families and supporting husbands.

So, throughout the month of March, and any other day the feeling moves you, raise your glass, mug, or cup to the women making our communities and our world a better place through their kindness, ingenuity, enerosity, and dedication. And to all of my sisters reading this, raise one for yourself as well.