By JOSEPH LOPEZ
Women’s History Month is not only an opportunity to honor the many women who have made historic contributions to the world, but it’s also a time to appreciate every woman’s unique input in daily life.
Local 1549 recognized the “Everyday Woman” on March 4 at its Women’s History Month luncheon celebration.
“We are all special in our own right,” said 1549 Women’s Committee Chairperson Tracye Hawthorne to the large crowd of women who are mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, and proud city workers and union members.
“All women are strong and powerful. They make you and they can break you,” said Local 1549 and DC 37 President Eddie Rodriguez.
Guests were treated to performances by the Wings of Glory Dance Missionary and the Local 1549 Choral Group, under the direction of 1549’s Executive Vice President Alma Roper. The program also honored women who are members of the local, in addition to others who work at DC 37.
“There are women who think that they cannot make it very far, and I thought the same, but never doubt that you can go as far as God will take you if you work hard and push forward,” said Renee Gainer, one of the honorees. She started in civil service in 1977, and today is the director of DC 37’s Clerical Division.
“The list of things that women, regardless of color or race, have accomplished is a milestone in the history of America,” said keynote speaker Dr. Hazel Dukes, president of the NAACP New York State Conference.
Dukes recalled growing up in Montgomery, Ala., where her father was a union member. She had the opportunity to learn from many great women in her life, including Rosa Parks, who was her childhood teacher at Sunday school.
“We celebrate the women who paved the way, whose shoulders we stand on, and we have to teach the younger generation what it means to be a woman,” Dukes said.