Event celebrates women of 'character, courage and commitment'
April 6, 2014
CAMP HUMPHREYS -- Soldiers, civilians and family members joined together in the Community Activity Center here, March 19, to celebrate Women?'s History Month.
This year's theme is Celebrating Women of Character, Courage and Commitment. This month is observed to ensure that the history of American women is recognized and celebrated throughout the world. President Jimmy Carter first proclaimed national Women's History Week in 1980.
The observance, hosted by the Garrison Equal Opportunity Office, was the culmination of a month's worth of events which also included trivia and essay contests.
The event began with a slide show presentation, featuring trailblazing women such as Elizabeth Stanton, Eleanor Roosevelt, Vernice Armour, Tammy Duckworth and Michelle Howard. This was followed with performances by Asia Hickman, an International Christian School student who played the piano and the Humphreys Middle/High School Drama Class.
Guest speaker for the event was HM/HS Principal Shelly Kennedy, who is serving as the inaugural principal.
"As a youth, coming of age in the 1970's, there were many important people, events, and influences that shaped my life," she said. "The music of that time period continues to have a profound impact on my outlook about life. In honor of Women's History Month, I believe Helen Reddy's song "I Am Woman" spoke volumes."
Following the playing of the classic, Kennedy said, "I cannot think of more powerful words to commemorate why we are here…to celebrate women of character, courage and commitment."
Kennedy went on to mention many other important women (besides those previously mentioned) in America culture, such as Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Sara and Angeline Grimke, Margaret Sanger, Amelia Earhart, Sally Ride, Christa McAuliffe, Crystal Lee Sutton, and Karen Silkwood.
As she was concluding, she put these questions to the audience: Who will become the women listed in the history books as worthy of acknowledgement in future celebrations of Women's History Month? What are we doing as adult role models to encourage our daughters to embrace the challenges?
"I believe that we have a responsibility to teach our children to become problem solvers," she said. "We need to give them the skills to think for themselves, to try, to fail, and to try again. We need to help them become fearless in their pursuit of an education and to stand strong for equality in the workplace."
"Who knows what women will accomplish in the next 50 to 100 years," she added. "The possibilities are endless and even unfathomable because the technology of the future is changing at such a rapid pace we are always behind. Each of us has the awesome task as serving as role models."
At the conclusion of the event, Command Sgt. Maj. Kristine A. Purnell, the Humphreys Garrison command sergeant major, presented Kennedy with a gift for being the guest speaker.
"This event means a lot to me, because I'm a woman," said Sgt. 1st Class Letia L. Colley, the Humphreys Garrison Equal Opportunity NCO and the project manager for the observance. "It's inspiring me and it tells me that the sky is the limit. We can do whatever we like to do."