Women’s History Month Celebration
Los Angeles-Spring is in the air as evidence by the Cherry Blossom trees that are in full bloom at my place of employment as well as down the main thorough fare of the city that I live in. It was another picture perfect day in Los Angeles for the inaugural Women’s Festival, presented by the City of Los Angeles, Councilmember Herb Wesson Jr., Community Build, and LA City Commission on the Status of Women, Jim Gilliam Recreation Center and Hungry Hog. The event was held on March 7, 2009. The inaugural event theme “Women of Resilience,” was held at Jim Gilliam Park (4000 South La Brea Ave.)
A full day of activities was scheduled for women and girls of all ages in attendance. There was a tennis clinic hosted by the Venus and Serena Williams Tennis Academy’s Coach LeGeorge Mauldin featuring local journalist Jasmyne Cannick. Additional activities were children’s activities featuring a jump tent as well as a skateboard clinic. Hungry Hog & Starvin Steer were serving complimentary breakfast and lunch all day.
Several local people went home with one of the following door prizes which consisted of kid’s bicycles, skateboard, gift baskets, and gift cards from Target, Ralphs and Footlocker. To enter the raffle, participants had to visit 10 booths to obtain a ticket.
Several elected officials came out in support of the event and to applaud the organizer Kellie Hawkins, Executive Director of the Commission on the Status of Women. “The festival gives us the opportunity to address the pressing and relevant needs of women living in the Baldwin Village and throughout the City of Los Angeles. During these tough economic times, the Commission has a responsibility not only as a policy advisor but also as a resource to women throughout the City and especially those in underserved communities to connect them to the essential and critical support services in the community from health and wellness to job training” stated Kellie Hawkins. “In honor of Women’s History Month, we wanted to host an event that was in the community and for the community.”
Nicki Micheaux of ABC Family’s “Lincoln Heights” and Menyone Deveaux from the hit film “Notorious” alternated as Mistress of Ceremonies for the afternoon. T.V Personality Mother Love was present to greet all in attendance. 2008 Miss California Latina Nancy Pelayo, “Everybody Hates Chris” actress Tichina Arnold and inspirational speaker Jewel Diamond Taylor spoke words of hope, encouragement to empower the attendees. It was timely for this event to be held on the eve of Daylight Savings Time which also has an uplifting message to everyone-which is to Spring forward in a spiritual sense.
The Women’s Festival featured free health screenings, motivational speeches, healthy cooking demonstrations, a clothing drive for women, fitness clinic, and make over’s, financial literacy workshop, and previously mentioned raffles.
The public celebration of women’s history in this country began in 1978 as “Women’s History Week” in Sonoma County, California. This week including March 8, International Women’s Day, was selected.
In 1981, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Rep. Barbara Mikulsi (D-Md.) co-sponsored a joint Congressional resolution proclaiming a national Women’s History Week. In 1987, congress expanded the celebration to a month, and March was declared Women’s History Month.
Women’s History Month is an opportunity to recognize the achievements of women and work on ways o continue our advancement within society (source-Press materials)
The L.A. City Commission on the Status of Women exists to serve the women and girls of Los Angeles and is the vehicle through which all their voices can be heard.