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Women’s History Month kicks off with celebration in Hartford

Women's History Month
Tyler Russell
/
Connecticut Public
Jendayi Scott-Miller, founder and CEO of Angel of Edgewood Inc, livestreams the beginning of a community event celebrating Women's History Month.

Community members recently gathered in Hartford for the start of Women's History Month. The annual event aims to celebrate and empower the cultural diversity of women.

Although women in business continue to face challenges to position themselves in a male-dominated environment, it's essential for women to stick together, says Jendayi Scott-Miller.

“There is a lot of competitiveness. In any industry, things are male-dominated. It’s just the way it is,” Scott-Miller said. “That’s why I need women to stick together to let everybody know this isn’t about competition. You get further working together than working apart.”

Scott-Miller's nonprofit organization, Angel of Edgewood, partnered with local organizations to kick off the celebrations at the Wilson-Gray YMCA Youth & Family Center on Wednesday.

Norma Vizcaino, a team leader at the Village for Families and Children, says women supporting one another across other elements of representation is important to inspire future leaders.

“As a Hispanic woman, my vision is to have many more of us that look like me to be part of leadership roles,” Vizcaino said.

In Connecticut, many women of color are shaping the state’s history. For instance, Maria Colón Sánchez, a Hispanic woman, was an avid advocate for bilingual education. She became the first Hispanic woman elected to the Connecticut General Assembly in 1988.

Another pioneer was Margaret Morton, the first African American woman elected to the Connecticut General Assembly, serving in the state House and Senate. She chaired the Committee on Human Rights and Opportunities and was the highest-ranking Black woman in legislative history as deputy president pro tempore upon her retirement in 1992.

Women have to work hard for their dreams, said Denise Drummond, a legislative policy analyst with the Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity and Opportunity.

“We all have our paths,” Drummond said. “Some of their paths are to college, and they may be other paths to get into trades. You know, do your work, do your homework. Follow people that you’re interested in and follow your dreams.”

A report prepared for the Connecticut Women's Centennial Suffrage Commission says that in 2018 Connecticut had a record-breaking 138 women candidates for state and federal office.

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