We all appreciate remembrance days and months. They challenge us to be better informed, make us grateful to the people who got us this far, and often make us more determined to carry on their work. We just finished Black History Month, and now, in the month of March Women’s History month. KenCrest has some excellent contributions from women in our history. Here are the stories of two:
Sister Maria Roeck
In 1905, Sister Roeck served her family first, and then looked for new purpose. She found this purpose in the Kensington community, which was struggling with tuberculosis, an incurable disease at this time. She persevered, gathering donors and volunteers to meet the needs of the people who were ill, and their families. She was one of the early pioneers in our region of the country, and one of the earliest women to lead a nonprofit organization. 110 years ago, a women leader was rare indeed.
Sister Grace Jones
Sister Grace knew that strengthening our community was not over when tuberculosis was cured. She led us to a new purpose. She, too, spoke out reminding the leaders of her time that education and support was an obligation, not an option. She too was a pioneer in our region of education and opportunity for people with special needs and helped KenCrest to begin providing services to these people in the 1950s.
Who are the important women in your circle?
All women make someone’s history, whether they are someone who loved us and helped raised us, or someone we served.
As I find my own way into KenCrest history and the history of women’s leadership, I too have a goal. We are not finished with our work on inclusion. While as a society we have passed laws regarding equal rights, we see evidence of injustice every day.
My greatest goal is to lead us forward by inspiring and challenging us all to do what President Obama has reported …everyone deserves full participation in our society. Our part in that goal as KenCrest staff is the inclusion of the people we support and the strengthening of the neighborhoods of the employers, family and friends who surround them.
What’s your greatest goal at KenCrest? What do you imagine will be needed to push forward on inclusion?
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION (an excerpt)
Throughout history, women have driven humanity forward on the path to a more equal and just society, contributing in innumerable ways to our character and progress as a people. In the face of discrimination and undue hardship, they have never given up on the promise of America: that with hard work and determination, nothing is out of reach. During Women’s History Month, we remember the trailblazers of the past, including the women who are not recorded in our history books, and we honor their legacies by carrying forward the valuable lessons learned from the powerful examples they set.
For too long, women were formally excluded from full participation in our society and our democracy. Because of the courage of so many bold women who dared to transcend preconceived expectations and prove they were capable of doing all that a man could do and more, advances were made, discoveries were revealed, barriers were broken, and progress triumphed. Whether serving in elected positions across America, leading groundbreaking civil rights movements, venturing into unknown frontiers, or programming revolutionary technologies, generations of women that knew their gender was no obstacle to what they could accomplish have long stirred new ideas and opened new doors, having a profound and positive impact on our Nation. Through hardship and strife and in every realm of life, women have spurred change in communities around the world, steadfastly joining together to overcome adversity and lead the charge for a fairer, more inclusive, and more progressive society.
During Women’s History Month, we honor the countless women who sacrificed and strived to ensure all people have an equal shot at pursuing the American dream.
Read the full proclamation here: