Wendy Gladney (File Photo)

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the first week of March as Women’s History Week.  Seven years later, Congress declared the entire month of March as Women’s History Month.  I find it sadly ironic that we need legislative reminders to celebrate and remember the accomplishments of various people and communities. However, I am grateful that the work of women is being celebrated nonetheless! Across the country, March 8thhas been designated as, “International Women’s Day” where people celebrate and honor women worldwide.

On Monday, March 18 and Tuesday, March 19 both the American Women for International Understanding (AWIU) and the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles (IVCLA), two boards on which I have the pleasure of sitting, will serve as hosts to the 12th “International Women of Courage (IWOC) Celebration.”  This celebration is in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State.  The celebration highlights the work and sacrifices of women from around the globe and was started in 2007 by the U.S. Department of State, under the leadership of Secretary Condoleezza Rice. After the ceremony in Washington, D.C., (centered around International Women’s Day on March 8th), the women travel to various cities across the U.S., where different organizations highlight their work through various platforms. Los Angeles is one of their stops.

On Monday, March 18 the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles (IVCLA), under the leadership of president Janet Elliott, will host what they are calling, “Perseverance Through Adversity,” where they will highlight women from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Western Hemisphere. They will hold a conversation with the women where MyKhanh Shelton, Senior Vice President for Global Inclusion, Engagement and Diversity at 21st Century Fox, will moderate the discussion with the women.  This event will take place at the Tom Bradley Room inside Los Angeles City Hall. Attendees will have an opportunity to hear from the women as well as ask questions.  To learn more visit www.ivcla.org.

The following evening, on Tuesday, March 19, the American Women for International Understanding (AWIU), under the leadership of president Maria Schory and Nancy Annick, Chair 2019 IWOC Celebration Committee, will host a dinner at the Jonathan Club in downtown Los Angeles where Emmy Award-winning journalist Norah O’Donnell has been named the Honorary Chair for the IWOC 2019 Celebration. One of our local community leaders, Elaine Batchlor, MD, MPH, chief executive officer for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital, will serve as one of the Honorary Committee Members.  AWIU is proud to provide each one of the Women of Courage a grant to help them continue the vital work they do back home in their communities. To learn more visit www.awiu.org.

As we bring attention this month to various women that have made history or have accomplished amazing feats, let’s not forget to remember the women right in our own backyards that sacrifice and work hard every day to make their communities a better place. Whether it is our mothers, teachers, doctors, or the neighbor next door that is always there to help, take time to pause and tell her thank you for all the ways she has sown goodness into your life and helped you along your journey.  #Women #Empowerment

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Visit www.WendyEnterprises.comand www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is an international coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at [email protected].