‘Innovation through Imagination’ theme of this year’s Women’s History Month

by Rebecca Burylo
Air University Public Affairs

3/1/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. - -- Women's History Month kicks off today with a proclamation signing at Gunter's Enlisted Heritage Research Institute at 3 p.m., sponsored by the Maxwell Equal Opportunity Office. Colonel Tent Edwards, 42nd Air Base Wing commander, will sign the proclamation.

The month's theme is "Women Inspiring Innovation through Imagination," and the proclamation reads, in part: "Women represent a powerful presence as leaders in the federal government, comprising over one-third of the [Department of Defense] civilian workforce; countless women have demonstrated strength and abundance while serving in defense of our nation."

Throughout the month, the committee hosts events to recognize women's roles and historical contributions in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Perhaps one of the most popular annual traditions on base to celebrate Women's History Month is "the pull." Every year, women gather to demonstrate their combined strength and symbolic force in society by pulling fire trucks and airplanes.

This year's pull is a 48-passenger school bus at Maxwell Elementary Middle School March 19 at 9 a.m.

"The pull is always a lot of fun," said said EO committee chair Christina Winston. "And this year we wanted to get the kids involved so that's why we'll be over at the school."

Children from Mona Dunson's art classes will paint, draw and color pictures of women in history and those influential in their own lives, which will decorate the bus windows.

A poetry contest for the MEMS' sixth and eighth graders will give children another opportunity to be involved in this month's events. Poems should be submitted before March 18 to be judged and should focus on this year's women's history theme. Poem submissions should be no more than one handwritten page, including the student's full name and grade level.

First-, second- and third-place winners will receive gift cards to use at base exchange shops and will be published in the Dispatch's March 29 edition. First prize will receive a ticket to the Women's History Month lunch March 28 at 11 a.m. at the Maxwell Club, where the student will have a chance to read the winning poem.

The luncheon will feature a panel of women who will describe their roles and experiences in the military or government workplaces. Panelists will be Janet Bailey, the Army's wounded warrior advocate for the southeast region; Peggy Hall, the women veterans' program manager at the Veteran's Health Care System; Col. Marina Ray, commander of the 42nd Medical Group; and Hannah Chadee from EMERGE Montgomery, a young professionals organization.

The panel will answer questions submitted beforehand. An electronic invite to the luncheon will be sent via email so those on base will have the opportunity of accepting the invitation, submitting a question and selecting a lunch. Those wishing to attend must respond by March 25 with their lunch selection of either a chef salad or turkey croissant and drink for $14. People can attend the panel session without having to purchase a meal.

For more information on events or to submit a question for the panel, contact Winston at 953-2509 or 324-2949.