Showing posts with label Women's History Month. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Women's History Month. Show all posts

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Pamela A. Smith is now the first African-American woman to be US Park Police chief

Pamela A. Smith, a 23-year veteran of the United States Park Police (USPP), is the first African American woman to lead the 230-year-old agency.

During her decorated law enforcement career, Smith has served as a patrol officer, field training officer, canine handler, academy instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, executive lieutenant to the chief of police, assistant commander of the San Francisco Field Office, commander of the New York Field Office, acting deputy chief of the Homeland Security Division, and deputy chief for the Field Operations Division. She was also the first woman to lead the New York Field Office as its Major.

Smith has received many awards and honors, including the Women in Federal Law Enforcement Public Service Award, United States Marshal Service Distinguished Law Enforcement Career and the National Park Service Equal Employment Opportunity Program Recognition of Outstanding Excellence. In many of her leadership roles, on and off the Force, Smith serves as a mentor and an advocate for personal and professional development. She is an active member of her church, has volunteered as a youth mentor and has coached youth sports.Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. She is a graduate of the FBI National Academy (Session 265) and a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and International Association of Chiefs of Police. She is a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Film shows black women as hidden figures in pro wrestling

A new film explores the role of black women recruited as professional wrestlers in the 1950s and 1960s.

Lady Wrestler: The Amazing, Untold Story of African-American Women in the Ring is a 90-minute documentary that chronicles the stories of Babs Wingo, Ethel Johnson, Marva Scott, Ramona Isbell and dozens of other African-American women who braved racism and sexism in the 1950s, '60s and '70s to succeed in the male-dominated world of professional wrestling. These courageous women raised families while blazing a trail for female athletes long before many of the breakthroughs of the civil rights and feminist movements.

The documentary debuts Thursday at Ohio State University’s Wexner Center for the Arts.

Filmmaker Chris Bournea said people like these female grapplers wrestled not only before women were deemed capable of athletic accomplishments but before blacks had civil rights in many places.
They also didn’t talk a lot about what they did, perhaps concerned about others’ reactions. And when they were finished, they wanted to move on with their lives.

Bournea, who is black, grew up in Columbus without ever hearing the stories. After he learned of them as a journalist about a decade ago, he knew he had to do something.

“Awareness needed to be brought to these women’s accomplishments,” Bournea said.

Bournea said he has planned screenings in other cities with large professional wrestling fan bases and will then release the film on Amazon.

Lean more about the movie here and watch the trailer below:

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Hampton votes to name neighborhood center after NASA trailblazer, Mary Jackson

Dozens packed the Hampton City Council chambers Wednesday for the renaming of a $3.5 million Olde Hampton neighborhood center in honor of Mary Jackson, a city native, and among the first African-American women to serve as a human computer at what is now NASA Langley.

Many of those in attendance included members of Jackson’s sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha to pay tribute to the pioneering engineer, whose story was featured in the book by Hampton native Margot Lee Shetterly and movie “Hidden Figures.”

Last July, members of Local 8888 of the United Steelworkers lobbied the City Council to have a public place named for Jackson. Jackson, who died in 2005, grew up in Olde Hampton and was a science education advocate.

The city is working with local neighborhood citizen groups to finalize the types of programs that will be featured at the center, City Manager Mary Bunting said. The city is also seeking to hire a firm for the building design.

Vice Mayor Linda Curtis said there is not a set location for the new Mary Jackson Neighborhood Center.


Sunday, March 11, 2018

Baltimore park space where Confederate statue once stood rededicated to Harriet Tubman

More than 200 local residents and elected leaders gathered in a tree-lined corner of a Baltimore park Saturday to rededicate the space, which had long venerated two Confederate generals, to the famed abolitionist and Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman.

“We stand on the shoulders of this great woman,” said Ernestine Jones-Williams, 71, a Baltimore County resident and a Tubman family descendant who spoke on behalf of the family. “We are overwhelmed. Overwhelmed. Thank you, and God bless you.”

The ceremony in Wyman Park Dell, on the 105th anniversary of Tubman’s death, took place feet from the now-empty pedestal of a large, bronze, double-equestrian statue of Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, and officially renamed the space Harriet Tubman Grove.

At the event Saturday, city officials and local residents cited the events in Charleston and Charlottesville, but largely focused on more local efforts to have Baltimore’s statues removed, including a grass-roots petition drive.

They said the removal of the statues has imbued the spaces where they once stood, such as the Harriet Tubman Grove, with their own symbolic power.

“Since the removal of the Lee-Jackson statue, this park has become a gathering place for city residents of all backgrounds to meet, talk and enjoy the location as a space that symbolizes hope and positive change,” said Ciara Harris, chief of staff to Baltimore Recreation and Parks Director Reginald Moore. “Harriet Tubman Grove will provide the city an opportunity to correct historic injustice to a Maryland native. Our city is properly recognizing an African-American hero.”

Read more: Baltimore park space where Confederate statue once stood is rededicated to Harriet Tubman

Friday, March 02, 2018

Kamala Harris & Yvette Clarke Call For Statue of Shirley Chisholm In U.S. Capitol

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) are sponsoring legislation to put a statue of Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress, in the U.S. Capitol.

Multiple Democratic senators are already co-sponsoring the measure, including Cory Booker (N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Tim Kaine (Va.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.). Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is also on board. The bill would direct the Joint Committee on the Library to enter into an agreement to obtain a statue within five years of the bill’s passage.

On the heels of Black History Month and at the beginning of Women’s History Month, Chisholm is perhaps the perfect candidate for the honor. Over her groundbreaking political career, she became the first black candidate for a major party’s presidential nomination and the first woman to run for the Democratic Party’s nomination. She served seven terms in the House from 1969 to 1983.

Now the question is whether a Republican-controlled Congress will honor this “unbought and unbossed” black woman.