The 2011 theme "Women of Vision, Women of Reality" introduced the tenth annual Women's Equality Day Reformed ceremony at the Westchester County Board of Legislators' offices in White Plains on Friday, August 12. This well-attended, well-organized event continues to impress and educate its growing audience.
County Executive Rob Astorino speaks with the WEDR honoree, Dr. Nanci Coppola, her family, and ceremony participants in his offices prior to the ceremony-
Author, columnist and candidate for the Westchester County Board of Legislators from District 9, Susan Konig, and Judith Anderson, co-director of the Hudson Valley Coalition for Life, hosted this year's annual event. They proudly welcomed Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone to the commemoration of the Ratification of the 19th Amendment, along with appreciated Westchester County Board sponsors, the Honorable Messrs. Gordon A. Burrows and John G. Testa and the Honorable Sheila Marcotte. Good friend and mentor, Mr. John Margand of Healthy Respect, Inc. was on hand for Dr. Coppola, along with her family and dedicated staff.
Imagine. It was 91 years ago on August 26, 1920 that women were first permitted to cast votes at the ballot box!
Mayor Amicone and 2011 Mott-Stanton Anthony Award winner Dr. Nanci Coppola:
The day's excellent keynote speaker, Carol Crossed, founder and president of The Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum in Adams, Massachusetts introduced herself as "a Democrat, a liberal, and pro-life," and then she spoke on the realities that confronted the early feminists that included "restellism" - the period name for abortion derived from the notorious New York City abortionist, Madame Restell.
Carol spoke of Susan B. Anthony's and the other suffragettes 70-year-long battle to gain full citizenship in a highly critical environment that challenged them as less-than-proper women who would, if given the vote, neglect home and hearth. In response they staunchly defended their right to the vote, as they unequivocally celebrated their roles as wives, mothers and protectors of their children, both born and unborn.
Carol and Rob Astorino celebrate the County's recognition of Dr. Coppola:
The 2011 Honoree and recipient of the WEDR Committee's Mott-Stanton-Anthony Award is executive director of Program Reach, Inc. and the Healthy Respect Program (www.healthrespect.org). Her award reads in part,"In recognition of her professional vision and outstanding achievements educating youth, instilling in them a true sense of their own dignity and worth and the inestimable core values that anchor them in challenging times and guide them through life." One of Dr. Coppola's many outstanding accomplishments is a five-year, six million dollar grant; one of only two for abstinence education awarded by President Obama's administration up to that date.
As part of her Q & A period, Dr. Coppola gave an excellent brief discussion of the Healthy Respect program, and the academic research behind it -
More pictures of the pre-ceremony greeting and recognition of Dr. Coppola and her family from Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino at his offices on the 9th floor of the Michaelian Building set the tone for the day; a day of both celebration and remembrance. Rob congratulated Dr. Coppola and then spoke briefly about the remarkable and inspiring life of service that was Joe Accocella, the Harrison Town Clerk who died at age 30 and whose funeral was being held that same morning.
Keynote speaker Carol Crossed then gave guests a preview of her comments about The Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum where she is founder and president. Dr. Coppola's husband, Mr. Joseph Rosich is seen below.
The official ceremony on the 8th floor began at 12 Noon and was dedicated to the memory of the first WEDR Honoree, the late Mildred Fay Jefferson, M.D. - the outstanding medical professional, orator and patriot who blazed both civil rights and pro-life advocacy paths for women as (among other life-long achievements) the first black woman to graduate Harvard Medical School. It was an appropriate remembrance because the American Life League in speaking about Dr. Jefferson at her death last October said, "...we celebrate her life of valor, commitment, leadership, deep faith and love; we mourn her passing and we resolve never to stop defending the children who meant the world to (her). She gave her life in their service; we will not let her memory die."
We thanked The Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum (find them online at www.susanbanthonybirthplace.com) who offered the County a traveling exhibit about Susan B. and the 19th Amendment. It is available for visitors' viewing on the first floor of the Michaelian Building, 148 Martine Avenue (at Court Street) in White Plains during the month of August.
Thanks to all who attended and helped with the day! More videos will be posted soon.