(See WEDR photo gallery in partner posting: "WEDR closes summer with inspiration and hope"
Friday, August 8, 2014
Theme: Feminism: A Woman’s Heart Revealed
(Opening - Judy)
On behalf of this year’s Women’s Equality Day Reformed Committee, welcome and thank you again for taking time to be with us to celebrate the historic 94th anniversary of women’s voting rights.
As always, we acknowledge the members of the County Board of Legislators here with us today, and we invite them to say a few words: The Honorable, Sheila Marcotte District 10, Michael Smith District 3, and the Hon. Gordon A. Burrows, the "oldest" of the young sponsors or the youngest of the old sponsors! County Executive Rob Astorino was our earliest sponsor for this event, and as you know sponsorship and attendance by at least one member of the Board is a rule of the BofL and allows us this space under equal access and free speech.
Our thanks, too, to Deputy County Executive Kevin Plunkett who presented our Honoree with a Proclamation just prior to this ceremony. CE Rob Astorino’s run for the New York Governorship against Andrew Cuomo this year is a daunting effort to promote good administrative and fiscal government models and expose political maneuvers directly in conflict with those goals. We applaud Rob's courage and determination on our behalf.
Please let us now stand and recognize our 2014 Mott-Stanton-Anthony Award Honoree, Eileen Slattery!
We also welcome at this time our wonderful keynote speaker, Dr. Joel Brind. We usually have women keynote ont his occasion, but Dr. Brind's work is so closely connected with women that he gets a free pass! And are we lucky!
Also a special note - we have two of the interns who work with Chris Slattery with us today. Vanessa Reith and Laura Reggie, both from Scotland. Welcome! We will hear from them later in the program.
In our audience, too, are previous Honorees Christine Mortell Plazas and Martina Marie Parisi and last year's keynote speaker, the Rev. Barbara Stinson, radio personality "Barbara from Harlem". (applause)
We now invite Pastor Quessie Carr from Peekskill to officially open our ceremony.
Invocation. Please stand.
Regina Riely will now lead us in the Pledge & Anthem
Our theme this year is “Feminism: A Woman’s Heart Revealed”. What is authentic feminism and what does it reveal about a woman's heart? Every year at this event we examine the pro-life legacy of feminism: a true feminism that celebrates women’s lives in all their capacities. We at WEDR believe in the essential expression of a woman's ideas and voice in society through the vote. We also believe in the innate power of a woman's existential role in society. She nurtures new life and models for others that welcoming expression of love. She is a voice of sanity, unafraid to speak out and defend vulnerable human life developing in the womb. She embraces with love women in pain and comforts her sisters who have suffered life-altering consequences from their abortions. These women's hearts are termpered by faith and are a light in the fight against all injustices.
The Sisters of Life described this feminine journey in their publication IMPRINT. Their spring issue focused on the beauty of a woman’s heart and we have copies for you to take home. One quote reads…
Motherhood is the art of finding potential, and fostering it. Motherhood is the craft of focusing on the good and trusting that the rest will fade away. It is the penetrating beauty of unwavering hope, and unflinching love...The feminine genius is the practice of literally growing goodness in spite of incredible obstacles. We need to find pockets of good-echoes of truth-and foster them. We need to refute what is evil-undoubtedly. But we also need to cultivate every possible inroad of beauty, if we ever hope for a re-flowering of Christian culture..."Beauty," reflected Dostoevsky, "will save the world." There is nothing more beautiful than a mother loving her child into goodness-and nothing we need more urgently.
Our Honoree, Eileen Slattery, reminds us how prescient (defined as prophetic, discerning, perceptive), how prescient women’s voices are in solving problems, searching for truth, and becoming role models worth emulating. Today we celebrate women who on controversial issues like abortion, seek out life-affirming solutions to champion and support; they speak with more than words; they possess a radiant joy that is unmistakably feminine.
(Regina reads Joel Brind, Ph. D.'s biography and introduction.) This bio can be found at the "Abortion-Breast Cancer Link" Website
Dr. Brind speaks.
Imagine. We celebrate 94 years of women’s full citizenship in the American Experiment knowing that our founding foremothers, Lucretia Mott, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, did not live to see it themselves. Their love of truth and its intimate connection to freedom, however, permeates the genuine feminism and the self-sacrificing humanism pro-life feminists follow today.
Knowledge of that true feminist legacy is still sadly being over-shadowed by lies and falsehoods and aggressive advancement of abortion, first as a “choice” and now as a women’s health issue. Women who fought so long and hard for the vote and respect as independent and dignified members of society, now embrace dependence and seek to force others to pay for their reproductive choices. True and authentic feminism promotes a positive and dynamic path for a woman, seeking only to enrich her life, her children’s lives, and her legacy.
(Judy reads Honoree Eileen Slattery’s bio)
Eileen’s acceptance speech.
Tara Taryn reads and presents Mott-Stanton-Anthony Award to Eileen.
Judy presents roses on behalf of the HVCL.
Chris Slattery speaks.
Interns from Scotland speak.
Thank you, our Committee, guests and attendees. Ninety-four years later, more than 41 years after Roe, and 44 years in New York where we have endured the most unrelenting targeting of those who champion the right to life or defend other Constitutional freedoms, like religious freedom, we must continue to ask the important questions that truly elevate women in society.
Gov. Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act. This narrowly won battle for life, and its intended consequences for women, challenge us all to speak and act boldly on an Act that will not easily disappear. As our Governor comes under scrutiny for interference with the Moreland Comission, we should be aware that the “abortion” card will be played again to distract and garner sympathy. Women’s voices should be the loudest, demanding ethical actions and not just rhetoric from those in highest public office.
True feminism recognizes the need for change as well as a changeless moral order. The axiom often repeated here, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world,” signals women to eagerly connect to the intimate role as mother, if not in experience then in respect. Life depends on it.
And so we thank you all for continuing for another year this remarkable American tradition of pro-life feminism here at Women’s Equality Day Reformed!
Now we will close with Benediction and invite last year's keynote speaker the Rev. Barbara Stinson to lead us in a closing prayer.