March. It’s a time when people are in the throes of filing their taxes, filling basketball brackets or preparing for spring break. The landscape is coming alive again and it’s time to get out there and enjoy it. And while it’s easy to get caught up in all that March has to offer, it’s also time for us to reflect on something else March has given us: National Women’s History Month.
A Legacy of Women’s Leadership
At United Way of Greater Atlanta, women play an important role in both our history and our future. In 1999, three dynamic women – Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, Ann Stallard and Anne Kaiser – started United Way’s first Women’s Leadership Council. Since then, Councils have been adopted by United Ways across the country. Asking the question, “Why aren’t more women leaders at the table?”, these trailblazers brought women on board and to the decision-making table to raise not only dollars, but also their voices in the community.
Early on, the three realized the power of sisterhood. They noticed that typically, men give out of a sense of duty and responsibility and honor, while women give because they want to see a change in the community. Because of the efforts of these three trailblazing women, United Way of Greater Atlanta has two additional engagement groups comprised of only women: Tocqueville Women’s Leadership Council and the Johnnetta B. Cole Women’s Society.
United Way Women: Champions for Georgia’s Children
In 2014, former President Jimmy Carter appeared before a group of United Way of Greater Atlanta’s women leaders and spoke compellingly about the scourge of human trafficking – especially in Atlanta, which the FBI ranks as among the top 14 American cities in sheer volume of children bought and sold for sex. The women leaders in attendance – led by the Tocqueville Women’s Leadership Council – were inspired to take the issue on as their signature cause. Throughout 2015, they passionately advocated before lawmakers and raised awareness about the issue to help pass the Safe Harbor Yes Amendment. And in 2016, the Amendment passed with over 3 million voters across the state who overwhelmingly voted yes.
These accomplishments were all spearheaded by women dedicated to service. In honor of National Women’s History Month, we salute women of the past and future ensuring that Greater Atlanta’s children, families and communities thrive. Learn more about how you can join one of our women’s affinity groups.