Celebrating 2012 Women's History Month
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
— Hebrews, 12:1-2
This year’s theme for National Women’s History Month is “Women’s Education — Women’s Empowerment.” As we survey the American colleges, the female population outnumbers the male population. It has been a struggle for women over the years and across racial divide to accomplish this. As women, we have managed homes, participated in our children’s activities and worked full time to make a difference and to change the world. Emma Willard, in her 1819 Plan for Improving Female Education, noted with derision the focus of women’s “education” on fostering the display of youth and beauty, and asserted that women are “the companions, not the satellites of men” — “primary existences” whose education must prepare them to be full partners in life’s journey.
As we know, women have become astronauts, expanded our economy as entrepreneurs, business leaders, and have served our country at the highest levels of government and our armed forces. We are honored to have these pioneering women who are helping to erase the inequities facing women today. 2012 is the 40th Anniversary of the passage of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. This was groundbreaking legislation which for the first time mandated equal opportunity for females and males in all fields of federally-funded public education.
Henceforth, we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses who have experienced the struggles of life as females and we can now throw off everything that will hinder us from being successful and fulfilling our dreams. As women who are pursuing a career, do not get entangled in drinking and drugs, unusual sexual activities, living a lie or breaking the law. All these things will hinder you from accomplishing your dreams. When things get tough, fix your eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of your faith. Press forward as our pioneering sisters have so awesomely done in accomplishing their dreams and remember to “dream big.”
This column is the opinion of Rev. Gracie Jackson of Grace Community AME Mission.