Women’s History Month Luncheon: Weaving stories, lives

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A women’s history month poster is on display during a luncheon held on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., March 24, 2015. This year’s theme was ‘Weaving the stories of women’s lives’ and focused on sharing the stories and the choices women made. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Joseph A. Pagán Jr.)

Senior Airman Joseph A. Pagán Jr., 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE — A luncheon honoring Women’s History Month was held March 24, to focus on sharing the stories of women’s lives and the choices they made, encourage girls and young women to think larger and bolder.

Louisiana House of Representative Barbara Norton was the guest speaker for the event and used this year’s theme to encourage women in the military to never quit, just as the women who paved the way for them never quit.

During her speech, Norton displayed photos of important women she holds in high regard. The first photo was first lady Michelle Obama, the second, Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American congresswoman, and lastly, Col. Kristin Goodwin, 2nd Bomb Wing commander.

“When you look at women like this who are the first in the nation to hold this position, you can look at them and say ‘they look just like me’,” said Norton. “They worked as hard as I do to make dreams come true. If their dreams came true, mine can too.”

Senior Airman Jessica Bicy, 2nd Comptroller Squadron financial services, added her thoughts about what it means to see the people represented on the photos.

“This just shows us that we are continuing to break statistics and expand people’s standards and expectations,” she said. “It also gives the up-and-coming generations inspiration, to know they can do it too. Women are breaking barriers every day. Whether it’s being a single mom caring for five kids, being a faithful wife while being an entrepreneur, or being the first female commander of the 2nd Bomb Wing, women are still doing great things.”

“This month is a moment to recognize and highlight the things that we do on a daily basis that may not be noticed,” added Staff Sgt. Brittany Jefferson, 2nd Dental Squadron dental technician, who organized the event. “The message I wanted everyone to hear is women are not just important during March, they’re important year round, in the military, or not; all women and men on base are a part of history.”

While Norton was the main guest speaker, she wasn’t the only one.

Master Sgt. Maritza Mueller, 2nd Bomb Wing Equal Opportunity director, hoped that her speech would allow everyone to understand that diversity is a powerful tool.

“Men and women have their differences, but there are a lot of negative stereotypes with regards to how women will react to any certain thing,” said Mueller. “Treating everyone with dignity and respect will not allow those barriers to cloud judgments and decisions making.”

Although a luncheon was held to honor Women’s History Month, it still falls short of the ultimate goal of creating a society in which everyone is equal.

“I believe we still need to celebrate diversity, in whatever forum that may be,” said Mueller. “From women’s history to the history of our forefathers…we are all part of what makes this country great.  These advancements are a step in the right direction, but there are still barriers of inequality that need to be overcome.”