By Lisa Capobianco
National Women’s History Month kicks off each year in March to recognize and celebrate the history of American women in schools, workplaces and communities throughout the U.S.
This month, Southington Public library will host a free program of the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame (CWHF) called “Pushing Past ‘No’: Overcoming Obstacles on the Path to Success,” to recognize women’s contributions, courage and character, sharing women’s history with the community. During the event, a speaker from CWHF will present an interactive multi-media program to share the stories of some of Connecticut’s women who pushed through obstacles to gain success. The program will also have a Q&A session at the end.
“We’re really excited to do this,” said Sue Smayda, the executive director of the library. “I think women are making big strides—at every level they can be successful and dream big.”
From famed geneticist and Nobel Prize winner Barbara McClintock to Emeline Roberts Jones, the first female dentist in America to Constance Baker Motley, the first African American federal court judge, the program will share stories of women from all walks of life. The program will also share stories of female sports icons, including Joan Joyce and Donna Lopiano. All these women were inducted into the CWHF.
“The library is proud to bring the CT Women’s Hall of Fame program to Southington,” said Jeanne Chmielewski, the adult program coordinator at the library. “Women of all ages can be inspired by the successes of current and past remarkable CT women.”
Bambi Mroz, the Director of Administration and Programming at CWHF, will present the program at the library. Mroz said the program uses the stories of these women to provide females with positive role models who “pushed through barriers” in order to accomplish their goals. She hopes the program will inspire women of all ages to explore their options.
“We’re very excited,” said Mroz, adding that the stories told from the women’s past will help females understand the present and the future. “Our whole institution provides girls with positive programs—we believe in unlimited potential for girls and women.”
Officially founded in 1993, the Connecticut’s Women Hall of Fame is “an educational outreach organization whose mission is to honor publicly the achievement of Connecticut women, preserve their stories, educate the public and inspire the continued achievements of women and girls.” The first induction ceremony took place in 1994 with a total of 46 female inductees. This year, the 21st Annual Induction & Celebration will take place in October with the theme, “Shaping Our World: Women in Design and Innovation.” The inductees for this year are respected technologist, entrepreneur and pioneer in the 3D printing industry Jennifer Lawton, Marian Salzman, a thought leader in public relations and Beatrix Farrand, who was a nationally renowned landscape architect.
“What we’d love to see is women’s history celebrated all year long,” she said.
“Pushing Past No” will take place Monday, March 10 at 6:30 p.m. Registration is required. Contact the Reference/Information Department at 860-628-0947 x 5 or visit our website at www.southingtonlibrary.org, click on Calendar.
By Lisa Capobianco