Dear young women of our community

PT-WomensHistory-JoAnnRoberts-hedshot.jpg-featuredDear Young Women of Our Community:

In our world of instant information, Twitter, Facebook and Snap Chat, there is sometimes little time to look back.

Why look back? Why not just move forward? There is so much to do. While that certainly is partially true, there is great value in looking at history. Perhaps history can help us not repeat our mistakes or it can provide a bit of context for our lives. All true.

However, my plea to young women is to look at women’s history in a different light. That “different light” I am suggesting is to understand the struggle for women who came before you, which enables you to be who you are today. That glimpse into the past also impacts us all in a more profound way.

If we all do not complete the circle and learn from one another, then there is only superficial value to what we are doing. In other words, past is past, but past is part of who are today.

That is why women of all ages need to stick together. It does not mean we don’t have differences. We sure do. We are all individuals with individuals minds and emotions. But sticking together means to be “our mother’s keeper”… Remembering those who have gone before, honoring that legacy and moving forward with that history in our past also impacts us all in a more profound way.

That is why I feel the Women’s History Coalition of Miami-Dade County (WHC) is one of the best-kept secrets and one of the most important groups to support for women. We document in publications the women leaders who have gone before us. There are amazing and profound women who have influenced this town’s growth, from the very beginning.

Did you know Julia Tuttle is credited with helping to create the City of Miami and her statue stands on the bridge into Miami from Brickell Avenue?

This and much more are all in our publications appropriately called, Herstory, and available in schools and public libraries. In fact, the first day of March each year, we gather at Julia Tuttle’s gravesite at the City of Miami Cemetery to remember her life and legacy.

And to support women today, we take that remembrance and honor women in Miami-Dade County who help make this community a vibrant, caring and dedicated community. These women of today called, Women of Impact, are celebrated during an afternoon ceremony in March where we honor and thank them for their unselfish work to make our hometown a better place.

And this brings me back to my original thought. Young women of today, we appreciate you, we admire your work and efforts, and we are proud of the women you have become. But as you tackle this world and create new platforms for leadership, remember “the shoulders on which you stand.”

Every time you see a hardworking woman, remember that they are counting on all of us to bring the history forward and help make new history.

Our common ground is your common ground. Carpe diem, ladies!

JoAnn Roberts is president, 2015-16, Women’s History Coalition of Miami-Dade County Inc.

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