Board proclaims March Women's History Month in Multnomah County

March 22, 2018

The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners recognized March as Women’s History Month with a proclamation and presentation honoring “women...who persist.”

“I think it’s so important that we acknowledge our history as women at both an organizational level and at the individual level,” said Commissioner Loretta Smith, who sponsored the proclamation. “I also think it’s important we take a look at how we are doing our part.”

Women’s History Month is commemorated by organizations and individuals across the country to study, observe and celebrate the role of women in past and present-day American society.

As part of its observance, the Board of Commissioners recognized the work of the Portland Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.

Allison Wilson and Isaura Ascencio, advocates for domestic violence survivors in the Department of County Human Services, and Carla Penn-Hopson with The Portland Chapter of The Links address the Board of Commissioners.

The 60-year-old organization describes itself as a group of civic-minded, professional women committed to service through friendship. The group works to enrich, ensure and sustain the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other people of African descent through civic involvement, education, cultural enrichment and health and wellness programs.

Also recognized was the County’s Domestic Violence Crisis Response Unit, which works directly to support survivors by helping them find safety and working with them to hold abusers accountable.

“We know that throughout women’s history, the domestic violence movement has been grounded in grassroots efforts, championed by women in their local communities who come together in their private homes and other community spaces to support each other in seeking safety and finding a community to rebuild their lives,” said Allison Wilson, who works on the crisis response effort.

Although the two groups honored at Thursday’s meeting provide vastly different services to the community, Smith says she ties them together because both work to enrich women’s lives. She challenged those in attendance to do the same.

“I ask that each and every one here take a moment to think about your own lives. What challenges lie before you and are you doing everything you can do to live your best life as a woman and to help a woman,” Smith said. “Because it’s only through us that we’re going to be able to help each other.”