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Women’s History Month: Serving Relentlessly Starts with Self Love

women's hands raised for women's history month

As we conclude the month of March – a time for celebrating Women’s History – we’d like to share what we’ve learned this month at Pace! The annual monthlong celebration of Women’s History Month corresponds with International Women’s Day, which we observe on March 8th to commemorate the cultural, socioeconomic, and political achievements of women worldwide. 

Women’s History Month highlights the contributions of women past and present. Last year, when Pace celebrated Women’s History Month, we provided a brief history and context for this celebration. Here’s an overview: 

  • The United Nations declared March 8th to be International Women’s Day in 1975. 
  • Women’s History Day was one of the first U.S. official women’s history commemorations in 1978 in Sonoma County, California. 
  • A presidential proclamation declared the week of March 8th, 1980, as National Women’s History Week.  President Jimmy Carter, quoted from the proclamation, said that “From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength, and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.” 
  • Carter went on to recognize the accomplishments of leaders who struggled for equality.  Among those he mentioned were Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Lucy Stone, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Lady Stanton, Harriet Tubman, and Alice Paul.  
  • Congress declared March as National Women’s History Month in1987, in perpetuity.
  • A special Presidential Proclamation is issued every year which honors the extraordinary achievements of American women.

This year, the International Women’s Day theme was #BreakTheBias. “Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead,” the IWD website states. “Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough. Action is needed to level the playing field.”

On March 8thWorkSpace Birmingham (located at Pace’s former corporate office in Pelham, AL) hosted an International Women’s Day event. Guest speakers throughout the day included Empowerment Coach Arlene Henderson of Hear My Cry Sisterhood LLC; Founder and Psychotherapist at Soul Story Therapy Hanna Stiltner, MSW, LICSW; and Digital Content Curator Shayla Nicole of 6tysix Media.

Here we’d like to share some takeaways from the day’s events. We hope both women and men in our community will benefit from these questions, tips, and reminders as we work together to invest in our mental wellbeing as well as break the bias in honor of Women’s History Month.

You Are Worthy

Arlene Henderson of Hear My Cry Sisterhood LLC kicked off the day’s events with a version of her workshop, You Are Worthy. The workshop’s essential topics support women in redirecting some of the energy they invest in their spouses, children, friends, and career back to themselves. 

Arlene invites us to ask ourselves, “What are you going to do for yourself?”

  • Be accountable to yourself.
  • Put yourself first.
  • Go after your dreams.
  • Allow yourself the freedom to live 

Essential tips from her You Are Worthy workshop include:

  • Self-evaluation: You look at yourself and accept yourself for who you are. Be accountable to yourself.  
  • Self-care: How you take care of yourself is a testament to the love you have for yourself.
  • Self-love: There is no time to waste on learning to love yourself unconditionally. Flaws and all.
  • Boundaries: Create good spaces for you to thrive in without being depleted by others. Protect your peace.
  • You are worthy! Believe in yourself. 

Mental Health with Soul Story Therapy

A session on women’s mental health with Soul Story Therapy’s Hanna Stiltner followed. She encouraged participants to realize that owning their stories and loving themselves through the process is the bravest and most important work they will ever do. “You have the innate strength and ability within you to heal,” she encouraged. Soul Story Therapy’s holistic psychotherapy practice helps individuals realize how their unique emotions, thoughts, physical experiences, and spiritual understandings work together to support typical daily function. This deeper understanding of the whole self can often lend itself to greater self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-acceptance.

Reel Fun with Instagram and 6tysix Media

The concluding session was conducted by Shayla Nicole, Digital Content Creator of 6tysix Media.  Her fun and informative session led the day’s participants in creating Instagram reels, including developing a reel’s strategy, choosing the right audio, editing, adding text, transitions, and much more. 

Lessons Learned

The overarching takeaway we’d like to share with you is that your wellbeing, personal development, and mental health matter! We encourage you to make time for yourself, whether it’s to focus on your mental health, physical activity, professional development, or another key aspect of your life. One of the best ways we can celebrate Women’s History Month is to show self-love and make sure our needs are being met. 

If you’re a Pace team member, we hope you take advantage of the employee benefits we have in place through the Pace360 benefits program to support your total wellbeing. 

Pace 360 Benefits

  • Pace’s Employee Assistance Program offers services to help promote the well-being and quality of life of our employees. Some examples include coaching to improve overall mental health, short-term counseling, work-life services like parenting and financial resources, and supervisor and leadership support to manage topics such as workplace risk, organizational culture and employee wellbeing. 
  • Pace 360 Wellness Rewards Gym Membership Reimbursements: As a part of the Pace360 Wellness Program, Pace provides reimbursements for eligible gym memberships, group exercise classes, and weight loss programs to all Pace employees.
  • Healthiestyou by Teladoc: Access to virtual healthcare by phone or video 24/7.

Serving Starts with Self Love: Lessons from Women Past and Present

American abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth would hopefully have been pleased with our progress to date, though there’s still more work to go to build total equality and break down bias. Born into slavery in New York, Truth escaped with an infant daughter to freedom in 1826. She went to court in 1828 to win custody of her son, becoming the first Black woman to win such a case against a white man. 

She gave herself the name Sojourner Truth 15 years later after being convinced that God had called her into the countryside to testify “the hope that was in her.” She gave her seminal speech “Ain’t I A Woman?” at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in Ohio in 1851. Truth helped recruit Black troops for the Union Army during the Civil War.  After the war she worked tirelessly in the campaign named “forty acres and a mule” to secure land grants from the federal government for former slaves. She dedicated her life to fighting for rights for women and African Americans. Her biographer Nell Irvin Painter eloquently and “truthfully” said it all in describing Truth’s life. “At a time when most Americans thought of slaves as male and women as white,” wrote Painter, “Truth embodied a fact that still bears repeating: Among the Blacks are women; among the women, there are Blacks.” A testament to Women’s History Month for the ages. May we all draw upon inspiration from women past and present fighting tirelessly, and may we be emboldened to take the action steps before us to make real change that truly starts within. 

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