During Women’s History Month, attention seems to always be paid to those women who have achieved great heights in their careers or have great notoriety in their lives, whether in business, entertainment, athletics, the arts, or academia. At Concerned Women for America (CWA), we work on a daily basis with your average American woman, and we are constantly amazed at who they are and what they have accomplished in what may seem to many as their plain, uneventful lives. During this month in which we celebrate women’s history, we want to pay homage to these ladies and to the accomplishments they have made in their lives and work with CWA.
In this article, we will focus on those ladies who hold a leadership role with CWA as one of our volunteer leaders. Be sure to catch what was just said; these ladies are all volunteers and do what they do without pay and out of their passion and convictions.
One of the things that is always so apparent when you look at our CWA ladies is their diversity. They are racially diverse. We have black, white, Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, and just about every other ethnicity you can imagine. Their occupations are as diverse as their ethnic origins. Our leaders sell real estate, own their own businesses, are professionals (pharmacists, nurses, teachers, lawyers, accountants, etc.), sell insurance, are interior designers, and, of course, some of them are stay-at-home moms and homeschool teachers. For some of them, the work they do for CWA is like their full-time job, to which they devote 50 or 60 hours a week. Our beautiful Young Women for America Chapter leaders belong to the 20-something generation, while some of our CWA leaders lived through the Vietnam era and survived the “Free Love” Hippie era! And we have leaders from every generation between those two.
As leaders for CWA, these ladies perform a variety of tasks. Some of them travel to their state capitals on a regular basis during the legislative session and track legislation; they testify when needed and make visits to the offices of the legislators. During the recent legislative session in South Dakota, two of our CWA ladies were at the capitol 33 of the 38 days that the legislature was in session. Our leaders also attend local school board meetings, city council meetings, and county commission meetings. We have at least two of our leaders who are currently serving on their city councils. Our leaders share information in their churches, in their communities and to people of influence throughout their states. They are continually working to see Biblical principles brought into public policy at all levels of government.
Our local Prayer/Action Chapters meet on a monthly basis all over the country. These chapters spend time educating themselves on the issues, taking action to have an impact in their state or nation, and always spend time in prayer. In addition to that, the chapters sometimes take on a special project. We have had chapters adopt a local crisis pregnancy center and knit or crochet booties, caps, and/or blankets for the new babies. Some of them have done “dresser” projects, where they buy a dresser and fill it with baby clothes, blankets, diapers, lotions, etc. to be given to a mom who has chosen life for her baby. One of our chapters adopted a strip club – yes, you read that right, a strip club! The members of the chapter took candy to the dancers for Valentine’s Day and decorated their dressing room; another time they went in and did pedicures and shared the love of Jesus with the girls who worked there.
In closing, let me tell you about two of our leaders who are about as different as different can be, and yet they work side-by-side at CWA.
Janne in North Dakota came to this country from Norway via Central America where she served as a missionary; this lead her to U.S. where she ministered to women working on the streets of cities like New Orleans. God brought a North Dakota farmer into her life, and now as the mother of three she works alongside of him. She brought with her from Norway a wonderful legacy of parents and family who stood against the forces of the evil that was Nazi Germany, a strong sense of righteousness and a strong love for this her adopted country. She became an American citizen and now serves on the local school board in her community.
Valerie, in Alabama, is as home-grown as Janne is foreign-born. Valerie grew up in the deep South in the midst of the civil rights movement. Her mother marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and spent time in the Birmingham jail with him. Valerie remembers seeing her mother coming home to pack a few things, because she was pretty sure she would be spending some time in jail. Valerie still lives in Birmingham and works within her community and state, speaking conservative values into a not-always-receptive environment.
The women of CWA are, as you can see, exceptional women. It is our privilege to honor them as a part of CWA’s tribute to Women’s History Month. We are so blessed by these ladies and pray that God blesses them abundantly for the time and effort they put into being women who are hard at work bringing this nation back to its founding principles.