"America," said Dr. Claire Gaudiani, "was founded by your mother."
It wasn't an empty statement. The former president of Connecticut College spoke to a group of United Way Women's Initiative supporters on April 26 and outlined how women's work as "social entrepreneurs" – activists who fed the hungry, housed the homeless and taught reading to illiterate children - made America what it is today. (View video clip from event)
Gaudiani hammered home the point that the working women of today, in the corporate and nonprofit world, as well as volunteers working to strengthen our community, are the direct descendants of women like the ex-slave Catherine Ferguson, whose work helped lay the groundwork for public education.
The Women's Initiative is continuing the tradition with projects such as the Food Truck, which brought meals cooked by New Haven Public Schools’ Central Kitchen to 16,600 under-served New Haven children last summer when school meal programs weren't available.
Gaudiani brought the audience of more than 100 people enthusiastically to their feet - and now we are inviting you to continue the conversation and join the growing list of women making an impact.
Gaudiani reminded us we “are not generous because we are rich; we are rich because of our generosity to one another.” She delivered a strong call to action to each of us to find our “BHAG” – our big, hairy, audacious goal – and to be persistent until it is a reality.
Did you attend the Women’s Initiative breakfast and like what you heard? Were you unable to attend and left wondering what you missed? The energy and buzz filling the room at the event was palpable, which is why the United Way invites you to keep the momentum going.
We welcome you to join us for wine and cheese in an open house-style setting from 4:30-7 p.m. May 16 at the United Way office, at 370 James St. in New Haven. If you’ve read Gaudiani’s book, “Daughters of the Declaration,” share your thoughts on the stories that inspired you. If you haven’t read the book, come to discuss and learn about what women in Greater New Haven are doing to improve our community and how you can help lead the charge.
We hope to see you there! To RSVP, or share ideas or questions in advance, contact Jenna Cluver at 203-691-4215 or firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to register.