HERstory: Women Embracing the Power to Make Things Happen and Affect Change

Valerie King, Chair, Women’s Caucus

What does it mean to walk in your power?  It means creating safe spaces for our union sisters to be their authentic selves, promoting opportunities for upward mobility for our UWUA sisters, and fighting inequality that denies women opportunities to thrive.

U.S. Rep. Deborah Dingell, Paula Turner, Ursula Grant, Valerie King, Precious Hough, and Elise Bryant at the Local 223 event in March.

Local 223’s Women’s Committee put this concept into practice in March with its “Painting with Power” event in celebration of Women’s History Month. Under the leadership of President Juanita Ray and women’s committee directors Paula Turner and Precious Hough, committee members created an evening of solidarity and empowerment attended by 75 sisters. It opened with a powerful video, “Rise Up” by Audra Day, echoing the evening’s theme of owning our power!

Paula Turner and Precious Hough acted as co-mistresses of ceremony, while Nikita Ricks, a former 223 member, kept the energy in the room high with music, line dancing and karaoke. Representative Deborah Dingell of Michigan’s 12th Congressional District attended, as did Helen Kushner, one of the original “Rosie the Riveters.” Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer sent written greetings and President Juanita Ray addressed attendees, as did I and National Women’s Caucus Co-Chair Ursula Grant. The keynote speaker was Elise Bryant, national president of the Coalition of Labor Union Women. Local 223 brothers Allan McKinney, Chris Jones, Leroy Huckleberry and Marc Little supported their union sisters, coordinating media and hospitality for the evening.

Women’s Committee members at the Region V conference.

The National Women’s Caucus closed the month by presenting in person at the Region V educational conference, where Women’s Caucus Co-Chair Ursula Grant and committee members Jaclyn Agredano, Tara Quinones, and Jill Varguez shared the committee’s reports.

Mindful of the contributions, dedicated service and love provided by the women in our lives, your National Women’s Caucus is committed to creating initiatives that uplift, encourage and empower women to reach for the stars! As it’s said, “If we see her, we can be her!”