By CRM (A) Nicolette Tuason
Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility

Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJD) held its first National Women’s History Month celebration on Friday, Mar. 8. The event was organized by Associate Warden (AW) of Healthcare Services Carie Covel; Chief Psychologist Sonia Bahro; Chief Nursing Executive (CNE) Mia Farrell and Public Information Officer (PIO) Lt. Jennifer Davies. Warden Patrick Covello and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mary Ann Glynn kicked off the celebration. Attendees were treated to a light lunch, refreshments, giveaways, presentations and entertainment.

This year’s theme “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace and Nonviolence” honored Deborah Tucker, Dorothy Cotton, Dr. E. Faye Williams, Elise Boulding, Graciela Sanchez, Kathleen Kelly, Mary Burnett Talbert, Peace Pilgrim, Sarah Brady, Sister Alice Zachmann, and Zainab Salbi for their extraordinary efforts in promoting peace and nonviolence to help change society.

The program also included a presentation on women leaders in corrections, a stand-up comedy performance/improvisational workshop by Jennifer Mason.

Staff members’ personal stories of inspirational women were shared. Retired CDCR Director Kelly Harrington was also a guest speaker and shared stories and examples of strong, successful women. The program concluded with Brene Brown’s TED Talk on “Listening to Shame,” in which she described vulnerability as a measurement of courage and the birthplace for innovation, creativity and change.

As CEO Mary Ann Glynn said, 2019 marks 100 years since women were granted the right to vote in the United States – passed by Congress in 1919 and ratified in 1920. A record number of women were sworn into Congress and more women than men are graduating from law school and medical school. Soon, NASA reports there will be the first all-female spacewalk.

According to those who attended, the event was an inspirational three hours of unity, praise and reflection on women’s progress in corrections and society. Attendees left encouraged and excited to continue celebrating National Women’s History Month annually at RJD.