4/1/21 - A Message from Secretary Hou: IDHS Closes Women's History Month

Dear colleagues,

Thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate Women's History Month. We invite you to reflect with us on the tremendous contributions women have made to society. Women have broken barriers, shattered glass ceilings and charted new territories worldwide. Women have led the charge for equity and equality across all sectors. From equal rights to civil rights to social justice, women have been working at the forefront and behind the scenes. May we continually draw inspiration from these women both past and present, including these Illinois Game Changers AND these women in HERstory.

To close this month of recognition, we want to share the inspiring story of Illinois Game Changer, State Representative Mary E. Flowers. On January 14, 2021, Representative Flowers became the longest serving African American legislator in Illinois history. Representative Flowers entered the political arena in 1985 and has continued to serve her community, working to advance legislation in the areas of healthcare reform, healthcare access and education for 36 years. She also advocates for communities that have been and continue to be adversely impacted by systemic racism. You can read more about Representative Flowers here.

Margaret Atwood once said "We still think of a powerful man as a born leader and a powerful woman as an anomaly". We have shared a number of powerful women on our Women's History OneNet page, where you can learn about a few more powerful women, including Illinois Game Changers and Hometown SHEroes who have served and made a difference in their communities. Please also check out our Women's History Month playlist, curated by YOU!

Lastly, we want to thank the members of our IDHS Women's History Committee who worked to curate the wonderful content we've shared with you during the month: Taylor Coffman - FCS; Christy Davis - FCS; Ryan Ehlke - OSET; Tasha Ivy - OSET; Lisa Miller - IES Customer Support Services; Rhonda Woodson - OSET.

If you would like to take part in upcoming Heritage Month Celebrations of Asian Heritage Month and PRIDE Month, please email DHS.EquityRacialJustice@illinois.gov, I know they would love to have you join the team!



Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS