August 31, 2013 11:49:42 PM
I was so excited to receive a press release this week announcing a gala celebration paying tribute the achievements of feminist pioneers of the 1960s. One of those being honored is my dear aunt, Jacqui Ceballos.
Aunt Jacqui is a woman with a fascinating history. Her involvement in the feminist movement dates back over 50 years. She was a president of the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women, marched down Fifth Avenue, and was interviewed by Norman Mailer. She was a friend and contemporary of Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem and Bella Abzug. I cannot possibly list all of her accomplishments.
Now, she will be hailed as one of the "Feminists Who Changed America" in Los Angeles, on Sept. 7 -- the day before her 88th birthday! These days, she heads a group called "Veteran Feminists of America" and writes a blog for that group.
I am very proud of my aunt. So many of the things she and her group accomplished are taken for granted today. This news made me think of all the woman in our area who are working for causes that they feel strongly about.
My friend and neighbor, Qua Austin, devotes much of her time and energy to literacy in the Golden Triangle. She is on the board of First Book, a national organization with a chapter in Lowndes County. Qua is known in schools around town for volunteering to read to school children. If you are lucky enough to be her Facebook friend, you will receive interesting posts about books, and lovely photos of flowers.
So many women around town spend their "free" time helping animals. My friend, Felicia Baker, helps feed and care for the many cats and kittens at the Columbus-Lowndes Humane Society. Shaw Pit Bull Rescue has a dedicated staff of men and women. But, even here, the women volunteers outnumber the men two to one.
Everyone knows Dawn Barham. She is a talented musician, leader of Juke Joint Gypsies band, and an educator. Dawn is a great role model for her young students.
Our area has so many impressive women dedicating themselves to improving our world for children and animals. I wish I knew them all.
One thing I do know is how much they have in common. These women, and so many others, are modest. They work quietly, but with great passion for the causes they believe in. We never see them in the news, running for office, or puffed up and grabbing for power and fame. They are all intelligent and well-spoken. They are motivated by a profound desire for good, and not driven by greed. I am proud to know them.
I wish we could have a huge ceremony to honor all the women in the Golden Triangle who do so much for our community. That might be difficult, because they toil behind the scenes, shunning the limelight. If you know someone who helps to make our world better, please give them a big hug for me, and a sincere "thank you." We are so fortunate to have them here.
Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.