In February 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued a Presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8, 1980 as National Women’s History Week. The proclamation asserted that “men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.”

Here in Winchester, visionary women have long been demonstrating leadership, courage and strength, contributing to the fabric of the town to create spaces, projects, organizations and businesses which empower not only themselves but others as well. This is demonstrated by the founding of the League of Women Voters in 1888, and the EnKa Society in 1902 — two of Winchester’s oldest organizations which have provided consistent opportunities for women to get involved with the civic engagement of the town as well as provide a platform for women’s voices to be heard, their efforts to be honored and their impacts to be felt.

This March the Winchester Multicultural Network is proud to introduce a new initiative for Women’s History Month that will honor local women innovators, influencers and inspirations. During this first year our focus will be on a small sampling of the many women entrepreneurs and business owners in town who all work to create a positive impact in Winchester. Through their businesses, these selected women strive to make Winchester a vibrant, welcoming, and mindful community.

Winchester is a small town with so many integral women entrepreneurs and business owners that it made the task of choosing just five to highlight this year very difficult; however, we see it as a blessing that we have so many inspirational women in our midst. We hope you will join us this month in celebrating not only the legacy of the women who made Winchester a more holistic community, but also women who are currently working to create and design a Winchester that is better for all of us!

Drawing from the Chinese saying, “women hold up half the sky” the Network looks forward to continuing our recognition of the many sky-lifters and sheroes amongst us during next year’s Women’s History Month (and in many ways all throughout the year)!