April 1, 2021

Women’s History Month 2021 – Recap

This March we celebrated Women’s History Month by highlighting a few local change-makers who are building women’s history in Spokane. Following the lead of Spokane NAACP, who featured local icons on their Facebook page throughout Black History Month, we honored local women who have demonstrated excellence through their work in the community.

This year, we honored:

Malisea (Lisa) Gardner, Spokane City Council Director of Communications and Community Engagement

Lisa is the Director of Communications and Community Engagement on our City Council and so much more. Her grandmother was an activist in Spokane back in the 1980’s. Today Lisa represents that legacy by being a voice for others.

Thank you for serving this community Lisa!

Anne McClain, NASA Astronaut and U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel

By 2024, under the Artemis program, NASA plans to land the first woman and next man on the Moon. Among the Artemis Team members is Spokane’s own Anne McClain. As a NASA astronaut and participant in one of the longest missions accomplished by a woman, Anne demonstrates that women have an important place in STEM industries.

Meet the Artemis Team Member at https://youtu.be/bSKc8xvvd80

In 2019, YWCA Spokane honored McClain with the Science, Technology & Environment Women of Achievement Award.

Marlene Feist, City of Spokane Public Works Director

In March, Marlene became the first woman appointed as the Public Works Director. Working for the City of Spokane for the last 22 years, Marlene has served in both communications roles and in Public Works as the Strategic Development Director. Marlene is also on YWCA Spokane’s Board of Directors and we are so happy to have her!

We are excited to see what she will accomplish in this new role. Congratulations Marlene and thank you for serving our city!

Vanessa Delgado, EWU Interim Director of Student Equity and Inclusion Services

Vanessa works hard to promote equitable opportunity and treatment of all people in Spokane. She serves the community in a variety of ways, as director of EWU Pride Center and EWU Multicultural Center, as a training facilitator for Spectrum Center Spokane, and as Vice-Chair of the Odyssey Youth Movement board. She reminds us that we have a lot of learning to do together on our journey towards a more inclusive future.

Thank you Vanessa for your amazing work in the Spokane community!

Jada Richardson, Spokane NAACP Youth Chair and Chase Youth Commission Chair

Jada is a senior at Innovation High School and works hard to make change in our community. She serves as the Youth Chair of Spokane NAACP and Chair of Chase Youth Commission. While Jada has been inspired by other women of color who have fought for a seat at the table, she inspires us and shows us that no one is too young to make a difference.

Thank you for all you do Jada! You are an amazing young leader!

Each one of these individuals are building women’s history by opening the door for more women in leadership as they make this community a better place for us all. At YWCA Spokane, we seek to honor this work and the value of everyday “sheroes.”

Throughout March, we used the phrase Women’s Herstory Month. “Herstory” emphasizes how women have made and are making history. While the diverse voices of women have been historically ignored, we seek to empower women and make her stories known. We’re working hard to make room for everyone at the table as we build a more inclusive women’s movement.

By: Jemma Riedel-Johnson

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