Happy New Year!

Dear FEW Member,

As 2020 draws to a close, I want to send a special note of appreciation to you the FEW membership.  You are why the National Board of Directors and I go so hard for our mission.   This year, we faced with enormous challenges as our nation, agencies and homes have as well.  But as I have stated throughout this year “it is in time of darkness when we show ourselves adaptable and strong.”  2020 has been a year like none other – with quarantines, travel bans, drive by graduations, health emergencies, loss of jobs, homes and people.  Yet, although we are saddened, all is not lost because of our membership and their special gifts, FEW stands with the many heroes of our nation, from the critical healthcare workers, scientists, grocery store attendants, PPE industrial industries and all the other critical workers that kept us going.  We thank you and send our appreciation. 

Being elected as National President of Federally Employed Women for a second term is by far the highest honor of my professional career and one that astonishes me.  As National President of the great organization, I want to personally thank you for your membership.  It means the world to FEW and we think of you in every decision made to ignite our torches for FEW.  As we look forward to a bright and prosperous 2021, FEW will continue to soar because you are wind that pushes us forward. We have some amazing activities planned to ensure we go even higher. 

In advance, I want to take this opportunity to thank the Administrative staff of CMA for the tremendous effort they put forward day-to-day in allowing us to help so many of our members. Many of us do not see all the demands placed on our office, but their work is greatly appreciated.   I know that the small investment in transitioning our office to CMA will lead FEW into a bright and new future and we will lead the pay in equity and inclusion of women.

To the National Board members, I also thank them for their dedication to the success of the FEW and for their tremendous input to the proper governance of our organization. And, I want to especially acknowledge the participation of our Regions and Chapters membership.  You have committed endless hours of volunteer time to make sure our members are provided with opportunities to continue learning, to network and socialize with other credit professionals for opportunities in career advancement and pay equity.

Lastly, to everyone invested with FEW, my sincere appreciation for your support and the pride you demonstrate everyday by representing this elite organization “working for the advancement of women in the government.”  You are the source of our strength for FEW and make my job satisfying and easy.  It is my pleasure to wish you and your family a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year and to remind you that FEW is “Soaring to New Heights.”

Karen Rainey, National President

Federally Employed Women Observe 2020 National Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month, an annual celebration of the culture and proud history of Hispanic Americans, is observed from September 15 – October 15.  This year’s National theme is “Hispanics:  Be Proud of Your Past and Embrace the Future.”  September 15 signifies the day Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua achieved independence from Spain. Mexico and Chile also commemorate their independence days this month (September 16 and September 18).

Hispanics are the largest minority group in the United States with an estimated 16.7 percent (52 million) of Americans claiming Hispanic descent in 2020.  This time last year, Hispanic Heritage Month was celebrated with in-person festivals, programs, and activities.  Today, in the midst of a global pandemic, we must look beyond the festivities to find meaningful ways to honor Hispanic traditions and especially those that bolster cultural understanding and embrace our country’s diversity.  As the world adjusts to change, embracing and safeguarding the history behind rich tradition is important, now more than ever, for future generations.

In spite of our current restrictions, Latinos continue to advance communities across the country as small business owners, veterans, teachers, athletes, and public servants, among many other professions. National Hispanic Heritage Month allows us to recognize their contributions and influence in the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.

Please discover ways to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month through virtual programs and cultural activities throughout the month, as much work goes into creating content that is informative, educational, and engaging.  

Vivo Hispanic Heritage Month!

Ground Zero – We shall never forget!

United In Memory Coin

On September 11, 2001, 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaida hijacked four airplanes and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. Two of the planes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Almost 3,000 people were killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which triggered major U.S. initiatives to combat terrorism and changed this nations tolerance of extremist activities.

Today, as we recall the tragic events of 911 and reminisce of the day when the United States was under attack, we also remember our heroes of that moment.  Those who demonstrated love of country by sacrifice, and those with unyielding purpose to rescue as many people as they could on 911 and after.  Their actions displayed to all of us that love of country is real and their people who still believe in our civility and brotherhood as a nation.  On that day we were left at ground zero, but out of the ashes we elevated Tower One.  For me, 911 will always be a day of patriotism and a real demonstration of what is best about our resolve as humans and Americans.  As an organization full of first responders, full of public servants within the government, our careers give us the privilege to leap into action and help our fellow citizens.    As FEW ascends by “Soaring to New Heights,” we acknowledged the solemn moments of 911.  That day we loss some of our bravest heroes and they literally went into burning building and fought on planes to save other people lives, but FEW also recollect the acts of service upon which we stand, whether voluntary or involuntary, to form a more perfect union.  FEW shall never forget their sacrifice. 

Women’s Equality Day

Women’s Equality Day commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, which gave women the right to vote. The amendment states:

“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by and State on account of sex.”

The Women’s Suffragist movement formally began in 1848 at the Seneca Falls convention in Seneca Falls, NY. Organizers drafted a “Declaration of Sentiments, Grievances, and Resolutions” echoing the Declaration of Independence that all men and women are created equal. The battle for equality and the right to vote continued for over 70 years with women like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Alice Paul, and Carrie Chapman Catt on the frontlines, lobbying Congress and the White House on behalf of American women.

As we celebrate the Centennial Anniversary of the 19th Amendment right to vote, which is the foundation of democracy, please join me in honoring those who fought for women’s right to vote and exercise that right to effect change.

I believe that the influence of woman will save the
country before every other power
.”
~ Lucy Stone

19th Amendment and the Right to Vote

We fought too hard for you not to vote now. Join in as FEW commemorates the 19th Amendment.

FEW declared at the beginning of the year 2020 that this would be a year of focus and relevance for women.  As we achieve great feats, conquered new milestones; we also pay tribute to the vision and bravery of American women everywhere who fought for equal rights and the right to vote in the face of oppression and terror. FEW now joins the commemorative efforts of a momentous occasion in our history as a nation – the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women’s constitutional right to vote.  As we approach the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment; we are reminded of the hard-fought battle and privilege for women to cast a ballot. The 19th Amendment was first introduced in 1878 and passed in August 19,1920. We are also reminded that in 1971, the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as Women’s Equality Day. 

This historic centennial anniversary offers an unparalleled opportunity to commemorate a milestone of democracy and the seriousness of this responsibility we have today as we approach the upcoming election and the passage of the Equal Right Amendment.  Equal will never be equal until we all have the opportunity to take part in the process. I invite you to join us this month as FEW remembers the purpose of the Women’s Suffrage Movement being the first signs of equality and full citizenship for every woman. On Election Day in 1920, millions of American women exercised their right for the first time after a century-long fight for the privilege to vote. Now, as we celebrate 100 years later and approach the next election, we uplift the leaders of this campaign. Women like Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, and Ida B. Wells did not always agree with one another, but each was committed to the enfranchisement of all American women, and so is FEW.

FEW commemorates the centennial anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment and Women’s Equality Day in the month of August.   It is up to all of us to ensure that greater justice throughout the nation extends to all communities and all people. 

Announcing Virtual Leadership Summit

Virtual Leadership Summit Banner

Greetings FEW Members and Friends of FEW,

It is in times of darkness when we show ourselves as adaptable and strong.  The National Board of Directors (NBOD) and I are pleased to announce the first Virtual Leadership Summit for government employees scheduled for July 20 – 24, 2020.  This training is just for you; no per diem, no travel, just TRAINING at a low registration rate!

Following increased and overwhelming concerns about the COVID-19 virus, FEW remains resolved that your safety is our priority and the best way to proceed during such an unprecedented global situation was to cancel an on-site event. As the world continues to change, we will continue to adapt.  FEW will always rise to the challenge and continue to help federal workers achieve excellence in their careers and create new opportunities.

That is why we adjusted our plans to host a Virtual Leadership Summit.  This is an example of leadership at its best – a full week of training with specialized tracks for EEO, HR, Project Management, Management and Leadership professionals. This training is about you and our purpose is to connect you to the right resources for development and career advancement.  The Summit consists of over 24 specialized courses a day to motivate you to take that next bold step. All courses align with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Executive Core Competencies (Leading People, Leading Change, Business Acumen, Result Driven and Building Coalitions).

We will be continually updating information regarding course selections, and special events, just to name a few, so keep checking in for updates.

So, make sure you join us and take advantage of all that we have to offer! I promise it will be your best personal and professional investment of the year!

A Tribute to the Graduating Classes of 2020

Graduate

Congratulations!  The entire Federally Employed Women’s (FEW’s) organization is so elated to celebrate the Class of 2020 graduates.  You have completed a tremendous milestone and we know this journey of education has been a labour of love and sacrifice in hopes for a better future.  We join a grateful nation in the many accolades given in celebration of your success.

It saddens us that our nation is going through the Coronavirus pandemic and you will miss many traditional ceremonial moments.  The pomp and circumstance will truly be missed.  But we are also proud to witness your flexibility and steadfast determination to create new and alternative ceremonies that showcase your creativity and hard work.  We have seen virtual drive-in parking lots filled with individual graduation photos, Zoom virtual graduations and acceptance of your diploma while social distancing.

The Graduating Classes of 2020 are remarkable people because of what we are experiencing right now.  We know that the vast majority of pupils graduating made every effort to excel to their fullest potential.  They aimed high, set their goals and, for the most part, they not only achieved them, but in fact far surpassed them.  FEW is proud of you!

FEW would like to pay tribute to each and every one of you. You have left an indelible legacy of excellence, achievement and a fine ethos for generations to come.

So, as you tackle the inevitable changes, hold true to yourself.  Remember to hold onto your values, your work ethic and most importantly, your humanity.  It is these qualities that will guide you further on your journey.  Your life is a remarkable occasion – FEW has no doubt that you will rise to it!

It has been an honour and a privilege for FEW to celebrate our very own extended family.

Karen Rainey, FEW National President

 

The Class of 2020 Graduates

Qasim Anjarwala, Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences, University of Houston, began Biomedical Sciences Pre-Dental Post-Baccalaureate Program at Marquette University, son of Zabi Anjarwala, Houston Chapter.

Michael Joseph Caldarola, Master of Social Work, Magna Cum Laude, Fordham University, nephew of Carmen Chavez-Ghimenti.

Olivia Carter, Little Flower Catholic High School, Philadelphia, will be attending Bloomsburg University.

Denisha Darrough, Central Arkansas Chapter, Masters of Social Work with an emphasis in Management and Community practices.

Caleb Jeremiah Davis, Beech High School, Hendersonville, TN, will be attending Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA, and grandson of Connie Coleman-Lacadie.

Janae S. Davis, Rutgers University, Cum Laude, Major Biology, Minor Childhood Studies.

Ivy Donaldson, Rosemont College, B.S. in Business Management.

Emma Foster, Pennridge High School, Perkasie, PA, Class President & Magna Cum Laude, niece of Margaret A. Kenyon, Philadelphia Chapter.

Nina S. Goodson, Magna Cum Laude, American University, Bachelor of Science.

Taylor Hartsfield-Jarmon, Rutgers University, Masters of Science – Clinical Trial Sciences.

Alexander Harvey, Penn State University, B.S. in Business Management/Marketing.

Tyree’ Kennedy, Welding Specialist Certificate, Tulsa Welding School & Technology Center, Houston, Texas, son of Tamekca D Holmes, Houston Chapter.

Malia LaBran, Ragsdale High School, will be attending North Carolina A & T, daughter of Angel LaBran, FEW Houston Chapter.

Stephanie G. Knepper, Philadelphia Chapter, Bachelor of Science Information Technology-Organizational Leadership, Magna Cum Laude, Dean’s List, Peirce College.

BriGette McCoy, Atlanta Chapter, Master’s of Science in Instructional Design, Georgia State University.

Janelle D. McKelvey, Master’s in Public Health (MPH), LaSalle University.

Olivia Olverson, Reynoldsburg High School, Reynoldsburg, OH, daughter of Shelly Olverson, Equalitarian Chapter.

Yazmin L. O’Neal-Sloane, Carlisle High School, will be attending Susquehanna University, Environmental Science, and granddaughter of Diana S. Davis, Almech Chapter, and Blacks In Government President.

Brianna Patterson, Manor Senior High School, will be attending Texas State University, Nursing Program.

Dominique Pearsall, The City School Poplar Campus, Philadelphia.

Joy Robertson, Canal Winchester High School, Canal Winchester, OH, daughter of Tonya Robertson, Equalitarian Chapter.

Talia Shanai Scott, Middletown Area High School, will be attending West Chester University- College of Health Sciences, Nurse Practitioner, granddaughter of Beatrice Gallatin, Almech Chapter.

Tameka Seals, Central Arkansas Chapter, Masters In Social Work with a Concentration in Advanced Direct Practice.

Jacqueline Shack, Central Arkansas Chapter, RN Degree.

Kaitlyn Sara Marie Sherman, Nebraska Heartland Chapter, Bachelor’s Applied Arts and Science, Child Development and Family Studies, Tarleton State University, Stephenville, TX.

Monjahnique Sherrod, Freite Creative Arts High School, Wilmington, Delaware, will be attending University of the Arts.

Amber Small, Mechanicsburg High School, will be attending Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia, photography and entrepreneurship or business, niece of Lucinda C. Wilson.

Mitchell Avery Stengel, Mount Spokane High School, only student to play in the Washington State Basketball tournament three years in a row, earned Wild Cat Award for his achievements in basketball, attending University of Washington, finance, great nephew of Judy Rush.

Lilleana Maureen Watson, Oxon Hill High (Science and Technology Program), will be attending Morgan State University, architecture and environmental design, daughter of Tonya Prior Watson, Widening Opportunities for Women Chapter.

Casandra Jannell Williams, Aberdeen High School, Aberdeen, MD, will be attending Bowie State University, elementary education, daughter of Stacey Williams, Maryland Tri-County Chapter.

Passing the Torch; Leading the Way

“People often ask me at this age, “Who am I passing the torch to?” First of all, I’m not giving up my torch, thank you!  I’m using my torch to light other people’s torches … If we each have a torch, there’s a lot more light.”   – Gloria Steinem

passing_torch

As we reach this historic milestone in our nation’s history, I am excited to offer you this personal invitation to register for the Virtual Leadership Summit (VLS).  Federally Employed Women (FEW) is the organization of choice in leadership, equity and diversity for government employees.  While the COVID-19 pandemic has hit an alarming milestone, FEW is still here working to connect, inform and inspire you through training and growth for advancement in your career.   We offer this unique opportunity to invest in yourself.  Take time to view our catalog and register for our premier training as we begin “Passing the Torch and Leading the Way.”

As safety is our priority, so is training!

That is why FEW has made this training program about “Passing the Torch and Leading the Way.”  We are preparing a 100% online training event.  The VLS is a full-week of over 100 professional development training courses with no per diem cost and no travel dollars to you.  It is all about training in the safety of your personal location.   No other program can compare to this highly skill-based content and instructor-led training to meet the purpose of our mission.

The National Board of Directors and I are enthused and excited to share several after-hour internal programs that you will have an opportunity to witness.  First, join us for our annual Membership Meeting and hear from the Board of Directors as they present their closing 2018 – 2020 term of office report and share the variety of activities and events to sustain the mission of FEW.   Second, we will present our sensational 2020 Annual Awards Program celebrating the achievements of our FEW Chapters, Regions and Military awards and scholarship winners.  Third, FEW will officially commemorate the centennial anniversary of the Passage of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote with our keynote speaker, Ms. Anna Laymon, Executive Director of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission (WSCC).  She will discuss the great milestone of the suffrage movement 100 years ago and their work to pass the torch by winning the right for women to vote, so we can lead the way through our voice.  Finally, join us for the Installation Program of the 2020–2022 National Board of Directors as they share their goals towards the mission and advancement of women in the government.

The VLS will be transformational for attendees who participate.   We can only benefit from successful leaders when they take the time to light your torch to add greater contributions in diversity, equity and inclusion.  Training is never an option; it’s mandatory to stay on top of the ever changing demands of the workforce.  Join us for the VLS and establish new skills within yourself.  Visit www.few.org to register.

You won’t want to miss this opportunity.

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

apahm

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month celebrates Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. This includes all the Asian continents and Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island). Beginning as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week in 1979, Congress passed a law declaring May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month in 1992. There are more than 15 million people of Asian/Pacific Island descent in the United States today.

May was chosen to recall the first immigration of Japanese people to the United States on May 7, 1943 and to commemorate the anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad on May 10, 1869, because of the abundance of Chinese workers on the railroad.

The National Archives, Library of Congress, National Gallery of Art, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center are among the institutions that observe Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month with special exhibits. See these websites and a central website, https://asianpacificheritage.gov/about/, for abundant information on the Asian and Pacific Island heritage in the United States.

Resources:

Asian Pacific Heritage Month
Library of Congress Asian-Pacific Heritage
Smithsonian Asian Pacific Heritage
National Archives Asian Pacific Heritage
https://www.nga.gov/ (National Gallery)
www.neh.gov (National Endowment for the Humanities)