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Hanscom celebrates Women’s Equality Day

The Hanscom Diversity and Inclusion Cell hosted a virtual Women’s Equality Day event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment Aug. 26.

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – The Hanscom Diversity and Inclusion Cell hosted a virtual Women’s Equality Day event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment here Aug. 26.

Participants watched a documentary on Blanch Ames-Ames, a suffragist, activist and Massachusetts native, before delving into a panel discussion on women’s equality with female leaders from across the installation.

“We wanted to do something educational that also touched on diversity and inclusion, and Blanche’s story is all of those things,” said 1st Lt. Nijha London, project officer for the event. “I don’t think a lot of people realize how big a role she played in women’s rights; she was a remarkable woman.”

The panel members shared their experiences, and touched on the growing number of “firsts” in leadership roles across the force, including Chief Master Sgt. JoAnn Bass, the first female Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. 

“Equality is not up for debate,” said London. “When we bring in people we once closed the door to, we start to see how much better we can make things.”

Senior leaders highlighted the importance of continuing to fight for equality.

In a video message to the base, Col. Katrina Stephens, installation commander, said “as we reflect on decades of progress towards gender equality, we must show the same level of determination to make progress in our time.”