From the left: Sen. Donna M. Nesselbush, Dr. Jane Gerety, RSW, President of Salve Regina University, Dr. Christina Paxson, President of Brown University, Dr. Rosanne Somerson, President of the Rhode Island School of Design, and Rep. Kathleen A. Fogarty at the 2019 International Women’s Day celebration in the State Room of the State House

STATE HOUSE – Sen. Donna M. Nesselbush and Rep. Kathleen A. Fogarty honored several women in leadership positions at the state’s higher education institutions at the 2019 International Women’s Day celebration held at the State House today.

International Women’s Day is a day to acknowledge the plight of women and to reflect on the achievements of women and the fight for gender equality. It is also a day to acknowledge the strides the world has taken in advancing women’s rights, freedoms and protections.  The United Nations has recognized and celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8 since 1975.

“This is one of my favorite celebrations every year, and it is a privilege to honor these tremendous women who have achieved so much in higher education. They are trailblazers and true role models for women in the state.  International Women’s Day is a time when we not only applaud and acknowledge all triumphs by women, but it is also when we collectively come together to understand that there is still far more work to be done in our society to achieve true equality and respect for women in the world,” said Senator Nesselbush (D-Dist. 15, Pawtucket, North Providence).

“The esteemed women being honored here today represent all women who have overcome numerous obstacles in order to realize their dreams and goals in life.  Their careers and successes are why International Women’s Day was first created and they are inspirations to me and everyone else in Rhode Island.  And, as we celebrate these worthy honorees, we must also remember that our fight for gender freedom and equality is still ongoing, and we must remain dedicated and vigilant in our pursuit of justice and fairness for women across the globe,” said Representative Fogarty (D-Dist. 35, South Kingstown

This year, the General Assembly honored Dr. Christina Paxson, President of Brown University; Dr. Meghan Hughes, President of the Community College of Rhode Island; Dr. Mim L. Runey, LP.D, Chancellor of Johnson & Wales University; Dr. Rosanne Somerson, President of the Rhode Island School of Design; and Dr. Jane Gerety, RSW, President of Salve Regina University.

The celebration was held in the State Room of the State House.  Both Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea gave remarks to the honorees and attendees.  After the awards were presented, the award recipients proceeded to both the House and Senate chambers for the reading of the International Women’s Day resolutions.