Councilor Cano, Women’s Groups Celebrate Women’s History Month at Old Slater Mill
PAWTUCKET – Joined by Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, the YWCA RI,
Day One, Quota International, Women’s Fund of Rhode Island and members of the
Pawtucket Police Department, Pawtucket City Councilor Sandra Cano, hosted a
celebration of Women’s History Month at Slater Mill in Pawtucket on Monday.
Mayor Grebien offered welcoming remarks to the large crowd gathered at Slater Mill
and took a moment to acknowledge the many contributions women have made to the
Pawtucket community. The Mayor pointed to the fact that Secretary of State Gorbea
became the first Hispanic to hold statewide office in New England, Councilor Cano’s
leadership in the community on both economic and social issues, and Major Tina
Goncalves being the first female to ascend to the rank of Major in the history of
the Pawtucket Police Department. “There has been a lot of progress but I think we
can all agree, we still need to do better,” said the Mayor.
Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea addressed the crowd and talked about the great
strides that women have made and how they can continue to build on those successes.
“Our best public policy decisions are made when there is a diversity of opinions,
perspectives and backgrounds at the policy-making table,” said Gorbea. “In order for
those voices to be at that table, we have to get our citizenry to vote. That’s why
as Secretary of State, I am committed to engaging and empowering all Rhode Islanders
to play an active role in our state’s future,” continued Gorbea.
The event and celebration also featured a panel discussion, moderated by Jenn
Steinfeld, Executive Director of Women’s Fund of Rhode Island, examining the impact
of sexual violence and sex trafficking on women in Rhode Island. The panel consisted
of Maureen Philbin of Day One, Deb Perry of YWCA RI, Major Tina Goncalves of the
Pawtucket Police Department and Judy Gugle of Quota International.
After a brief question and answer period on the heels of the panel discussion, State
Representatives Carlos Tobon and Jean Philippe Barros of Pawtucket, presented Day
One and YWCA RI with a check for $1,000 so that they are to continue serving women
in the community.
Councilor Cano offered a touching tribute to her own mother who was in attendance,
thanking and recognizing her for being such a good example and showing her how to be
thoughtful leader. This year marked the second straight year that Pawtucket hosted a
Women’s History Month celebration in the City.
Just before the close of the event, Councilor Cano surprised Laureen Grebien, wife
of Mayor Don Grebien, with a citation and recognition for her devoted service to the
community and for being a tremendous role model for young women in Pawtucket. “Mrs.
Grebien does not get enough credit for the excellent example she sets for the women
of this city and I am honored to recognize her today in the presence of these other
great organizations that contributed to this event,” stated Cano.