March 8th, International Women’s Day, has long been celebrated by the global community as a day to honor women for their social, economic, cultural and political achievements. On this day, women, communities, and countries the world over enjoy the day with events that range from festivals to tea parties.
Three years ago, a group of refugee women in Omaha came to the realization that the day was, for the most part, ignored in the United States and decided to form a committee for a city-wide celebration of International Women’s Day. That first year, the women asked a few community members to help them plan an event for Omaha that was held at Girls, Inc. with about 50 women who shared food from all over the world and an afternoon of eating, dancing, and socializing.
In the third annual event this past Saturday, that simple vision has grown to more than 150 guests and 28 agency booths! Held at the University of Nebraska Omaha’s Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, Barbara Weitz welcomed the crowd and recognized several women for their local contributions and leadership, including: Alana Schriver, Norma Rahmanzai Isaczai, Carol Tucker, Sayler Moo, Dr. Mackenzie Taylor and Sien Nya Tin.
As welcoming communities across the country are recognizing, something special happens when we all get involved in creating a welcoming community environment. At Saturday’s event, you could feel the energy in the room as a diverse crowd of new and longtime Nebraskans shared music, food, and lively conversation. As one Omaha dad said, his daughters had the opportunity to travel the world that afternoon and to be inspired by women leaders.
Mark your calendar for next year’s International Women’s Day, which is just one great opportunity during the year to meet neighbors from around the world!