This week’s Women of Achievement Breakfast, in addition to honoring and celebrating women entrepreneurs, is a reminder to support small businesses. Everybody talks about small businesses being the backbone of America, but where they spend their money is what tells the story.
The Journal will be celebrating 24 years of publishing this year. Having put out the first Journal in November, 1989, we understand the importance of community support. In turn, we work hard at giving back by providing affordable advertising and profiling community businesses. At the same time, we work hard at publishing the good news of the community.
The 2013 honorees are all business and professional women and small business owners. They all have stories of starting, growing and surviving. Some of the stories have familiar themes of finding a way out of no way and surviving against the odds. Most have been in business for more than 10 years. All have provided goods and/or services to the community. All have provided opportunities for jobs for others and inspiration for others to learn about a new skill.
Their stories are those of women who love people and love the community they serve. They have chosen the Pasadena, Altadena community to provide their talents, and we are richer for it. It is incumbent on each of us to remind others that they need to spend their dollars with small business where and when they have the choice. The dollars you spend with them come back in the form of internships and training and first-time work experience for our children. In the case of the Journal, we hire interns and try to print the accomplishments of young people as encouragement to achieve as they grow. It is important to tell the good stories because the daily television news and other print media news focus mostly on the negatives of our young with stories of who stole what and who shot who, leaving the impression and images that all the stories of our young are negative.
Worse yet the so called mainstream media leave out the positive stories of our young making them a new class of what Ralph Ellison calls, “Invisible” people. The Journal tells of achievement and accomplishment to inspire the next generation that there is nothing so bad that can’t be overcome to get to a positive goal. One of this year’s honorees (Katy) was living in segregated Mississippi, three months pregnant with her first child when her husband was run over and killed. She was told that because she was Black in the racist justice system of Mississippi, there was nothing she could do about it. She collected nothing from the truck driver’s insurance company. She grieved as she should but picked herself up, after leaving for a respite in California, where she stayed, and today she is a successful business woman.
Another honoree (Gerda) gave birth to two daughters. Both daughters preceded her in death, dying at very early ages. Still, she rose to become the successful business woman she is today by dedicating her achievements in life to the memories of each of her daughters.
Many of the honorees were single mothers or the product of a single mother, and yet they rose to achieve. The keynote speaker, Judge Mablean, was a single mother who fought to go to night school to become a Lawyer and, ultimately, one of America’s most popular television Judges. Today she owns businesses in America and in South Africa.
These women are all strong Black women who know no failure. They each know how to keep on moving forward by getting over and/or around the inevitable obstacles that life presents. We are honored to celebrate their lives and ask you to join us as you renew your commitment to support them and other small businesses, because they support the community!