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Chair's Message

The Miami-Dade County Commission for Women (CFW), one of the first women’s commissions in Florida, is proud to be among the 270 state, county and local commissions for women located in the United States and its territories.

We serve as an Advisory Board to the Board of County Commissioners and the County Administration with respect to all matters affecting the status of women. Our members are appointed by the County Commissioners from all districts, and we are a diverse group of women representing the many cultures and ethnic backgrounds that make up Miami-Dade County. I am pleased to be the second Black American to serve as Chair since the CFW’s founding in 1971. My immediate predecessor was our first Haitian American Chair.

Women and girls make up half the world’s population. Yet far too often, our voices and experiences go unheard or unheeded. We are underrepresented in the halls of political and economic power and overrepresented in poverty. Barriers, from gender-based violence to laws that hold women to a different standard, block the path to progress, and the low-status of women and girls has vast political, economic, and social implications.

The CFW, through the collaboration with Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, takes a stern stance in alignment with the Convention to Eliminate Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). By enacting this ordinance, Miami-Dade County commits to being proactive about improving the status of women in our community and advancing policies and programs that promote gender equity. We further advocate for expanding paid parental leave and collaborate with the League of Women Voters to commemorate Women’s Equality Day at The Women’s Park. The CFW is looking forward to working with the League of Women Voters of Miami-Dade and other local organizations to plan for the Women’s Suffrage Centennial in 2020. Each year during Women’s History Month in the County Building, the CFW ensures an elegant display of women, past and present, who have gone beyond the call of duty in advocating for women’s rights.

The CFW also co-sponsors the “In the Company of Women Awards” with the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, an event that recognizes outstanding accomplishments of women in our community in various professional categories. A new component has been added to include a millennial. In the wake of the “Me Too Movement”, we stood in solidarity with them and represented ourselves by wearing black at the most recent “In The Company of Women Awards”. Through the “Young Woman Achiever” scholarship program, we have recognized several seniors graduating from the Young Women’s Preparatory Academy. The CFW has also worked tirelessly to ensure that bathroom signs with domestic violence/sexual assault and other hotline numbers are placed in County buildings and elsewhere to increase visibility for victims.

Other projects in which the CFW has participated are the Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build Program, holiday gift drives, and “The Envelope Please” initiative, in which an envelope is placed in hotel rooms for tips for hospitality workers. And the CFW continues to work to change the mindset of people’s lack of understanding of how severe the problem of Human Trafficking is and how to recognize it in our schools and neighborhoods.

We could not move forward without the support of the Board of County Commissioners. We are always grateful for our Executive Director, Laura Morilla, who is always at hand. And lastly, thanks to all the unsung heroes who make these efforts possible and to our founder Roxcy Bolton, who advocated for our creation to give women’s issues a voice and a forum.

I look forward to serving as the Chair to bring more innovative ideas to the forefront such as age discrimination and the needs of elder women. I encourage others to step forward with their challenges and assist the CFW in inspiring women to take a stand on issues affecting them. Our work is not done!

Yours in Service,

Sharon Kendrick-Johnson, ABD

Back to Top Page Last Edited: Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:30:16 PM
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