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By SENATOR JANETTE MILLIN YOUNG
SPECIAL TO THE VIRGIN ISLANDS FREE PRESS
Our history as Virgin Islanders is constantly evolving. Like the past, each defining moment is recorded
for posterity. March 2018, provides the opportunity to highlight, showcase, and reflect on the many
contributions of Virgin Islanders by honoring our history, culture, traditions and customs. This is a time for
our youth, new-comers to the territory and fellow Virgin Islanders to be educated, informed, feel proud of
who we are, and how far we’ve come as a people. It is also a time to set a new course for our future.
March is also celebrated as Women’s History Month. Women across the Globe join together to mark
our triumphs, struggles, gains and to create a new agenda to address the compelling issues of our time. The
2018 theme for National Women’s History Month is “Nevertheless, She Persisted: Honoring Women Who
Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.”
Virgin Islands women have always had reasons to pause and pay homage to the women who came
before us – particularly, those who stood up and spoke truth to power. Women such as the queens of the
1878 Uprising in St. Croix: Queen Mary, Queen Agnes, Queen Mathilda; as well as the organizer of the 1892
coal workers strike on St. Thomas, Queen Coziah and the first woman elected to the Legislature of the U.S.
Virgin Islands in 1954, my grandmother, Senator Lucinda A. Sewer Millin, who was born on St. John. Their
actions showed that they were unafraid to do the right thing when the time called for bold leadership.
The women of this territory have always led the way. Whether it is our intuitive side, ability to dream
big or our deep sense of knowing we have provided the necessary drive, determination, commitment and
willingness to make a meaningful lasting change.
Fast forward to today’s generation, what would they say about us as we stand on the precipice of
great change? The women of the Virgin Islands must now ask ourselves whether we are prepared or willing
to take decisive action, seize the reins of leadership and chart a better course for our beloved islands. Can we
as women come together and mobilize our voting power, intellectual power, feminine power and economic
power as previous generations to ensure we have a voice and place in history as having stood up when the
situation demanded it of us?
When we collectively understand our worth as women, we will build safer communities, confident
children, healthier people and a thriving economy. By allowing others to define us, dictate to us, and
disrespect us does not bode well for our society. The rest of the world is adapting to the changing times and
we too must take that leap of faith and define our role as women. The days of being voiceless are over, there
is no more waiting to exhale. It is very important to note that the rise of woman does not mean the fall of
men because we are all in this together.
Thank you for listening. I am your senator Janette Millin Young. Let us make history together.