Janelle Reed appointed to Springfield News-Leader Editorial Advisory Board
Rosie is excited to celebrate member Janelle Reed, who has been appointed to the Springfield News-Leader’s Editorial Advisory Board.
Reed is the founder of SingleMomzRock, a nonprofit that provides resources and support to single mothers throughout southwest Missouri. Reed is also the co-founder of Empowered for Life, a mentor based program to aims to lift single mothers out of poverty. She has previously served as a member of the Poverty Collaborative of Springfield, MO and Junior League of Springfield. Reed was the recipient of The Gift of Time award in 2015 presented by the City of Springfield and was nominated for the Most Influential Women award from Springfield Business Journal in 2015 and 2016. She remains active in the Springfield community and volunteers with several different area non-profits.
Springfield News-Leader Editorial Advisory Board
The Springfield News-Leader established the Editorial Advisory Board in late 2016, with the goal of providing additional perspectives to the publication’s editorial staff. Members of the advisory board meet regularly with editorial staff to discuss community issues, upcoming editorials, and various viewpoints. Members of the advisory board are also provided with opportunities to have their own opinions printed, which helps the publication achieve one of their missions of including more voices in the opinion section.
Members of the editorial advisory board will rotate regularly in order to incorporate a diverse representation of the community. Rosie member Kate Millington previously served on the editorial advisory board.
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they learn to hate, they can be taught love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
This Nelson Mandela quotes serves as words of wisdom and/or inspiration that our featured woman, Kelly Cabrera, has chosen to live her life by.
Kelly Cabrera was born in Pereira, Colombia in South America to a low-income family in a poor neighborhood. Although in most people would fall into a cycle of circumstance, Cabrera took her childhood as a lesson in the importance that education played in a person’s ability to succeed in life. With neither of her parents possessing a college degree, Kelly Cabrera set her eyes on obtaining a college education to put her on a path to affluence. With the support of her family, especially her mother’s, she had the opportunity to go to attend the Universidad Catolica de Pereira where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism.
Originally Kelly Cabrera aspired to a career as a dentist, however, her parents were unable to afford her participation in such a program, so she was left to get her degree in journalism. Luckily a few months into her education she started to love journalism, and after graduation she became the director of the Office of Communication at a prestigious Colombian University. From childhood Kelly Cabrera could tell that education was the silver bullet, the ability to gain an education could solve the problems of poverty, and that belief was only secured in her time as director. In her time there she decided to pursue involvement in graduate studies programs more related to education and the integration of media in the classroom. Kelly Cabrera ended up receiving her first master degree and her Ph.D in Education from Universidad Tecnologica de Pereira.
In 2009, Kelly Cabrera came to Springfield to learn English at Missouri State University and ended up falling in love with the city. Kelly Cabrera said, “Springfield is a great place because of its people. Its community is kind, open, and welcoming to others and that makes it a fantastic place for international students.” Kelly Cabrera would go on to earn two more master’s degrees from Missouri State and is now employed by the university. Kelly Cabrera serves as the Coordinator of the International Leadership and Training center. The center offers customized training programs for both professionals and people within the business community that are from other countries. She also acts as a recruiter for Latin American students that could attend Missouri State, and she teaches Spanish for the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. The best part of this career path, as described by Kelly Cabrera, is getting to know about a variety of countries and their cultures through interactions that she has with international students. Kelly Cabrera has said her job is, “like having the world in one place,” which gives her a chance to journey on explorations from the comfort of her own desk. The emphasis that Missouri State has placed on cultural competence, one of the three pillars of its Public Affairs Mission, has translated into people of different backgrounds feeling valued for their ethnic heritage and unique experiences.
Kelly Cabrera has looked back on her success and noted that her mother served as an inspiration to her. Cabrera and her two siblings were raised by a single mother without a college degree, which was not something that can be described as easy. Kelly’s mother emphasized to her children the importance of education from a young age, and that was a lesson that held true for each child. Now the three children of this poor single mother have gone on to become: a Doctor in Education, an Electronic Engineer, and a Lawyer. All three children saw the hope that their mother had for them and pursued an education that would secure those hopes. Struggles would inevitably come on their journey toward success, but in holding true to their dreams they were able to overcome those struggles.
The task of being a working woman in this world is not an easy one, but Kelly Cabrera has some advice to offer on the subject. She believes that women have shown that they are capable of doing anything that they set their minds to. Adversity is something that no woman will be a stranger to in their life, but that is not something that justifies conceding to defeat. Kelly Cabrera holds that even when you do not know exactly how to do something, being eager to learn will help you fill the knowledge gap and aid you in accomplishing your goal. Curiosity is something that separates humans from other species. Our curiosity fuels innovation, ingenuity, and creativity. Our curiosity makes it possible for us to look up at the stars at night and know that the capacity that we once set for ourselves is now limitless; and in the absence of these limitations we see minorities of every caliber, whether that be in race, religion, or gender, achieving feats that were well beyond the scope of our imagination just years prior.
More than 100 organizations sign Rosie Makes Cents equal pay pledge
Rosie is thrilled to announce that more than one hundred organizations have signed the Rosie Makes Cents equal pay pledge.
Since launching the pledge on April 4, 2017 the region’s business community has shown a tremendous amount of support for the initiative. The pledge was launched on equal pay day, an event developed by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages.
Experts estimate that women in the state of Missouri earn 78 cents for every dollar that their male counterparts make.
The pledge reads:
“We are committed to making Springfield, Missouri a great place for everyone to live and work, and recognize the important role that local businesses play in reducing Missouri’s pay gap. We are committed to equal pay for equal work.”
Rachel Anderson and Paige Oxendine, founders of Rosie, said “We consider ourselves lucky to have such a supportive and responsive business community. From the moment we initiated the pledge we were met with overwhelming support.”
Rosie celebrated pledge signatories at the Rosie Makes Cents Celebration and Brosie Launch Party on September 27 with nearly 200 community members in attendance.
Mary Bozarth appointed to Diaper Bank of the Ozarks’ Board of Directors
Mary Bozarth appointed to Diaper Bank of the Ozarks’ Board of Directors.
Bozarth serves as In-House Counsell at Little Sunshine Enterprises in addition to serving as an instructor at Missouri State in the criminology department. Bozarth is active in a number of community organizations, including the Junior League of Springfield, where she serves as the Assistant Chair of New Membership. Bozarth resides in Springfield with her husband, Chris, and her daughter, Madeline.
Diaper Bank of the Ozarks’ Board of Directors
The Diaper Bank of the Ozarks was established to keep our community’s babies healthy and happy by providing access to diapers for families in need and through education concerning alternative diapering options that promote health and financial responsibility. The Diaper Bank of the Ozarks has touched the lives of over 25,000 babies over the past four years by distributing over 1,000,000 disposable diapers and over 200 cloth diaper starter kits. Between 40,000 and 50,000 diapers are donated to 35 local partner agencies in Greene County and other rural partners reaching into 22 of our outlying counties, who then distribute to families in need.
Julia de Burgos, our third Woman of the Week, is a more tragic figure than some of the other featured women. Although her story does not contain a “happy ending” typical of posts like these, that does not make the story any less important to tell.
Julia de Burgos was born on February 17, 1914, in Carolina, on the island of Puerto Rico. The tribulations of Burgos’ life started from a young age. She was born the oldest of thirteen children, but saw six of her younger siblings die as a result of malnutrition. The Burgos family ended up moving from Carolina to Santa Cruz, where Burgos would graduate from Munoz Rivera Primary School in 1928. Following her graduation she was awarded a scholarship to attend University High School in Rio Piedras. Unable to turn down the opportunity for a greater education, the family once again packed up their home and moved. Education became an important theme in the life of Julia de Burgos, and in 1931, she enrolled in the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, to pursue a degree in teaching.
The future was looking bright for 19 year old Julia de Burgos. In 1931, she graduated with her teaching degree and she secured a job at Feijo Elementary School in Barrio Cedro Arriba of Naranjito, Puerto Rico. During her time as an elementary school teacher, Burgos also worked as a writer for a children’s program on public radio. Ever an outspoken woman, Julia de Burgos used the public radio as a platform to spread her political beliefs to a captive audience. Unfortunately, Burgos was allegedly fired from the program for giving her activism a voice on the radio. Although a roadblock, Burgos did not let her termination bring about the end to her advocacy. In 1936, she became a member of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party and was elected Secretary General of the Daughters of Freedom, the women’s branch of the Nationalist Party. During this time she attempted to plant the seeds of Puerto Rican independence into the hearts of her fellow islanders.
The passion that Burgos showed in her participation with the Nationalist party was also reflected in her writings. She published a total of three books, but the last was published posthumously in 1954. The style of her writing was lyrical poetry, and each poem would focus on at least one of three major themes. She was either writing about intimacy, the land she came from, or the social struggles of oppressed groups. Many believe that Julia de Burgos was a writer ahead of her time. Her work has been asserted to anticipate the writing of several iconic feminist and Hispanic authors.
At the time it seemed that the story Julia de Burgos was going to leave behind would be one of inspiration. She had overcome adversity, gotten an education, and created a life for herself based on her fundamental beliefs. Unfortunately, that is not how her tale ends. What undermined her in the end was one of the three main themes that Burgos found herself writing about. Intimacy proved to be something that Burgos would struggle with throughout her life. In 1934, she married Ruben Rodrigues Beauchamp, but in 1937, they were divorced. After her divorce she began to take romantic interest in a Dominican physician named Dr. Juan Isidro Jimenes Grullon. It is said that many of her poems at this time focused on the love that she held for Grullon, but after a trip to Cuba that the two took together tension began to show in their relationship. She ended up leaving him on the island, and booking passage to New York City, where she would meet her second husband Armando Marin. This final attempt at love ended the same as the first, and in 1947 the marriage ended in divorce. It is said that the divorce caused Burgos to lapse into both depression and alcoholism.
The decline of the poet began after her second divorce, and in 1953, she wrote one of her last poems. The poem was title Farewell in Welfare Island and it is throughout the text Burgos foreshadows her own death. The last time that Burgos was seen alive was June 28, 1953. After that day she had left the home that she was staying in and disappeared without a trace. It was later discovered that she had collapsed on a sidewalk in Spanish Harlem. She had died of pneumonia in a Harlem hospital at the age of 39. With no one to claim her body the city gave her a pauper’s burial in a potter’s field. After some time Burgos friends and family got word of her death and were able to claim the body and have Julia sent home to Puerto Rico. There she received a hero’s burial, and a monument was erected in her honor at her burial site.
The life of Julia de Burgos offers many lessons to the people of today. All of us have the potential to be the hero of a story, but that potential can become the very thing that brings about our own downfall. Julia de Burgos allowed for the failures of her love life to become her legacy, which brought her nothing but sorrow; if she had only looked a little harder she would have seen that she was wrong. Since her death, Burgos has been honored by the Spanish Department at the University of Puerto Rico with an honorary doctorate in Human Arts and Letters. She has also been honored in: Carolina, Puerto Rico, New York City, New York, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Chicago, Illinois, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Willimantic, Connecticut. All of these places and people beyond her failures, and chose to honor the innovative author. We are all human, and mistakes are an inevitable part of life, but we do not need to allow those mistakes to rule our lives. In the end, we can find Julia de Burgos to be an inspiration. Her ideals and passion can move us, but her ending serves to teach us. The only way for us to achieve the ever coveted “happy ending” is to let go our trials and keeping walking the path we have laid out for ourselves.
“There are uses to adversity, and they don’t reveal themselves until tested. Whether it’s serious illness, financial hardship, or the simple constraint of parents who speak limited English, difficulty can tap unexpected strength.”
Sonia Maria Sotomayor was born on June 25, 1954, in the New York borough of The Bronx. Both of her parents, Juan and Celina Sotomayor, were native Puerto Ricans that came to the continental United States during the Second World War. When Sonia was nine years old her father died of heart problems at the age of 42, leaving her to be primarily raised by her mother and grandmother. Following her father’s death, Sonia became fluent in English. She gained inspiration from the Nancy Drew book series, and wanted to become a detective too. This career path was discouraged by doctors though, because at the age of seven Sonia was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. With an understanding that she could not be a detective like Nancy, Sonia decided she wanted to pursue a legal career as a judge.
In 1976, Sonia Sotomayor took her first step to reaching that dream by graduating Summa Cum Laude from Princeton University. She first described her experience at Princeton as, “a visitor landing in an alien country,” but she eventually found her stride at the University after realizing that she just had to work a little harder than other students. Just after her graduation, Sotomayor married her longtime boyfriend, Kevin Edward Noonan, and took the name Sonia Sotomayor de Noona. In 1979, Sotomayor received her J.D. (Doctor of Jurisprudence) from Yale Law School, and in the following year she was admitted to the New York Bar.
The first four and a half years after receiving her law degree Sotomayor worked as an Assistant District Attorney in New York. After those years she began her time in private practice, where she had an active presence on many boards of directors. Some of these boards include: The Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, the State of New York Mortgage Agency, and the New York Campaign Finance Board. In 1991, her work caught the attention of President George H.W. Bush, who nominated Sotomayor to the Southern District Court of New York. The nomination process continued for Sotomayor, as in the 1997, President Bill Clinton nominated her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Her confirmation process was held up for a period of time by the Republican Senate, but she was eventually confirmed in 1998. During her time as a judge for the Second Circuit, Sotomayor heard more than 3,000 cases and wrote approximately 380 opinions. During this time she also taught at both New York University School of Law and Columbia Law School.
Sonia Sotomayor’s life changed permanently in May of 2009, as President Barack Obama nominated her to the Supreme Court following the retirement of Justice David Souter. In the Senate it takes a majority of 51 votes to confirm a Justice to the Supreme Court, and in August of 2009 Sotomayor was confirmed by a vote of 68-31. Sonia Sotomayor has been granted a number of distinctions with her confirmation. She is the first justice of Hispanic heritage, the first Latina, the third female justice, and the 12th Roman Catholic to join the court. Her time on the Supreme Court has been marked by concerns for the rights of defendants, calls for criminal justice reform, and passionate dissents regarding issues of race, gender, and ethnic identity.
By no means did Sonia Sotomayor have a childhood that set her up for greatness, but she did not let that define her. Instead she rose to every challenge she met, and continued working toward her dream. She was not deterred by the idea of hard work, instead it only added to her determination. We can all stand to learn from this Supreme Court justice, because she showed us just how strong we can be. There is no bigger barrier to our success beyond our own self-doubt, and once we overcome that obstacle everything else is a matter of ease.
“Rain is falling, falling and the memories keep flooding by. They show me a senseless world, a voracious world, but I keep loving it”
Clara Isabel Alegría Vides is a woman of many titles. She is a poet, essayist, novelist, journalist, and major contemporary voice in Central American literature. Under the pen name Claribel Alegria, Vides, has published over thirty works and won numerous awards. The life of this extraordinary woman began on May 12, 1924, in Estelí, Nicaragua. Although born in Nicaragua, Alegria would spend her childhood in Santa Ana of western El Salvador, due to her father being exiled following his protesting of human rights violations committed during the US Occupation of Nicaragua.
From the tender age of six years old Alegria began to show the signs of a great wordsmith. Although she had yet to learn how to read or write Alegria started to construct poems which she would have her mother, whom most of the poems were dedicated to, write down. When she was 17 years old Alegria’s first poem would be published by a Central American cultural supplement. Following this publication José Vasconcelos, a Mexican educator, arranged for Alegria to attend school in Hammond, Louisiana, which prompted her 1943, move to the United States. By 1948, Alegria graduated with a BA in Philosophy and Letters from George Washington University.
Despite her notoriety as a poet Claribel Alegria was also an active advocate for non-violent protest against oppressive Central American governments. She is commonly associated with the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), the people’s movement that was responsible for overthrowing the Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle. Drawing inspiration from her father Alegria moved back to Nicaragua in 1985, to assist the country with reconstruction. Even though she considers herself to be Salvadorian, Alegria returned to her birthplace to put the words of change she had written long ago into practical action.
The writings that Alegria has published is heavily characterized by a writing style called La Generacion Comprometida (The Committed Generation). These poems are typically critical of societies and governments. Although there is mistrust present in the language, the above quote shows that despite the trials and tribulations present in life, we are still ensnared by our affections for it. Every morning that we wake up is an opportunity to insight change, to bring relief, and to usher in an age of discourse and peace.
Claribel Alegria is a woman of many titles. We are aware that the first featured Woman of the Week by Rosie can hardly compare to her 2006, Neustadt International Prize for Literature, but we hope that this humble award has introduced our members to a truly inspirational woman.
Allyson is a senior in the political science department at Missouri State University and is now the first student to perform an internship with Rosie.
Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Allyson gained a passion for social justice and gender equality from a very young age and has decided to direct that energy into pursuing a career in law. Her decision to undertake this path was only affirmed by her participation in debate, on both the high school and college circuits, and Youth in Government. She qualified to the National Debate Tournament in Student Congress, and was awarded Outstanding Legislative Speaker three years in a row. Currently she is a Resident Assistant in Freddy Hall at MSU and has received recognition by the Department of Residence Life and Housing for her work highlighting the public affairs mission at Missouri State.
Even with these all of these to her name, if you ask her what her greatest accomplishment is she will answer, “My ability to rap the entire Hamilton soundtrack,” This self-proclaimed nerd is very excited to be joining our team this semester, so please take a moment to help us in welcoming Allyson!