Women’s Role Model Book Receives Racial Justice Award

The Pennsylvania Commission for Women today received a YWCA Greater Pittsburgh Racial Justice Award in the government category for its role model book, Voices: African American and Latina Women in Pennsylvania Share Their Stories of Success. The book profiles professional and personal successes of 50 African American and Latina women and features photos by award-winning photographer Darcy Padilla. Studies have shown that gender- and racially matched role models promote educational and professional achievement, and a decrease in drug and alcohol use and physically violent behavior. “We are truly honored to receive this award. I am incredibly proud of all our projects, but most especially this book because it inspires girls to believe in themselves and to achieve,” said Stiles. “The message inherent in the book is that you can be anything to which you set your mind – that the magic to succeed is within you.” “Positive roles models are an important part of empowering young Pennsylvanians to envision and pursue the brightest future possible,” Governor Edward G. Rendell said. “Through its commitment to eradicate racial injustice, the commission has done an excellent job of creating an accessible, tangible source of inspiration for African American and Latina women everywhere.” The commission was nominated for the award by Pennsylvania State Treasurer and PA Commission for Women Commissioner Robin Weissmann. The commission has also donated a copy of Voices to every free library in Pennsylvania, as well as every public school library serving sixth- through ninth-grade students and many organizations and girls groups. Voices is sponsored by the Comcast Foundation and can be purchased through any Borders or Barnes & Noble store or Web site, or at Amazon.com. The mission of the Pennsylvania Commission for Women is to identify and advance the diverse needs and interests of their constituents; to inform, educate and advocate; and to provide opportunities for women and girls to reach their highest potential.

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