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Six Trailblazers Inducted into Women’s Hall of Fame by Maryland Commission for Women

ANNAPOLIS, MD – (March 21, 2014) Yesterday evening, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown joined Maryland Department of Human Resources Secretary Ted Dallas and Chair of the Maryland Commission for Women Patricia Cornish for the 2014 Women’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Six women were formally inducted into the Hall of Fame during the ceremony, coordinated by the Maryland Commission for Women in conjunction with the Women Legislators of the Maryland General Assembly.

“Maryland has a history of strong female leaders, and this year’s Women’s Hall of Fame inductees carry on this important tradition,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “They are terrific role models for all of Maryland’s young women, including my daughter. And as we look to the future, we’re going to continue to work together to support the women throughout Maryland who are leading and making a real difference in our communities each and every day.”

“During Women’s History Month, we recognize significant roles Maryland women have played moving our state forward,” said Ted Dallas, secretary of the Maryland Department of Human Resources. “These women have made unique and lasting contributions to the economic, political, cultural and social life of the state, and are role models of achievement for tomorrow’s female leaders.”

Created in 1965, The Maryland Commission for Women is a 25-member governor’s advisory panel, charged with improving the status of women, advancing solutions and serving as a statewide resource to expand social, political and economic equality. The Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame was established in 1985 and is housed  in the Women’s Heritage Center in Baltimore City.

The 2014 inductees are:

The Honorable Dorothy F. Bailey, a resident of Temple Hills, Maryland for more than 35 years, she is a leader with extraordinary vision, dedication, compassion and faith. Dorothy Bailey has an esteemed reputation, a host of accomplishments and an extraordinary record of service to the residents of Prince George’s County, the state of Maryland, the Washington Metropolitan area, and our nation.

Bailey’s career has taken her from the public school classroom to the University of Maryland’s Upward Bound Program. From 1983-1994, she served as a senior-level official at various Prince George’s County government agencies, including the Consumer Protection Commission, the Department of Family Services and the Office of the County Executive. In 1994 Bailey was elected to the Prince George’s County Council and during the her eight years as a Member, she led the Council for five years, serving as Vice Chair for three terms and Chair for two terms. She’s been recognized by Washingtonian Magazine as one of the area’s most powerful women.

Agnes Kane Callum, historian, genealogist and researcher, was born in Baltimore, the fifth child of 12 to the late Phillip Moten and Mary Kane (nee Gough) of St. Mary’s County Maryland. She was educated in Baltimore City Public Schools. At age 44 she returned to school and earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Social Sciences degrees from Morgan State University in 1973 and 1975 respectively.

In 1973, she was designated as a Fulbright-Hayes Scholar and she studied at the University of Ghana at Legon. As an undergraduate, she wrote a paper for a Black History class titled “The Acquisition of Land by Free Blacks in St. Mary’s County Maryland.” The research enabled her to begin to investigate and document the genealogy of her family. In 1979, Dr. Callum published her first book, “Kane- Butler Genealogy – History of a Black Family.” She founded edited and published a black genealogical journal for 25 years, “Flower of the Forest”, named after a tract of St. Mary’s County land that the Butler family members owned for nearly 125 years.

Dr. Renee Fox is executive director of the Institute for a Healthiest Maryland, a joint initiative of the University of Maryland, Baltimore and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene which connects academic partners from Maryland’s higher education institutions and public health practitioners to improve the health of Maryland residents and transforming communities, critical for success of health reform.

Dr. Fox is an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She is a graduate of Cornell University College of Arts and Sciences and received her M.D. from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. She remained in Rochester to complete her pediatric residency at the University of Rochester, later joining the fellowship program at the Joint Program for Neonatology at the Harvard Medical School.

Susan K. Goering was born in 1952 in Kansas. Her family was Mennonite, part of the 16th century Protestant Reformation faith group that is well regarded for its commitment to social justice, peacemaking, simple living, and a strong work ethic–all values that underpin her life’s work. As part of a religious minority that immigrated to America to escape persecution, she understands why constitutional protections for minorities are bedrock values.

Susan attended the University of Kansas for college and law school. From 1982 to 1985, she worked on the last Brown v. Board of Education-style school segregation case, which was initiated by NAACP Legal Defense Fund in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1986, Susan came to Maryland to become Legal Director of the ACLU of Maryland; in 1996, she became the organization’s Executive Director.

Henrietta Lacks, born as Loretta Pleasant in Roanoke, Virginia, on August 1, 1920. In 1941, the Lacks family relocated to Maryland and Mr. Lacks began working for a steel mill near Baltimore. Soon after her fifth child was born, Henrietta fell ill. Her local doctor referred her to Johns Hopkins Hospital. Doctors examined Henrietta and found a growth on her cervix; it was determined to be a malignant cervical cancer  and at only 31 years old, Ms. Lacks died at Johns Hopkins on October 4, 1951.

A researcher discovered that Henrietta’s cells did something they’d never seen before: They could be kept alive and grow. A researcher was able to isolate one specific cell from her tumor sample, multiply it, and start a cell line. They named the sample ‘HeLa’, after the initial letters of Henrietta Lacks’ name.

HeLa cells were used to help develop a vaccine for polio shortly before Henrietta’s death, but she was never told of her contribution. Thanks to Henrietta Lacks, science not only gained an extraordinarily powerful tool, but also scientists the world over learned a powerful lesson about the importance of ethics in biomedical research. Today, all research-based medical centers consistently obtain consent from individuals asked to donate tissue or cells for scientific research.

Ann Rees is known for her commitment to serving residents of the Charles County community who are in need. Ann encourages others to get involved, stay involved and make a difference. Married to Bill Rees for 47 years, her husband and three sons support her never ending itinerary of community service initiatives and awareness activities.

Her pioneer spirit led her to meet with Governor William Donald Schaefer and Senator Mac Middleton in the late 1980’s to begin implementation planning for the construction of a shelter for battered and abused women, the first for Charles County. Ann consistently challenges her network of friends and local business and community leaders to respond to her calls for action. She has worked to champion her causes of community atonement for women and children.

Media contact:
Brian Schleter

Filed in: DHS News, Home Page Highlight, Women's Commission

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