Celebrating Women’s History Month 2023

March is Women’s History Month, so there’s no better time to spotlight some of the most dedicated women in our community. In this article, we’d like you to meet two Special Olympics New York moms (one of them a coach) and a member of our Board of Directors.

Leslie and Shirlie Spence

Leslie and Shirlie Spence are the proud mothers of Capital District Region athlete Matt Graham. They were thrilled to celebrate Women’s History Month with us!

“This month showcases women of all races and their accomplishments,” Leslie and Shirlie said. “It shows young girls and women that they can succeed in anything they do.”

Regarding ways to commemorate this month, they had a key suggestion: “We need to talk more. We should support and encourage the women around us: Young, old, everyone. Age has nothing to do with it.”

And what is Special Olympics doing to support the movement?

We feel that Special Olympics is on the right path,” said Leslie and Shirlie. “We’ve seen many coaches help and encourage women to try sports that mostly men have done in the past. Special Olympics encourages women athletes to become advocates for themselves.”

Thank you for your wisdom, Leslie and Shirlie!

Anishah Cumber-Taj, Esq.

As a special education lawyer and member of the Special Olympics New York Board of Directors, Anishah Cumber-Taj has essential insight on the importance of this month.

Women’s History Month is about recognizing and celebrating the contributions of women in history,” she said. “It is a time to remember how much women have done for us, but also to remember that we still have a lot of work to do to make this world truly equitable for women.”

To start doing that work, Anishah made an excellent suggestion.

Read (or listen to audiobooks)! This is a great time to learn about important women in history, like Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who started Special Olympics. One of my favorite books to read with my 5-year-old daughter is Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women, which has short biographical stories about important and influential women.”

And how does Special Olympics fit into all this?

I love that Special Olympics is inclusive of everyone,” Anishah said. “What matters most is your willingness to work hard.”

Continue the Celebration

If you’d like to meet more amazing women from our community, we encourage you to read these articles:

Happy Women’s History Month!