City Honoring 27 Outstanding ‘Women of Action’

Some of the Women in Action honorees. Clockwise: Ethel Pesin, Alfa Demmellash, Uta Brauser, Tiby Kantrowitz

The city is honoring 27 outstanding women today in their 15th annual Women of Action Awards Ceremony for Women’s History Month.

Today at 6 pm, Mayor Jerramiah Healy, the City Council and the Department of Health and Human Service/Division of Cultural Affairs will honor the following women for their artistic, economic, innovative, political or social contributions. Each of the nine members of the City Council chose three women for the honor.

The honorees are:

Belinda Stokes, A. Janet Chevres, Maureen “Moochie” Corrado, Ethel Pesin, Henrietta Bradley, Uta Brauser, Alfa Demmellash, Aniway Olaya, Tiby Kantrowitz, Frances McCarthy, Kristin Zadroga Hart, Willamae Tucker, Claire Davis, Juliet Foster, Maria Ruth Tobias, Nickigh Jackson, Sanaa Girgis, Wendy Oliveras, Blanca Baez, Susan Chin, Wendy Paul, Dominga Rivera, Lorraine Gagliardotto Garry, Nanette Hernandez, Angela McKnight, Erma D. Green and June Jones Hawkins.

Sister Alice McCoy, a lifelong JC resident and the Pastoral Associate of Our Lady of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church, will be the keynote speaker at the event.

McCoy has spent her entire life in the service of others and is deeply committed to equality and inclusion, city officials say. She holds a Master’s degree in Divinity from Immaculate Conception Seminary, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree from Caldwell College.

McCoy’s professional experience includes her work with the Hudson Hospice Volunteers, Inc. as the Project Director, and with the Bayonne Visiting Nurse Association as the Bereavement Coordinator. In 2006, she began a non-profit, faith based, non-denominational organization, the Benincasa Project, Inc., which has provided over $142,000 in rent and energy assistance to more than 175 families.

“Generations of women have taken the lead throughout history making significant contributions that have shaped our lives,” said Healy in a statement. “In paying tribute to them, we are also expressing our utmost gratitude for all they have done for us and recognize their commitment to improving the lives of the people in their community.”

The Women of Action Awards Ceremony began in 1995 and ran through 2001. In 2005, the city reinstituted this program. From its inception, the Women of Action event was intended to mark and celebrate Women’s History Month by honoring women of achievement city-wide.

Also see JCI’s profiles on other outstanding women for Women’s History Month:

JCI file photos

Summer Dawn Hortillosa

is a freelance arts and entertainment writer whose work has appeared in the Jersey City Independent, The Jersey Journal, the International and other publications. She is also a creative writer and theatrical director.