ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. | The Ellsworth Diversity Council hosted a luncheon and discussion panel at Ellsworth Air Force Base in honor of Women’s Equality Day, on Aug. 23, 2017.

Women’s Equality Day commemorates the addition of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. It states, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

To honor the day, which marked a turning point for women’s equality, numerous influential women from Ellsworth and Rapid City attended the social in order to share their journeys, insight and tips to becoming empowered.

“It’s important so we won’t forget … society moves so quick it’s easy,” said Staff Sgt. Rachael Maass, the non-commissioned officer in charge of personnel and administration assigned to the 28th Medical Support Squadron. “It’s our way of honoring all the women that came before us.”

Attendees were divided among six tables where at least one female leader shared their personal struggles with discrimination and overcoming adversity. These women included Col. Jessica Nichol, commander of the 28th Mission Support Group, Lt. Col. Lisa Scott, commander of the 28th Comptroller Squadron, and Maj. Heather McDaniel, commander of the 28th Logistics Readiness Squadron, just to name a few. Each leader focused on the continued efforts toward gaining equality for all women.

“When we’re given a seat at the table, that’s when our voices are most heard,” McDaniel said, encouraging everybody in the room to go for what they want.

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Women serve in various roles around the Air Force, and are essential to a diverse force. Through decades of struggles and determination, women have made great strides.

“Stay motivated,” said Airman 1st Class Terri Green an electric environmental maintenance journeyman assigned to the 28th Maintenance Squadron. “It’s easy to complain, it’s not easy to make footsteps.”

In addition to the social, the Ellsworth Diversity Council showed the movie “Hidden Figures,” in the Base Theater Aug. 25 in observance of Women’s Equality Day.

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