Framingham State University will celebrate and honor six female leaders during the fourth annual “Women Making History Now” ceremony on Monday, March 25.
The awards ceremony will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the McCarthy Center Forum and coincides with FSU’s Women’s History Month celebrations.
“This month, as we celebrate the many contributions of women throughout history, we also want to recognize women who are having a powerful impact on their communities today,” says Framingham State President F. Javier Cevallos. “Each of our honorees are passionate and driven leaders who work tirelessly on behalf of others.”
This year’s honorees come from a wide range of backgrounds but all are community leaders who share a commitment to public service. They include Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, who has made election history twice in Massachusetts, becoming the first woman of color elected to the Boston City Council in 2009 and the first African American from Massachusetts to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018.
Another honoree is Amy Brown, an art teacher at Hemenway Elementary School in Framingham. Following a racist incident targeting a Muslim student at the school in 2018, Brown created a student-led project titled #HemenwayKindess, which played a big role in helping the community heal from the incident.
Margareth Basilio Shepard is a Framingham City Councilor who co-founded the movement, Brazilians for Political Education, which was created to help members of the Brazilian community learn how to become politically active and engaged.
Audrey Hall has broken glass ceilings during her career as the first female General Manager of Framingham Cablevision, General Manager of Cablevision of Massachusetts and General Manager of NPR affiliate WICN Public Radio. In 2018, she was appointed to the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women and she currently hosts a show on Access Framingham (AFTV).
Dr. Patricia Sanchez-Connally is a Framingham State University assistant professor, advocate, and activist who works with young adults to bring awareness to issues of social justice. Born in El Salvador, she immigrated to the U.S. when she was 11. Her research focuses on different ways in which communities of color support college-bound students.
Courtney Thraen is Executive Director of Downtown Framingham, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to building business, community, and culture in Framingham. A U.S. Navy Veteran, she also has professional experience in higher education at Boston University and in federal government with the Department of Veterans Affairs.