Connecting, Empowering, & Celebrating Women 2017
The women attorneys of Langrock Sperry & Wool have embarked on a year-long initiative, Connecting, Empowering, & Celebrating Women 2017. We are presenting a series of events throughout 2017, bringing women across Vermont together to share experiences and knowledge on a variety of meaningful matters. From presenting educational programs for women, to hosting speakers and panels on women’s issues, to mentoring women on legal issues, each event also includes partnering with and promoting a relevant women’s organization, including making a donation and encouraging others to do so.
The initiative kicked-off on January 25, 2017 with a networking gathering of more than fifty Amazing Women at Foam Brewers in Burlington, who enjoyed drinks, appetizers, and each other’s company. The event included a presentation on ASPIRE!—a program providing grants, mentoring, and community support to female entrepreneurs in the Northeast Kingdom.
For our February event, the women of Langrock spent an inspirational afternoon and evening in Montpelier with the Amazing young Women participating in Girls Rock the Capitol – a legislative education program created by the Girl Scouts in which participants serve as Legislative Interns. Vermont Supreme Court Justice Beth Robinson, a former Langrock attorney, gave the Interns an engaging behind-the-scenes tour of the Supreme Judicial Court, and organized a lively mock appellate argument conducted by the Interns. Over dinner, we shared our experiences and motivations as female attorneys, and listened to the Interns’ inspirations and inquiries about their own futures.
In March, we presented Pop-up Politics: Getting Involved, Staying Involved, a panel discussion focused on women in politics and featuring some of the most prominent female politicians in Vermont: Mitzi Johnson, Speaker of the House; Diane Snelling, Chair of the Natural Resources Board; Sue Minter, former Secretary of the Agency of Transportation; Kesha Ram, former State Representative; and Ruth Hardy, Executive Director of Emerge Vermont. Langrock attorney Susan Murray moderated, and the audience enjoyed coffee, breakfast pastries, and a lively and informative discussion. We were also pleased to partner with Emerge Vermont and The Snelling Center for Government at the event.
For our April event, the women of Langrock hosted the Opening Night Celebration for the cast and crew of Lyric Theatre’s production of 9 to 5: The Musical. An Amazing amount of fun was had, both in preparation and at the party, and we were proud to support Dress for Success in its mission to empower women to achieve economic independence.
In May, we presented Whine & Wine: How to Keep Your Business Out of Employment Law Trouble! The event began with a talk by Wendy Rice, Executive Director of Vermont Works for Women, about the valuable and innovative programs that organization offers. Then Langrock attorneys Alison Bell, Ellen Fallon, Michele Patton and Wanda Otero-Weaver discussed the many and complicated issues Vermont employers face, while our guests enjoyed beverages and appetizers, all in the lovely Aiken Hall at Champlain College.
In June, we were a Village Sponsor of the Spring 5K Event for Girls on the Run, a non-profit devoted to inspiring girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident through running. We staffed the refreshment table and offered each girl the opportunity to express her gratitude to GOTR, and to describe what she had learned about herself. The girls had an amazing time and so did we!
On July 27, we hosted a Summer Mingle, bringing together so many of the Amazing Women we know to celebrate each other. It was an amazing evening at Waterworks in Winooski, culminating in a lovely rainbow!
For our September event, Middlebury College Professor of Mental and Moral Science Heidi Grasswick discussed her experience teaching “feminist philosophy” to college students in the current political and culture climate, and how her students have changed over the last two decades with respect to how they understand gender issues in society. The event took place at Stonecutter Spirits in Middlebury and included a fascinating talk, excellent food and drink, and the company of Amazing Women.
On October 20, we hosted a performance and panel discussion entitled “Working for Change: Through Activism and the Law.” We explored the challenges of living in Vermont experienced by people of color and recent immigrants, and how our communities can be more accepting and supportive of our new neighbors. Members of the poetry slam group, Muslim Girls Making Change -- Hawa Adam, Kiran Waqar, Lena Ginawi, and Balkisa Abdikadir -- performed their work, and Ebony Nyoni, Executive Director of Black Lives Matter Vermont, Thato Ratsebe, Assistant Director and Programs Manager of AALV-VT, and Marita Canedo of Migrant Justice lead a panel discussion.
For our November Women’s Initiative, we chose to donate turkeys and fixings to the food shelves in Chittenden and Addison Counties, in gratitude for the growing sense of community with you all we’ve shared this year, instead of hosting an event.
In appreciation of all of the Amazing Women who supported our Women’s Initiative throughout 2017, we had a party! Dozens of women joined us at Foam Brewers, a year to the day after our Kick-off Event, to celebrate each other and all of the good work done this year. We had so much fun all year that we are going to keep the Initiative going! Stay tuned for more details.