The Whispers Of Women’s History Month

Bell | 4/2/2021, 10:07 a.m.

As we close out Women’s History Month, I take a moment to re- flect not only on all the history that is being made this year alone but also the last 10 years. While I am still in semi-quarantine, I have been binge-watching shows that I absolutely love like The Walking Dead and there is an episode where Eugene (Google him) decides he is going to help fight for the first time and he makes a statement that is quite familiar with many shows like this, he says “ This is what they are going to write about.” That made me think of what I like to call Whisperers of Women’s History.

We often think about the CEO’s, doctors, entrepreneurs, activists, scien- tists, political features, celebrities, and those alike that are moving the needle. They are highlighted and celebrated for their “Trailblazing” actions of pushing for a better future for women. Their names are often written in history. This is what Eugene was talking about; he wanted to do something so grandiose that his name gets written in history. While those women are definitely mov- ing the needle, I wanted to focus on the whisperers, the women who are also moving the needle but who are not cel- ebrated. These women are so far behind the scenes that they are often forgotten about. The impact on society, however, cannot be made without them. So let me highlight one:

Jo-Carolyn Goode – Manag- ing Editor for Houston Style Maga- zine I could go on about how she is an educated lady of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. with a degree from an HBCU but those are just jewels in her crown.

Jo-Carolyn, affectionately known as simply “Jo” to many, has been the moving force behind Houston Style Magazine. The approaching 30- year publication is the premier urban magazine in Houston, publishing digital and print weekly. She manages writers, media personalities (like myself), and photographers. She schedules staffers

for assignments and events to cover, and so much more. She is also heavily involved in her sorority rendering hours of community service to help others. Jo is equally involved in her community, church, and mentors young women of all ages. She does all of this while bat- tling Lupus. If that’s not the definition of trailblazing, I don’t know what is. She has never told her story, sought out the spotlight, or even highlighted her illness. I have seen her work from a hospital bed and no one ever knew. One hundred years from now when a young person stumbles across a Houston Style article she will be a part of their history.

Women like Jo-Carolyn are found with their eyes and ears to the ground. They are constantly working for a better future. They are opening up conversational spaces about equal rights for all races and genders within the medical field like Nikashia Franklin, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, who is a nurse at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. They are dominating and opening doors in male-dominated fields like Shawntell McWilliams, MS, EdS, Vice President of Sisters Network Incorporated; a national breast can- cer organization, who highlights and celebrates women in spirits. They are volunteering in schools, lending their time to women’s shelters, and organiz- ing during disasters. They are curating cultured events and consistently giving back like Monica Jones, BornCEO. They are changing the narratives on health and food like Chef to the Stars (Tiffani Janelle). They may not go viral, they may not receive their flowers now but they are here being the whisperers of history.