Prince George’s County government recently held the 33rd Annual Women’s History Month Luncheon at Martin’s Crosswinds in Greenbelt. More than 1,000 people celebrated the accomplishments of women who serve in Prince George’s County government.
County Executive Rushern Baker and his daughter, Aja Baker, at the 33rd Annual Women’s History Luncheon.
During the month of March, in recognition of Women’s History Month, similar events are held across the country to honor women who fight and overcome various forms of discrimination. Outgoing County Executive Rushern Baker used the occasion to pay tribute to the women who have been part of his life and administration over the last eight years.
Television reporter Julie Wright hosted the event and the Rev. Thea Wilson, associate minister of the First Baptist Church of Glenarden offered the invocation by saying, “This is a gorgeous day to be in Prince George’s County . . . This is a day that the Lord hath made.”
The event came during the same week that Baker delivered his final State of the County address. As he walked into the luncheon he said he had mixed emotions because while he has many accomplishments and is running for governor, it is still a season of goodbyes.
“It was very humbling because I remember what the county was like in 2010 and to see the transformation of where we were to where we are now is amazing,” Baker said. “It’s bittersweet, it was the last address, but I am proud of all the work.”
During the luncheon Baker’s daughter, Aja Baker, was by his side. He thanked his wife, who was not there because of her battle with Alzheimer’s, his daughter, and all of the women who served in his administration. Then finally he thanked his Chief of Staff Glenda Wilson, saying, “This county would not be where it is today had it not been for Glenda Wilson.”
From her table Wilson said, “I just love working for the county.” She said her success working for Baker and former County Executive Wayne Curry is a result of the many women in her life. “Having advice and guidance from other women made the difference,” she said.
As this is an election year, many of the candidates seeking office used the occasion to shake hands, work the tables, and ask for votes. State Sen. Anthony Muse, County Council members Obie Patterson and Karen Toles, and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks were all busy working the crowd during the luncheon.
“In 2018 this is the order of the day. Women are changing the county, the country, and the world,” said Alsobrooks who, along with Muse, is running to succeed Baker.
Beatrice Tignor, a long-time county educator, Democratic party official, and former member of the Maryland House and Senate, received this year’s Gladys Noon Spellman Public Service Award. During her career, Tignor served in dozens of posts in local, county, and state government. Now she works for Baker.
The program was part of The National Women’s Project, created to honor women who have molded and shaped history through their efforts to end discrimination against women.
Former County Council member Dorothy Bailey was at the event. She said she was inspired by the theme – “She Persisted” – because “there is nothing that can’t be done without the persistence of a woman.”