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Nevertheless she persisted: LRAFB celebrates Women’s History Month

A black woman stands on a stage in front of a wooden podium speaking to a large audience of luncheon attendees.

Retired Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 5 Pamela Huff speaks to a luncheon audience, March 28, 2018, at Hangar 1080, as part of the Women’s History Month activities held throughout the month. Huff is the first female and first African-American chief warrant officer 5 within the Arkansas National Guard, and she spoke of her career and her experiences throughout the years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tammy L. Reed)

Four white women sit at a table facing an audience in a conference room answering questions.

On March 15, 2018, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Margarita Overton answers a question from an audience member during the Women’s Discussion Panel that is part of Team Little Rock’s Women History Month celebration. The panel consisted of (from left) retired Army National Guard Command Sgt. Maj. Deborah Collins; Air Force Col. Jennifer Allee, 19th Mission Support Group commander; Overton, and Linda Benjamin, LRAFB Sexual Assault Response Coordinator. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tammy L. Reed.)

Team Little Rock kicks off Women’s History Month with a 5K run March 5, 2018 at little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Women’s history month takes place during the month of March and celebrates women who have broken barriers and made significant contributions to society.( U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

Team Little Rock kicks off Women’s History Month with a 5K run March 5, 2018 at little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Women’s history month takes place during the month of March and celebrates women who have broken barriers and made significant contributions to society.( U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

Team Little Rock celebrated Women’s History Month with a number of activities spread throughout March with the theme of “Nevertheless She Persisted: Honoring women who fight all forms of discrimination against women.”

Col. Gerald Donohue, 19th Airlift Wing commander, kicked off the month’s activities with a 5k run March 5, 2018.  Before starting the run, he recognized the important role women have played in history and in current times at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark.

Tech. Sgt. Crystal Cowan, a project officer for the Women’s History Month Committee, added that there were about 30 pieces of art from base school children supporting the month’s celebration at the Walters Community Support Center throughout March. 

On March 15, Col. Jennifer Allee, 19th Mission Support Group commander, retired Army National Guard Command Sgt. Maj. Deborah Collins, retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Margarita Overton, and Linda Benjamin, LRAFB Sexual Assault Response Coordinator answered questions during a women’s discussion panel. The panel answered such questions as what kind of barriers did they face throughout the years, and why do boys think that girls aren’t as fast or strong, asked by a parent for his seven-year-old daughter.

Collins, who served as the first female State Command Sergeant Major for the Arkansas National Guard, said there were all kinds of barriers that she faced, but she added, “I don’t begrudge those barriers because they made me a better person.”

A luncheon with a guest speaker March 28 closed out Team Little Rock’s Women’s History Month activities.  Retired Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 5 Pamela Huff was the first female and first African-American chief warrant officer 5 within the Arkansas National Guard. She spoke about her career and the challenges she faced as she worked her way up. 

She ended her talk with encouraging words about fighting discrimination, “Discrimination impacts military readiness and hampers our ability to accomplish the mission. What we need in our ranks are more allies, not adversaries. You have co-workers; become their allies, if you see something don’t turn your head. Stand up, speak up for your co-workers, for the airmen that stand next to you.”

These events were put together by the Women’s History Month Committee comprised of 25 personnel from around the base to help celebrate women and educate base personnel about their contributions throughout time.