Honoring National Women's History Month, Celebrating Legacy

Linda Beerman
March 23, 2017

Truly celebrating the history of women means recognizing that the contributions of the women of our country in building this nation were as important, if not as widely retold, as the contributions of our national forefathers. Moreover, understanding those contributions can be a powerful inspiration to all women today in continuing to build and strengthen our own communities.

What does it mean to celebrate something? When you see the phrase “National Women’s History Month,” do you wonder if it really has a deeper meaning or if someone just came up with a name, similar to National Donut Day? 

A meaning of the word “celebrate” is “to honor and praise publicly.” Truly celebrating the history of women means recognizing that the contributions of the women of our country in building this nation were as important, if not as widely retold, as the contributions of our national forefathers. Moreover, understanding those contributions can be a powerful inspiration to all women today in continuing to build and strengthen our own communities.

The movement to honor publicly women’s contributions to our country began in the 1970s, as schools and communities developed curricula and planned events celebrating women’s history. National success came in 1980 with a proclamation by President Jimmy Carter declaring the week of March 8, 1980, as National Women’s History Week. By 1987, Congress declared the month of March as National Women’s History Month in perpetuity. In his message in 1980, President Carter stated: 

From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well. As Dr. Gerda Lerner has noted, “Women’s History is Women’s Rights.”—It is an essential and indispensable heritage from which we can draw pride, comfort, courage, and long-range vision.

Taking time during this month to learn about, and learn from, the women upon whose accomplishments we stand, can be inspiring, certainly. It can also be a powerful motivator for us all to be more active in building and strengthening our own communities, however we define that in 2017. For information on how you and your family can be strategic in your philanthropic efforts, please see our Strategic Philanthropy white paper series.

We also encourage you to take a leadership role in building and strengthening your own personal and family financial lives by joining our Women’s CIRCLE—Centered on Investments, Relationships, Community, Legacy and Enterprise. Women’s CIRCLE can provide you with educational content as well as access to events and workshops on a wide range of investment, planning and legacy topics. Please visit our webpage on cibcatlantictrust.com for more information. 

We wish you a happy and productive National Women’s History Month!

Linda Beerman is advisor to the Wealth Strategies Group for CIBC Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management. She joined the firm in 2001, serving as its first head of Wealth Strategies and later also as chief fiduciary officer. In these roles, she managed client estate and wealth planning and oversaw policy and procedures through the firm’s Trust and Risk Management committees. Linda was instrumental in the development of CIBC Atlantic Trust’s legacy planning, Women’s CIRCLE and G2G (Generation to Generation) Impact initiatives and provided visionary leadership in the creation of the firm’s educational resources.