CHICAGO – Mother’s Day took place a few months early as the Nation of Islam’s First Lady, Mother Khadijah Farrakhan, and several other distinguished servants to humanity who are mothers, were recognized for their exemplary handling of highly responsible roles as parents, professionals and community leaders during a spirited program March 10 at the Richard J. Daley Center.
Entitled “Sharing the Love,” the Clerk’s Office Women’s Advisory Committee, on behalf of the Honorable Dorothy Brown, Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, saw it befitting to present their first annual “Outstanding Women” program during the celebration of Women’s Month.
Seven mothers and one future “Outstanding Woman of the Future” honoree, who hail from all walks of life, gathered in front of over 100 family members and well-wishers to receive their plaques and gifts.
“Women are the real architects of society,” said Clerk Brown, quoting Harriet Beecher Stowe. “It is a privilege to host a program that acknowledges women from various backgrounds who work daily to sustain their careers and families. This ceremony celebrates the lives of women and the many important roles they manage.”
Salome Amezcua-Frieri, the mother of two daughters, serves as president of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Metro Chicago and is the Hispanic Director of Community Affairs at Rainbow/PUSH Coalition headquarters;
Dr. Barbara Eason-Watkins, who has one son and a grandchild, is Chief Education Officer for Chicago Public Schools (CPS);
Rose Farina is the mother of four sons and the grandmother of six. She is the former Director of Events for the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs;
Virginia Hayter is mother to five children. She is considered to be in the forefront of women in government and public service, a work she has done for over 35 years. As the former president of the Village of Hoffman Estates (Illinois), she was instrumental in starting the Cultural Awareness Commission, the Arts Commission and the Historical Sites Commission there;
Faith Smith has one son and two grandchildren. Ms. Smith is president emeritus of Native American Education Services (NAES) College and has held several consulting jobs that address Native American issues. She is a multiple award recipient for her involvement in working with Antioch University, American Indian Health Project, American Indian Center and the National Congress of American Indians;
Bernarda Wong, mother of one daughter, is founder and president of the Chinese American Service League (CASL). She recently retired from the Board of Directors for the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA).
The award for “Outstanding Woman of the Future” was given to Michelle Fletes-Rosales, an administrative assistant at CPS with the Office of Language and Cultural Education. Her work dates back to her high school days when she, along with the Chicago Park District, helped to start an outreach program for the Little Village community entitled L.U.C.K. (Latino Urban Cultural Kids). After having suffered a stroke and an aneurism as a result of an accident in 2003, she is here today because of the love and support from family and friends who helped her make remarkable progress.
Time did not allow for the mention of all of the work done by Mother Farrakhan in her 50 years of service to humanity, which has allowed her to be a part of many successful accomplishments all over the world as wife and helper to her husband, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
However, she was introduced with mention of her leadership of numerous delegations in travels to over 50 countries on seven continents and island-nations on behalf of the Nation of Islam; her meeting with kings, queens, presidents and various heads-of-state; her clothing business and philanthropy projects, as well as her nine children and 35 grand- and great-grandchildren, which was received by the audience with resounding applause, cheers and admiration.