Dominicans Celebrate Women of the Year
“Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business”
In light of this 2017 national theme for Women’s History Month (March), the Racine Dominicans celebrated two local trailblazers. This year’s theme promotes people who have successfully challenged the role women traditionally held in both business and the paid labor force.
On Sunday, March 19, Racine Vocational Ministry (RVM) program director, Lori Life, and Voces de la Frontera executive director, Christine Neumann-Ortiz, were honored as “Women of the Year” in a special prayer service and presentation at Siena Center, home of the Racine Dominicans.
For the past 12 years through RVM, Life has helped unemployed men and women develop the skills not only to find work, but also to retain it. “Lori has listened to people’s stories and successfully steered them along the path to recovery and wholeness,” Sister Carol Wester, who nominated Life for the award, said. “By assisting people to become economically self-sufficient, she uses her power and influence to assure they have the resources needed to build a full life for themselves and their families, and to become productive members of our local society.”
Neumann-Ortiz has served as executive director of Voces de la Frontera since its inception in 2001. “She is a strong role model for women, especially poor Latinas. She has committed her life to empower women and men to claim their rights by providing education, training and experience,” stated the three sisters who nominated her for the award, Sisters Jean Verber, Therese Van Thull and Judene Walsh. “There is no doubt when listening to Christine where her heart is in the struggle for truth, justice and nonviolence in the Racine and Milwaukee communities.”
The month of March annually celebrates women’s impact in history. In 2005, the Racine Dominicans inaugurated their “Woman of the Year” award to recognize the outstanding work of local women. The Dominicans have a 155-year history of serving Racine and beyond. They are a community of Catholic sisters and lay associates who live by the mission, “committed to truth, compelled to justice.”