Women’s History Month 2024

Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Union County Board of County Commissioners, through the Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs is pleased to announce a live speaking event titled “One Woman’s Journey as an Advocate for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” featuring McCarter & English attorney Simone Wilson-Brito as our guest speaker.

Residents are welcome to attend this free event and learn about Ms. Wilson-Brito’s insightful experiences as a lawyer and champion of social justice on Wednesday, March 20th, at 12:30 p.m. at the UCNJ Union College of Union County, NJ, Cranford Campus, Victor M. Richel Student Commons, located at 1033 Springfield Avenue in Cranford.

“As a proud, devoted working mother, and a strong advocate for women, this year, as part of my 2024 Chairwoman’s initiatives of “Growing Together in Union County,” I am working to provide women with the necessary resources and opportunities for their thriving success,” said Commissioner Chairwoman Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded. “This year, we are happy to feature Ms. Simone Wilson-Brito as our guest speaker for Women’s History Month. Ms. Wilson-Brito is an exemplary figure and a fitting choice to illuminate this month. Her strong leadership, commitment to dismantling the barriers of racism and injustice, and aspiration to forge a more inclusive future for our community make her an outstanding individual. She serves as an excellent role model for young girls and women, and we encourage everyone to attend this inspirational free event.”

The theme for National Women’s History Month 2024 is “Women Who Advocate for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.” This theme recognizes women throughout the country who understand the need to eliminate bias and discrimination from our personal lives and institutions to have a more positive future.

Simone Wilson-Brito is the Co-chair of McCarter & English’s Real Estate Practice Group.  She is also Co-Chair of the firm’s Women’s Initiative Steering Committee, tasked with advancing women at the firm, and the Social Justice Project, tasked with advancing the firm’s initiatives to dismantle structural racism and combat the impact of racial injustice in our communities. Her work on the Women’s Initiative Steering Committee has led to McCarter receiving Gold Standard Certification from the Women in Law Empowerment Forum. She is listed as one of New Jersey’s most influential Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) leaders in the year 2021, and is currently listed as one of the Best Lawyers in America of 2024.

She is an active volunteer and also serves as a Member of the Board of Trustees for the YMCA of Newark and Vicinity. Her passion for volunteering and pro-bono work has grown alongside her career as a lawyer and an advocate for women. Notably, she was part of a team of lawyers who helped 14 families affected by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, by assisting them in acquiring new homes after being displaced. She represents clients seeking asylum in the United States from their home country out of fear of persecution or harm and works with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project and the New Jersey Innocence Project through Rutgers University assessing innocence claims.

“Women’s History Month is a special time to celebrate and highlight the countless contributions of women who have helped shape our society. It is also an opportunity to recognize those who are currently working hard to create a better future for all,” said Commissioner Bette Jane Kowalski, Liaison to the Cultural and Heritage Affairs Advisory Board. “Ms. Wilson-Brito’s dedication to promoting women, minorities, and the disadvantaged is a source of inspiration to us all. We would like to invite you to join us in commemorating National Women’s Month this March by attending our event.” Women’s History Month is an annual celebration of the achievements and contributions of women throughout history and in their communities. It is celebrated nationwide every March.

The speaking presentation is free of charge to all Union County residents. To register for the event, please use the form on this page.

Union County Launches Collection Drive in Honor of Women’s History Month to Support Military Women Overseas

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Union County Board of County Commissioners, in collaboration with the 102 Cavalry Family Readiness Group, is pleased to announce the initiation of a special collection drive to support military women from our area currently serving overseas.

“In honoring Women’s History Month, we wanted to do something to extend our gratitude and support to the courageous military women serving overseas,” said Commissioner Chairwoman Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded. “Through this collection drive, we hope to send a message of appreciation, reminding them that their sacrifices do not go unnoticed.”

The collection, running through March 30th aims to gather essential items that will bring comfort and convenience to our brave military women.

The diverse range of items sought includes Midol, Liquid IV, lip balm, feminine wipes, chewing gum, flavored teas, hand sanitizer, hand lotion, face sunscreen, stress balls, fidget boxes, hydration masks, spa socks (fuzzy, cozy socks), over-the-counter UTI medications (example: Azo), over-the-counter yeast infection medication (example: Monistat), throat lozenges/cough drops, small manicure implement sets (nail files and clippers), card games (example: Uno), and tree-shaped air fresheners.

Drop-off locations and hours are Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.:

  • Union County Administration Building, 10 Elizabethtown Plaza, Elizabeth, NJ
  • Union County Social Services, 342 Westminster Avenue, Elizabeth
  • Union County Public Safety Building, 300 North Avenue East, Westfield
  • Union Engineering Building, 2325 South Avenue, Scotch Plains

For more information, please contact Jennifer Erdos, from the Union County Office on Women at 908-527-4216 or email jerdos@ucnj.org.

Union County Empowerment Hour to Celebrate Queer Women in History on March 13

The Union County Board of County Commissioners is pleased to announce the latest installment of its virtual dialogue series for the LGBTQ+ community, OUT in Union County: Queer Empowerment Hour with host Micayla Mirabella. The upcoming discussion hour is titled:  Unveiling Hidden Narratives – Celebrating the Trails and Triumphs of Queer Women in History, and is scheduled for March 13th from 7:00pm-8:00pm. The virtual conversation is part of a monthly series. It covers a range of LGBTQ+-related themes, stories, and experiences to inform, educate, and connect the community.

“By creating a space where everyone’s voice is valued and respected, we empower individuals to embrace their true selves without fear or judgment,” said Commissioner Chairwoman Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded. “Through the use of technology like Zoom, facilitating connections between people who may not have otherwise had the opportunity to meet become possible.”

Queer Empowerment Hour, launched in 2020, offers an hour-long virtual conversation diving deep into LGBTQ+ topics. It features engaging stories and discussions involving queer individuals from diverse backgrounds. The series is open to everyone, promoting inclusivity and understanding in our community.

To join this informative discussion, please register at ucnj.org/lgbtq. The upcoming OUT in Union County: Queer Empowerment Hour session starts at 7:00 p.m. on March 13th and will be live-streamed on the County of Union Facebook page. Questions can be asked via Zoom or in the Facebook comments.

“Embracing the stories of queer women in history throughout National Women’s Month is a powerful celebration of LGBTQ+ resilience and contribution,” said Commissioner Al Mirabella, liaison to the Union County LGBTQ+ Ad Hoc Committee. “This focus empowers individuals to find strength in their identities.”

Queer Empowerment Hour is presented by the Union County Board of County Commissioners in collaboration with the Union County Office of LGBTQ+ Affairs. For more information about the Office of LGBTQ+ Affairs, please visit ucnj.org/lgbtq.