Rep. Edward J. Markey
presentations of the
Racial Justice Award 2004 to Ruth M. Batson and the
Women's Advancement Award 2004 to Elaine F. Guiney at the
YWCA Boston 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Academy of Women Achievers
World Trade Center
June 4, 2004
We now proceed to honor two great women leaders, and I think it is appropriate to introduce them both with the words
of Madame Curie. Madame Curie was never admitted into the all male French Academy of
Sciences even after she had won an unprecedented second Nobel Prize. She once remarked "I never see what has been done... I only see what remains to be done."
It was in that spirit that both of our next two honorees lived their full lives, keeping an eye on what remains to be done so that our grandchildren will have to look to the history books to find that there was ever discrimination against minorities or barriers to the advancement of women.
RUTH M. BATSON
Last year, I had the great honor of submitting the name of Ruth M. Batson to serve as the representative from Massachusetts on the National Commission on the 50th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. Ruth had to withdraw her name when her health began failing, but it was a highly deserved honor capping a pathfinding career.
Ruth Batson had a strong moral compass that she followed with extraordinary determination. When that compass needle pointed her at a wall of injustice, or discrimination, or misunderstanding, Ruth would tear the wall down and proceed to the next wall. When she saw neighborhood lines reinforcing unequal education, she founded METCO. She was the first woman president of the New England chapter of the NAACP. She was the first black woman to serve on the Democratic National Committee. She chaired the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. She used her professorship at B.U. Medical School to advocate for the health of poor children. We are proud to present to her posthumously the YWCA's Racial Justice Award 2004, and the American flag flown over the Capitol Building in her honor. The flag certificate reads as follows:
"This flag was flown in honor of Ruth M. Batson, Boston's bright beacon of strength, courage and compassion,
who dedicated her life to the realization of civil rights, educational opportunity and quality health care for all,
and in so doing inspired people of all backgrounds and races to overcome their differences and build a vibrant
spirit of community in the City of Boston, Massachusetts."
Her daughter, Dorothy Osuwu, is here to accept the award and the flag on her behalf.
[Presentation of the Racial Justice Award]
ELAINE F. GUINEY
The Guiney name has been a part of the Markey household for many years. Terry's dad and mine drove trucks for the Hood Milk Company, and in our home the Guiney's were aristocracy. It is no surprise to me, then, that Elaine Guiney became aristocracy to the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Elaine ensured that thousands of women in the Commonwealth can remain financially independent by starting their own businesses. She pursued public policies that looked after our elderly. She provided affordable and safe housing to the people of Boston. And she worked constantly for a more just and equitable and strong city and state. As Director of the Massachusetts Office of the Small Business Administration, Elaine made us all proud of her advocacy and mentoring on behalf of entrepreneurs in the Bay State. To her last day, she continued to fight for the rights and dignity of all. We are proud to present to her posthumously the YWCA's Women's Advancement Award 2004, and the American flag flown over the Capitol Building in her honor. The flag certificate reads as follows:
"This flag was flown for Elaine F. Guiney, a one-woman multinational engine of entrepreneurial energy, who
committed her life to lifting all boats on the tide of her passionate advocacy for the poor, for women, for the
elderly and for small business proprietors, and whose humor, grace and optimism forever animated her service
to the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the United States and the world."
Her husband Terry and her son Peter are here to accept the award and the flag on her behalf.
[Presentation of the Women's Advancement Award]