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HER-Story Moment: Eleanor Holmes Norton

Leading a Legacy at Covenant House Greater Washington

Congresswoman Norton at the Service Center Ribbon Cutting


A legacy of advocacy…

Eleanor Holmes Norton has long been a pioneering force and a powerful advocate for civil rights in Washington D.C. Having served as the Chairperson of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission during the Carter Administration and subsequently representing the District of Columbia in Congress since 1991. She was the first Director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Women’s Rights Project and has served as a delegate to congress for over three decades. She is a respected champion amongst women’s activists and inspires with her courageous leadership against discrimination and intolerance. Her leadership within the entire community is unrivaled, however this month we turn our focus to her impact here at Covenant House Greater Washington. Her long history of philanthropy and advocacy makes her an inspirational figure today, particularly during this month dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of women throughout history.

A Legacy of impact here at CHGW…

Her work in the US House of Representatives for the past 30 years has brought improved education and economic opportunities to residents of our nation's capital, as well as expanded access to healthcare. Her support of Covenant House Greater Washington is an example of her commitment to providing a better future for all people.

Congresswoman Norton at the opening of the Service Center

Envisioning CHGW as a state-of-the-art nonprofit serving young people in a ward experiencing the highest rate of poverty in Washington DC, she advocated for funding within Congress, federally and locally. She worked closely with the first Covenant House DC Executive Director, later elected to Mayor, Vincent Gray, to launch the addition of our present-day service center located on Mississippi Ave. Inspired by the ongoing work of CHGW, Congresswoman Norton is set to help establish CHGW as an anchor organization in Ward 7 and Ward 8.

Today, Congresswoman Norton still puts her foot to the ground on behalf of our youth here. She recently established an earmark of $360,000 for Covenant House Greater Washington programs. With this earmark, Congress will direct this specified amount of funding to help our facilities maintain and build their impact, capacity of services, and resources available within the community.

Congresswoman Norton’s commitment to giving back and bettering her community has demonstrated that even one single individual can have a great influence on others and be an instrumental part of changes that affect many people's lives for the better. She shows us through her actions that it is possible to give back to one’s community and make tangible differences in the lives of others. It is not merely talk; it is action that speaks louder than words. She is deserving of praise and recognition for all she continues to do and what she stands for as a role model for young people everywhere.

How you can lead a legacy this month...

Supporting impactful efforts is one of the best things you can do to contribute and create a legacy of social justice and woman's rights. By getting involved with community organizations that align with your intentions, and volunteering your time or resources to further the mission. Alternatively, you could share news about current projects and successes on social media or write letters of encouragement. By taking on any of these actions, you can become a part of positive solutions for yourself and your community.

We at CHGW celebrate pioneering women like, Congresswoman Norton, for using their platform and voice to push for continued reform that supports young people experiencing homelessness and disconnection in Greater Washington. We applaud your commitment and dedication to making our community a more equitable place for all its citizens.

"My generation took on political equality. I believe young people, who have graduated into a poor economy, have an incentive to take on much tougher issues of income equality. If they show the leadership they have demonstrated in the last few elections, they can bring changes even greater than my generation achieved." - Eleanor Holmes Norton



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