NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
Thanks to trailblazers across the globe, women today are continuing to succeed in spite of hardships. Their success comes through hard work and dedication ó but what is also important is the balance between taking care of oneís self and taking care of others. This is the theme of the next Women of Color Empowered event, to be held at China Harbor Restaurant in Seattle on Friday, Sept. 26, at 11:30 a.m. This is an event honoring women who are accomplished in their fields, who have contributed to local communities of color in both traditional and nontraditional jobs.
At the event, audience members will hear these prominent honorees discuss the ìPsî to happiness ó prosperity, productivity, possibility, positive-thinking and peace of mind ó and how they incorporate the ìPsî into their own respective lives as well as which ìPî is the most difficult for them.
A goal of this event is to motivate and inspire young women ó to show them that nearly anything is possible if they work hard towards a purpose. Continue reading to learn a bit more about each honoree.
Maria Elena Geyer
For Geyer, executive vice president of marketing and community relations for Puget Sound Blood Center, originally from Costa Rica, encouragement came from her grandmother, who ran away from home to become a physician. ìWomen werenít allowed to be doctors,î Geyer explained. ìGrandma always told me, ëPlease donít run away. I will support you in whatever you want to do.íî
As vice president, Geyer is responsible for Puget Sound Blood Centerís departments of Blood Collection Services, Donor and Volunteer Resources and Northwest Tissue Center, associated with sustaining a daily blood inventory for a 14-county region and providing transplant tissue and donation services for hospitals in Washington, Montana and Northern Idaho.
Mimi Gardner Gates
Gates joined the Seattle Art Museum as director in May 1994.
She received her bachelorís degree from Stanford University in Asian history; an honors diploma in Chinese language and culture from the Šcole Nationale des Langues Orientales Vivantes, Paris; a masterís degree in Oriental and Chinese studies from the University of Iowa (1968); and a doctorate in art history from Yale University (1981). As director of the Seattle Art Museum, Gates has aggressively led the museum forward, embarking on significant capital projects, including building a new downtown expanded art museum, creation of the Olympic Sculpture Park, renovations to the 1933 Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park and establishment of a conservation studio.
Huie-Pascua is the director for the Department of Human Service of Benton and Franklin counties. Huie-Pascua earned her Master of Science in clinical psychology from San Francisco State University in 1980. She participates on state- and county-level mental health policy and planning committees.
She has been committed to improving behavioral health services delivery in multicultural and multilingual communities for over 30 years. Her experience in behavioral health services ranges from inpatient, day treatment and outpatient services. Huie-Pascua is also a mental health specialist for children and Asian/Pacific Islander populations.
Dr. Mona Lake Jones
Jones is a writer, orator and performer. She has traveled throughout the country speaking to education institutions, civic groups, conventions, and celebrations about issues of diversity and culture.
Jones received the Langston Hughes Award for her literary contributions to the arts as well as Blackbird Literary Awards for giving her time to the community. She has served as Poet Laureate for the city of Seattle for five years and currently serves for Washington stateís King County.
Dr. Uma Malhotra
Malhotra began her medical education at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi and completed her residency at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. She currently works at Virginia Mason and also the University of Washington Department of Medicine. Her specialty is infectious diseases, and she has a committed interest in infections in immunocompromised patients, travel medicine and caring for patients with HIV.
On her work, Malhotra has said, ìI feel privileged to be a part of my patientsí lives. Daily I am touched by them and reminded of how precious life is. My hope is to better my patientsí lives and provide them with the best care possible.î
Olsen is the director of community relations and development for the Wellness Research Institute at the University of Washington.
Olsen has been with the School of Medicineís Office of Multicultural Affairs for three years, and as program coordinator for the Native American Center of Excellence, has been responsible for the oversight of the Indian Health Pathway, recruitment and retention of Native American students, and the establishment of linkages with the regionís tribal communities. Olsen grew up on the Yakama Indian Reservation in Toppenish, Wash., where her family members still reside.
Olson worked on her book for more than five years. Titled, ìWho I Am: Our Beauty in All Shapes and Sizes,î she photographed 54 women, discreetly nude, of a wide range of ethnicities, body types and ages. Olson interviewed them about topics such as body image, aging, youth, menopause, pregnancy, health and illness.
According to her, the goal of the book is to help promote acceptance and compassion for self and for others because so many women have such unhappy feelings about body and body image.
Olson is currently a fine art and commercial photographer whose client list ranges from Eddie Bauer to the Seattle Opera.
Nancy D. Solomon
Solomon earned her Bachelor of Science degree in special education from The State University of New York. She ended up in the fashion industry, working for corporate giants such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Calvin Klein. Solomon rose to become the vice president of sales for North America for Jacques Jaunet.
In 1992 Solomon packed up her life and moved to Seattle, hoping to finally fulfill her lifelong dream of being a psychotherapist and coach. At the age of 39, she returned to school, earned her masterís in psychology at Antioch University and began her practice in the field of human potential.
Solomon has two young children and is currently completing her first book.
Song is a health reporter for The Seattle Times. She focuses on insurance, medical research and health policy issues. She previously covered Boeing and Alaska Airlines. Song joined the Times in 1999 from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where she covered the aviation beat. She began her career as a business reporter for The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky.
A native of Seoul, Song grew up in the Seattle area. Her husband, David Heath, is an investigative reporter for the Times. They have a 3-year-old daughter.
Women of Color Empowered, organized by Northwest Asian Weekly since 1996, brings women of all races and backgrounds together three times a year to network and support one another. The luncheon costs $20 for guests who register in advance and $30 for walk-ins.