Louise Rosenfield Noun, March 7, 1908-August 23, 2002

Louise Rosenfield Noun, March 7, 1908-August 23, 2002

Happy Birthday Louise!

I never had the chance to thank you. In 1997, you hired me as the first executive director for Chrysalis, and I am grateful to you every day.

You were the first person to ask me if I was a “feminist.” You taught me to stand up for what I believe. To challenge what I think is wrong. To have the courage to take action. To be responsible to make change.

When I think about your quiet persistence, your expansive knowledge, your ability to fundraise, your reluctance for recognition, and your fierce independence, I can only hope to represent what you stood for.

Louise, you knew that education was the antidote to poverty. You recognized that girls needed support throughout adolescence. You knew that women needed the opportunity to make their own decisions. And you told us that just because “it is” doesn’t mean “it always has to be.”

Today, you’d be happy to know that more women are in leadership roles, more girls are going to college, and more of our community understands the importance of social justice. But you’d be frustrated, Louise – likely angry – that we’ve still not reached equity.

Of course you knew of and contributed to Women’s History Month (March). You’d certainly remember that tomorrow is International Women’s Day. And if you could, you’d join women across the world taking action tomorrow – A Day Without A Woman – to support social change.

In honor of A Day Without A Woman, we’ll wear red to recognize women in the labor force, we’ll support only women-owned businesses, and we’ll work in silence – no phones, no emails, and no social media in the Chrysalis Office. You’ve left us with an immense responsibility, and we’ve learned from you that the work continues every day.

So today – your birthday – I’d like to thank you, Louise. You gave me more than a job – you gave me a purpose.