Women's History Month Honorees

White Plains, NY — On Monday evening, the Westchester County Board of Legislators commemorated Women’s History Month by honoring student leader Harshita Shet, and educator Dr. Angela White, in a live-streamed video ceremony.

Chairman Ben Boykin (D – White Plains, Scarsdale, Harrison) kicked off the ceremony with an acknowledgement of the 100-year anniversary of the battle for women's suffrage -- the 2020 and 2021 theme of Women’s History Month. He also referred to the battle for economic stability that has challenged so many women during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Boykin said, “As we recognize the courage, foresight and resolve of women who have strengthened our democracy, we should also reflect on the devastating effect that COVID-19 has had on their lives over the past year… In order to weather this difficult period, women will need to channel the qualities of fortitude, tenacity, and perseverance that made suffrage possible.”

Majority Leader MaryJane Shimsky (D – Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Hartsdale, Hastings-on-Hudson, Edgemont, Irvington) presented a proclamation to Woodlands High School student Harshita Shet.  Shet is the founder of Feminine Dignity, a nonprofit that provides feminine hygiene products to women in shelters, refugee camps, correctional facilities and other institutions around the world.

Shimsky said, “We need more young people, we need more women of all ages like Harshita who participate so comprehensively and are also innovators, calling our attention to serious problems facing women today... Harshita, thank you for everything you do for the community and the world, and consider this a down payment because we are looking forward to so much more outstanding things from you in the future."

Shet said, “My parents have always taught me to give back to those who need it.  Whenever you have something, you should help without hesitation.” Of her program to provide feminine hygiene products to those in need, Shet said, "I found out that globally over 1.2 billion women lack access to this necessity.  Locally, shelters and correction facilities are not provided with feminine hygiene products, and globally, refugee camps are also not provided with feminine hygiene products. Females live with huge mental burdens with lack of this necessity. And from then onwards I knew I needed to make a change.”

The Board has declared March 23, 2021 “Harshita Shet Day” in the County of Westchester.

Watch the presentation to Harshita Shet here: https://vimeo.com/527569116

Leg. Catherine Borgia (D – Briarcliff Manor, Cortlandt, Croton, Ossining, Peekskill) presented a proclamation honoring Dr. Angela White of Ossining. Dr. White has had a long and distinguished career as an educator, and is a beloved figure in the Ossining school district. She has advocated for access to appropriate education for children, regardless of their abilities. She currently holds the position of Superintendent of the Carol and Frank Biondi Education Center at Rising Ground in Yonkers.

In addition to lauding White for having touched the lives of thousands of children, and for transforming the Ossining school district, Borgia recalled a personal anecdote.

She said, "My own daughter was very fortunate to have received an award for leadership from Angela when she was a very, very small second grader – small but mighty! When my daughter received the award, she looked up at Dr. White like she was an angel who came down from Heaven. We still have that picture on our refrigerator and it is a delight to see every day.”

White responded by thanking the Board for the honor of the nomination, and thanked Legislator Borgia for always being a champion for educators, children and their families,

White said, "President Biden’s proclamation of this year’s Women’s History Month speaks to the important contributions that women have made throughout history in spite of the discrimination, hardships and inequalities that we have faced. I am earnestly grateful that you are acknowledging the importance of the work that I have done over the past 40 years on behalf of students and families."

The Board has declared March 24, 2021 “Dr. Angela White Day” in the County of Westchester.

Watch the virtual presentation to Dr. Angela White here: https://vimeo.com/527568478.

Read a program for Monday night’s event at: https://www.westchesterlegislators.com/images/Newsroom/2021/32221_WHM_Program.pdf

(PICTURED ABOVE L to R: Majority Leader MaryJane Shimsky, Harshita Shet, Leg. Catherine Boriga, Dr. Angela White)