St. Ambrose Celebrates Women’s History Month 2024

Pam and Julia at the NeighborWorks Week event together.

As we wrap up the month of March, it also means that this year’s Women’s History Month is coming to a close. Here at St. Ambrose, we want to take a moment to celebrate all of the wonderful women who have walked through our door, whether they be co-workers or our clients.

This year’s theme for Women’s History Month has been “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.” Because so many women working at St. Ambrose have dedicated themselves to doing what they can to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in housing, it feels only right to highlight some of their stories, and share with you the personal contributions they have made to community development efforts here in Baltimore City.

To do this, we asked a few women around our office the following: What does it mean to you to be a woman in your field? Which woman has inspired you in your work?

Reflecting on her own sources of inspiration, Pam, our Director of Housing Counseling, admitted, “I don’t have any specific person in mind.” However, she found herself profoundly moved by the “women who are in this industry, some of the long-term folks who are housing counselors.” She was struck by their commitment and creativity in “creating opportunities for folks who don’t have housing.”

Pam’s observations shed light on the significant female presence within the housing stabilization nonprofit sector, as she recalled, “there are so many women in this field.” She attributed this to the drive women have to provide care, explaining, “we know that housing is a need and we know with kids that housing gives them stability.”

Pam emphasized that “having housing gives people stability. It impacts where they go to school, and gives them a place where their family can reside and do things as simple as just having dinner together.”

Drawing from her personal experiences, Pam shared the transformative power of housing in building wealth and stability for families, especially for marginalized communities. She drew inspiration from her grandmother’s resilience, acknowledging, “My grandma always talked about building wealth…you could see how housing was able to give that to her.” Pam shared that her grandmother, now 97, is “probably my biggest inspiration.”

Pam closed our interview by expressing her admiration for the countless women dedicated to improving communities. “Seeing women who are so dedicated to doing better and creating better for other people is so inspiring.”

Julia, our Resource Development Manager, also shared the names of a few women who have inspired her and the work she does to support equitable housing in the Baltimore region.  Specifically, Julia paid homage to Adrienne Maree Brown, Octavia Butler, and Arundhati Roy. Julia says, “So many forces and voices in our world undermine our belief in what we know and feel. These women inspire me to recognize and act on my own knowledge and feelings, to not betray the internal for the sake of the external.  When I feel within, my knowledge and feelings point towards action in pursuit of a better world for everyone. Equitable access to housing is fundamental to that. There’s a lot of work to do.”

Some of Julia’s favorite quotes from these inspiring women include:

“How we are at the small scale is how we are at the large scale. The patterns of the universe repeat at scale. There is a structural echo that suggests two things: one, that there are shapes and patterns fundamental to our universe, and two, that what we practice at a small scale can reverberate to the largest scale.” – Adrienne Maree Brown

 “All that you touch you change, all that you change changes you, the only lasting truth is change.” – Octavia Butler

“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” – Arundhati Roy

St. Ambrose’s vision is ,”everyone deserves a place they are proud to call home.” Julia says this vision guides her, and that she is honored to be able work with St. Ambrose staff and supporters towards that vision.

Julia and Pam at the St. Ambrose NeighborWorks Week event table.