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PTFW Celebrates International Women’s Day By Bernadette Wagner

This year, as always, International Women’s Day was celebrated on March 8th. It is a day to DREAM big! A day to “Imagine a gender-equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated.” 

In a small way, Prime Time for Women’s blog, “A Yummy Year: Cultures, Cooking & Connections” embraced and advanced this mission! Every month for one year, I had the opportunity to connect with women from diverse ethnic backgrounds while cooking their favorite dishes.  It was a privilege and a joy to listen to and highlight the stories of twelve amazing women, dubbed “Cultural Chefs.”  I got to learn about their cultures, prepare ethnic recipes, and spend time with each of them, seated at my kitchen table, as we feasted on delicious foods that have the power to connect and bond people from diverse backgrounds.  

I always wondered what kind of joy and excitement would be unleashed in the world if those twelve women had the opportunity to meet each other! That’s when I had a FANTASTIC idea! (I’m so modest, I know!) I decided, in celebration of International Women’s Day, to invite all the Cultural Chefs to a potluck dinner at my home!  And last night, along with a few members of PTFW’s Board of Directors, they came!  I know it sounds like I’m bragging, but I was right!  The energy and excitement unleashed in my kitchen were palpable. It expanded beyond the walls of my home and out into the universe creating an appreciation for our differences and more importantly a recognition of our shared humanity. 

The dishes arranged on the kitchen island, like my guests, were diverse and beautiful. The menu featured ethnic foods from Eastern Europe, Africa, India, Italy, Cuba, Pakistan, Spain, Brazil, and Mexico.  We ate, we laughed, we shared, and we even cried a little when we took turns speaking of women who had inspired us on our life’s journey.  Not surprising to any of us, mothers, sisters, mentors, and teachers were all represented.  

If you’d like to learn more about these amazing women, check out PTFW’s Cultural Chefs. And if you want to share a story of a woman who has made a difference in your life or inspired you in some way, please click here. We’d love to hear from you!  

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