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'Phoenix Herstories': Website, nightly display to honor women making a difference in the Valley

Posted at 9:14 AM, Sep 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-01 12:14:41-04

PHOENIX — In honor of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, a website is launching Tuesday to highlight 31 women who are making a difference in the Valley.

They were chosen by the Phoenix Women’s Commission, which alongside Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and the Phoenix Arts and Culture Commission, created “Phoenix Herstories."

The website will act as an online photography exhibit featuring videos of women telling their stories about voting and other women who’ve inspired them.

Regina Nixon, Chair of the Phoenix Arts and Culture Commission, said she hopes those who visit the site are inspired.

“Find a way to help your community by doing what you’re passionate about and giving it back,” Nixon said. “If you have that passion and drive, it’s hard work but it’s joyful.”

Ginger Sykes Torres is one of the honorees featured in the project.

Torres was born on the Navajo Nation and raised in Mesa. She was the first female to win a world title at the Heard Museum’s World Championship Hoop Dance Contest. She went on to graduate from Stanford University and is a certified environmental consultant.

“Having women in leadership roles is a roadmap for our children,” she said. “Like my daughter sees we have a woman mayor and now she wants to be a mayor and I don’t think she’ll stop at being a mayor. She’ll set her sights higher.”

Torres is a mother of three children and serves on a handful of local committees while also working to send much-needed supplies to the Navajo Nation.

The commission says the original plan was to include other women who might not be as publicly known. But because of COVID-19, they weren’t able to seek out other women to feature at in-person community events. Nixon says they recognize they are still very much a part of the story.

The photos of the 31 women featured will be projected outside FOUND:RE Hotel in downtown Phoenix from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. starting Sept. 1 and running throughout the month.

Nixon says the plan is to move forward with a traveling exhibit, as it was originally intended to be, in the next year, if feasible.