Rep. TJ Cox honors women in the 21st District

Jaylene Collins, Reporter

Congressmen TJ Cox held the first-ever Valiant Awards to honor outstanding women in the 21st Congressional District, on Aug. 25 over Zoom.
Rep. TJ Cox announced the awards March of this year in honor of Woman’s History Month.
“Woman’s History Month is an opportunity to recognize the exceptional women from California’s 21st Congressional District who continue to shatter glass ceilings and uplift their communities while doing so,” Cox stated.
Due to COVID-19, the awards were moved from their original date in March to August and from in-person to Zoom. The day the awards were held fell before Women’s Equality Day, which was “no accident.” Woman’s Equality Day was created to commemorate the passing of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
“This year marks the 100th anniversary of women securing the right to vote across the country, and it’s an opportunity for us to celebrate the progress we have made towards achieving women’s equality,” said Rep. TJ Cox.
All recipients of the Valiant Award live in the 21st Congressional District and were nominated by members of their community for their hard work. Each of them hold high positions or gave up their time to help their community.
“Some of tonight’s honorees are founders and directors of organizations which help families in crisis, serve homeless people in our communities, and empower young girls of color to find their voice and power,” said Cox. “Some are life-long educators having taught generations of young people of the Central Valley the fundamentals of math and the English language. Others are fierce advocates of environmental justice, elected officials, and public servants. And what each of them has in common, is a heart of service.”
Rep. Cox then went on to say how honored he was to be in their presence, then proceed to individually introduced and gave each recipient a chance to speak.
Among the 11 women recognized was Angelita Echevezte-Duran, the Resource Director for the Comprehensive Youth Service of Fresno, INC. She said that she was thankful for this opportunity and how she was honored to be able to receive the award for her work.
“It is not only an honor to be a migrant child here of the Central Valley but to be able to come back–give back to the communities and the people that have done so much for me,” said Echevezte-Duran.
Like Angelita Echevezte-Duran, each woman loved their community and was honored to be in each other’s presence. Each recipient discussed interest in meeting each other and working together to make a positive change in the Central Valley.