We turn the page on cooler weather to embrace the warmer months ahead, filled with uplifting possibilities for time spent outdoors with friends and family, visits to farmers’ markets, planting and landscaping, and the first blooms of spring. It is fitting that this month’s name is believed to come from the Roman goddess Maia, who oversaw the growth of plants.

It turns out that the idea of celebrating Mother’s Day in the United States began with three women in the 1800s — Ann Reeves Jarvis, Julia Ward Howe, and Ann’s daughter, Anna M. Jarvis, who championed efforts toward better health, welfare, peace and love. These lifelong activists organized Mothers’ Day Work Clubs in Virginia to combat unsanitary living conditions, the high infant mortality rate, and who wanted to educate and help mothers who needed it most.

Now, more than four decades later, these visionary women are not unlike those leading similar efforts today to improve the health and mental health of our communities by addressing the inequities experienced by individuals of all ages. They are inequities most apparent in our Black, Brown, refugee, and LGBTQ+ populations.

The pandemic and last year’s May tragedy underscored the important work required of all of us, much of which is currently taking place under the leadership of women. It is in honor of this effort that we are proudly featuring Chandra Redferd, CEO of Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Services, and Sara I. Taylor, President and CEO of Positive Steps Consulting, to appear on Your Hometown Health Connection on WBBZmeTV on Wednesday, May 17, at 8 pm and again on Saturday, May 20, at noon.

Have a wonderful month, and remember to celebrate all of the mothers in your lives and in our community for their love and leadership.