State Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst Welcomes Fortitude and Merchant Street Gallery Directors to Springfield

State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R – Kankakee) welcomed Bourbonnais resident Dawn Broers and Bradley Resident Janice Miller to Springfield on Tuesday for a women’s brunch that honored the contributions of emerging female leaders from throughout the state.

Dawn Broers is the executive director of Fortitude Community Outreach; a community-based organization dedicated to connecting needy and homeless individuals with resources and assistance.

Janice Miller serves as the executive director of the Merchant Street Art Gallery of Artists with Autism. The gallery is one of few galleries serving artists across the autism spectrum and advances the careers and personal growth of artists with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who visit it.

“These two women are making an incredible difference in the community with their efforts to serve the underserved and the undiscovered,” Rep. Parkhurst said. “I am proud to provide a forum where these outstanding women can be recognized for their contributions and achievements.”

The two women were part of a group of about 40 emerging female leaders who are each taking bold steps to make Illinois a better place to live and work. In addition to the recognition brunch, the group participated in a discussion about what issues are important for Illinois women and how the General Assembly can create policy that reflects their priorities.

“We need to ensure that women’s voices are being heard during policy discussions in Springfield,” Parkhurst said. “Today was a great opportunity to learn about their priorities, concerns, and hopes.”

After the brunch and conversation, the group was able to watch a portion of Tuesday’s legislative session from the House Gallery, where they were introduced and further honored by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin. The group finished the day with a tour of the State Capitol.

“Our state is full of incredible women making an impact in their communities,” Parkhurst concluded. “I have the utmost respect for the dedication these women have to the causes they support on a daily basis.”