By Senators Prentice, Swanson, Franklin, Johnson, Sheldon, Bauer, Haugen, Hale, Snyder, Wojahn, Spanel, Rasmussen and Kohl
WHEREAS, Gwendolyn E. L. Townsend has been named the 1997 Washington State Mother of the Year by American Mothers Inc., and she will represent the state at the National Mother of the Year competition the first of May; and
WHEREAS, Gwendolyn Townsend has dedicated her life to the concept of UJIMA, which is Swahili for "collective work and responsibility" with the goal of assuring a high quality of life for her community, her children, and her family; and
WHEREAS, Gwendolyn Townsend has developed an umbrella agency for UJIMA for African American Adoptions/Foster Care Program, UJIMA Extended Family Home, Washington State Birthing Project, Step By Step Project, Rainbow of Choices Project, Just Like Me Project, Boys to Men Project, and Family Resource Project ‑‑ of which is child‑oriented and focused; and
WHEREAS, Gwendolyn Townsend is active in local, state, and national efforts to increase awareness regarding the needs for child advocacy programs and foster and adoptive parents for waiting children and has developed many booklets, handbooks and manuals; and
WHEREAS, Gwendolyn Townsend is the initiator of the Statewide Annual African American Foster Care/Adoption Fair, hostess of the Annual National One Church, One Child Conference held in 1994 in Seattle, and presented the 1990 National Black Child Development Institute Bunny Wilburn Award, the 1992 Central Youth and Family Services Effective Black Parenting Award, the 1993 and the 1994 National One Church, One Child Leadership Awards for child advocacy and the 1996 Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Community Service Award; and
WHEREAS, Gwendolyn has been a licensed foster mother for ten years, received her BA in Public Administration in 1992 in order to better serve children, is an instructor of Western Washington University and many Seattle area community colleges, Foster Intervention/Retention Support Team volunteer, American Red Cross certified First Aid, CPR and HIV‑AIDS Awareness trainer (focusing on training these courses to children), a Crisis Pregnancy Counselor, member of the DSHS/DCFS Foster Parents Trainers Unit, Vice President of the Foster Parents association of Washington State, member of the Board of the Pediatric Interim Care Center, member of the King County Superior Court Volunteers Program, and member of many other state and national workgroups, units, teams and initiatives regarding child and family welfare; and
WHEREAS, Gwendolyn is also the wife of Reverend Sam L. Townsend, Sr., a licensed evangelist missionary, founder and coordinator of the Intercessory Praying Women (a 24‑hour prayer ministry), and a board leader of Washington State Church of God in Christ Women's Department; and
WHEREAS, Gwendolyn has guided and parented fourteen children ‑‑ biological, foster/adopt, guardianship, and step‑children, and is "Mema" (grandma) to many more;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Washington State Senate hereby recognizes and honors Gwendolyn Townsend's efforts, commitment, responsibility, and dedication to the children of Washington State and the world, and for teaching others the uplifting experience of her philosophy of collective work and responsibility for children, our future.
I, Mike O=Connell, Secretary of the Senate,
do hereby certify that this is a true and
correct copy of Senate Resolution 1997-8640,
adopted by the Senate March 28, 1997.
Secretary of the Senate