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Champions of Change: Recognizing Horizon’s Women Leaders!

Women's History Month

March is Women’s History Month – a time to recognize the accomplishments and contributions women have made to our history, culture, and society. Women’s History Month first started as “Women’s History Week” in 1981 before it was petitioned by the National Women’s History Project and eventually became Women’s History Month in 1987.

The 2024 theme is, “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.” This theme emphasizes the importance of continuing the work towards ending discrimination and bringing equality and justice to the forefront of our communities. This month, we recognize the women who have and continue to advocate for change and work towards a brighter future for all women.

At Horizon, we recognize the incredible women we work with every day and thank them for all that they do. We asked some of our amazing team members, “What does it mean to advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion at Horizon and in your community?” Here’s what they said:


Tamalyn Brown Penders, Advanced Practice Clinician at Batavia Recovery Center

Tamalyn Brown Penders
“Looking back at my career options I can see a theme of representing those who are like me, underprivileged women of color, wanting to succeed and live stable lives. I believe I do this work as a counselor. My position at Horizon enables me to integrate being a feminist into my work. Whether this is educating an older male patient on how being transgender is not a trend and speaking to him about how Native Americans have been using the term “Two Spirit” as a third gender for a while, or encouraging my 10-year-old mixed female patient that her natural hair is perfect the way it is. It’s every time I talk with my female patients about advocating for themselves at their doctors’ offices. It’s teaching my teen boys what consent is or helping my young adult male pick a Valentine’s present for his first girlfriend. It’s giving speeches to high school and college students about how to become a counselor – because according to the APA, less than 20% of the US psychology workforce is a person of color (APA Data Tool). It’s these and all the moments in between that help me advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion here at Horizon and in my community. It’s why it’s important for me to be a part of the DEIB Council. It’s why I will always discuss what Juneteenth is with my patients. It’s why I show up to work every day being my authentic, genuine self. It’s why I’m a counselor, and it’s why I’m a feminist.”

Brittany Perla, Supervising QI Associate

Brittany Perla
“When I hear the word “advocacy,” I admittedly get a little anxious, being a more introverted person. I have tried to approach advocacy in ways that are still challenging, but also more comfortable to me. I think educating yourself is a great place to start and then sharing that info with those around you, both inside and outside of work. I think Horizon as a whole, and more specifically, my team, has helped me get more comfortable in sharing knowledge and encouraging others to take small positive steps related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. I feel that if you can shape the culture of a company, you can create further impact in the community, state, and even country. I have also always enjoyed volunteer work, which is another area I’ve been able to pursue inside and outside of work. Getting involved with your community can lead to so many benefits, including helping you identify potential areas you might be interested in doing further advocacy for. I think being an advocate can look however you want it to and should reflect your strengths and interests, as no action is too small as long as you’re doing something.”

Shacarah Henry, Clinical Supervisor at Boulevard Recovery Center

Shacarah Henry
“Advocacy means sharing your voice and allowing others to share their voice, leaving out judgment despite fear of opposition and being challenged. It means showing up authentically in conversations even when it is uncomfortable and scary. It’s sharing and creating spaces, not just with people who are similar, but also with those who are different. It’s being fully present in spaces to support and empower others to fight for change and live in their truth.”

Lindsay Stuart, Horizon University Operations Director

“Each of us has a unique contribution to foster a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We all have the right and ability to show up and stand up for these important values. Change can be challenging, and it can also take time. That’s why it’s so important to celebrate the wins (big or small), stay committed to the goals, and seek connection along the way.”

Amanda Madding, Senior Program Director at Hertel-Elmwood Recovery Center

Amanda Madding
“Being an advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion requires curiosity, humility, and vulnerability. Inclusive leaders are in a constant state of learning, actively doing the work to develop self-awareness while leaning into difficult conversations to learn from other’s experiences and perceptions. Advocates intentionally and persistently work to build psychologically safe environments, knowing with patience and consistency, safe environments foster diversity of thought, true connection, and allow everyone to feel seen. I make diversity and inclusion a personal priority as a supervisor, and also as a wife, mother and friend; using my privilege to challenge the status quo.”

This month, and all year-round, we’re incredibly grateful for the women of Horizon who inspire change in our workplace and community, continually working towards a more just, equitable world.
Learn more about our commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging here.