Each year the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women partners with state legislators to identify women who make outstanding contributions to their organizations and communities.

As noted on the Commission's website, the Unsung Heroines are women who don’t always make the news, but truly make the difference. They are the women who use their time, talent, and enthusiasm to enrich the lives of others and make a difference in their neighborhoods, cities, and towns.

The Class of ’18, more than 130 strong, includes 4 women from the Berkshires: Gwendolyn VanSant of Great Barrington, Sabrina Tan of Lee, Pauline Wheeler of Hinsdale, and Judy Grinnell of North Adams.

Iberkshires.com reports that VanSant was nominated for this recognition by State Sen. Adam Hinds, because of her “leadership in the Berkshires on matters of diversity, cultural competence and coalition building for justice and equity”. VanSant is the CEO and co-founding director of Multicultural BRIDGE. Among her many accomplishments, she was co-curator and co-designer of the Du Bois 150th birthday festival commissioned by the Town of Great Barrington.

A statehouse ceremony was held this week to honor the Unsung Heroines.The MCSW is a state-established body charged with reviewing the status of women in Massachusetts and offering recommendations regarding policy that would improve access to opportunities and equality.