Flint Women’s Forum Pays It Forward with Statue Honoring Rosies of the Past

Rosie the Riveter and Real-Life Hero Amber Taylor

Occasionally you have a chance to met hometown heroes who go above and beyond serving their community. Often these individuals realize the small things matter as much as the bigger things. Over the years, Amber Taylor has demonstrated levels of commitment to her career, family, and community, all with a focus on serving others. Her dedication and commitment cannot go unnoticed. 

Amber Taylor knew she always wanted to give back to her community, whether it was picking up trash, volunteering or donating to a local food bank; helping others is in her nature. But deeper down, there was another ambition; Amber wanted to be a CEO or Director of a nonprofit to use her energy to help others in her community.

Amber’s dream came full circle a year ago when she was named President of the Flint Women’s Forum. The forum was established in 1981 to help women network and bring them together. Besides networking, the forum’s goal is to motivate and inspire women in their professional and personal lives. Currently, over 50 members gather monthly, usually with a special speaker who has overcome various obstacles and can offer sound advice to the businesswomen in Genesee County. This forum is also where professional women are empowered to ask questions and get positive and helpful responses.

“With the Flint Women’s Forum, you get a circle of influencers in your life,” said Amber. Their current goal includes getting a statue of Rosie the Riveter displayed at Flint Bishop International Airport. To make this happen, Amber partnered with Back to the Bricks and is coming tantalizingly close to reaching that goal.

Before COVID-19 hit, the Rosie statue project was fully funded, until her donor had to pull out due to the virus. With the project in limbo, and fundraising was almost impossible during a worldwide pandemic, Amber decided to take a moment for herself and go for a run while attempting to process everything.

During that run, Amber felt inspired to hold a Rosie the Riveter Virtual 5k to raise funds to commemorate this iconic symbol of a woman’s unique work ethic.

“I used COVID to get people outside and enjoy nature. I thought it was the perfect opportunity since people were probably getting stir crazy inside their houses,” said Amber. “I called a few businesses about the donation, and I ended up getting 18 businesses to sponsor us. This was all in a pandemic.”

The Flint’s Women Forum was 100% behind the virtual 5k idea and let Amber roll with it. The event took place in late June and was a hit with the community. With the help of donations, Amber is almost to her goal for the Rosie the Riveter statue, which she feels is an essential addition to Genesee County.

“There are statues of men everywhere around us, but no women. Women worked in this county, and they worked in the plants. During WWII, they were building tanks,” she said. “2,500 local women started a movement by working. This wasn’t something they were known for; they were known for being barefoot in the kitchen.”

Amber is passionate to show the community how much the Rosies of the past paved the way for women’s futures. She is proud of the women who created opportunities for other women today and helped set the bar we now see.

Besides running a successful women’s forum, Amber also is the Executive Director of Back to the Bricks, currently in its 16th year of classic car shows that inject over $50 million into the local community. Although we are amid a pandemic, Amber won’t stop the history of Back to the Bricks.

“We are having 500 cars do a visual scavenger hunt,” said Amber. “Participants will be able to go on a path and see some amazing and historical sites around the area. All the proceeds will go to the Whaley Children’s Center.”

If you are looking to get involved in the community, Amber advises “Check-in with the Chamber of Commerce; they help connect people.” When we all do our little part, we can make our community better. If you are looking inspiring heroes, you can look to classics like Rosie the Riveter, or real-life heroes living in Michigan, like Amber Taylor.

You can learn more about Rosie the Riveter or donate to the statue at its GoFundMe page.http://flintwomensforum.org/rosie/?fbclid=IwAR1nxc_krjw8NwMObgKFiIBSVwGID98sO89AFXOBEnVZevspiZ_PprzNabY

Kudos Volume 6.2 By Tami Benedict