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Juliet Bernstein is Mercy Otis Warren Cape Cod Woman of the Year 2019

Cape Cod Woman of the YearFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: May 15, 2019

The Mercy Otis Warren Cape Cod Woman of the Year Selection Committee in partnership with the Barnstable County Commissioners is proud to announce that the winner of the 18th Annual Mercy Otis Warren Cape Cod Woman of the Year Award is Juliet Bernstein of Chatham.

ABOUT THE RECIPIENT: Juliet Bernstein, a resident of Chatham, was nominated by Lee Roscoe of Brewster. In her nomination, Ms. Roscoe described Juliet Bernstein as a life-long peace activist and since she is 105 years young, that is a long time! Born in 1913, she recalls accompanying her mother in a horse drawn carriage to the polls in the early days of women’s voting rights. Encouraged by her mother’s progressive thinking, she earned a bachelor’s degree at Brooklyn College and a master’s degree from Columbia University Teacher’s College. She was a teacher in the New York public schools for many years.

Mrs. Bernstein coordinated the Cape Cod Chapter of Fellowship of Reconciliation (F.O.R), an international peace and justice group and wrote its newsletter until she was 100 years old. She brought internationally important speakers to F.O.R events, helped initiate the Olive Branch Award for outstanding activism in peace and justice and started the F.O.R. peace poetry contest at Nauset Regional Middle School. She served as president of the local League of Women Voters Cape Cod Chapter. Mrs. Bernstein also has fought for teacher’s rights in strikes, pushed resolutions to make Cape Cod towns “nuclear free zones” and advocated successfully for women’s right to participate in the Chatham Town Band. In 1993, the Cape Cod Chapter of the NAACP awarded her the Unsung Hero Award in “recognition of her unyielding dedication to human rights…”

Former Mercy Otis Warren Cape Cod Woman of the Year (2008) Josephine Ives called her “the social conscience of the Town… but (noted that she) is kind to everyone, even those who are dead set against what she is advocating.” Nominator Lee Roscoe noted that she is “the very essence of Mercy Otis Warren, a woman who is a true patriot, tirelessly working to improve her nation and her community, to forward equality, civil rights, peace and justice for all throughout her entire life”.

The Mercy Otis Warren Cape Cod Woman of the Year Selection Committee was fortunate to have received nominations of many stellar candidates from all over the Cape, some who have been nominated before and some who should be nominated again. Because of the quality of nominees, the choice was difficult but in the end, the Committee proudly and unanimously chose Juliet Bernstein as this year’s Mercy Otis Warren Cape Cod Woman of the Year.

Juliet Bernstein’s name was placed into nomination by the Barnstable County Commissioners and was approved on May 15, 2019.

ABOUT MERCY OTIS WARREN: Mercy Otis Warren, born in West Barnstable in 1728, was a playwright, a historian, a pioneer in women’s causes, a champion of liberty, an advocate of the Bill of Rights and a patriot. In an era where it was unusual for woman to be educated, much less to emerge as a leader, her advocacy for the cause of patriotism and a central role in the Revolution was remarkable.

ABOUT THE AWARD: The Mercy Otis Warren Cape Cod Woman of the Year Award was established in 2002 to annually recognize a woman who exemplifies the traits of leadership in the community and has made significant contribution to the arts, education, business, community involvement and/or volunteerism while embracing the ideals of patriotism. Past recipients have been: Marion Vuilleumier (2002), Jean Gardner (2003), Eugenia Fortes (2004), Felicia Penn (2005), Bonnie Snow (2006), Lynne Poyant (2007), Josephine Ives (2008), Mary LeClair (2009), Gloria Rudman (2010), Susan French (2011), Judy Walden Scarafile (2012), Dorothy Savarese (2013), Mary Lou Petitt (2014), Michelle DeSilva (2015), Ann Williams (2016), Dolores DaLuz (2017), and Nancy Viall Shoemaker (2018).

ABOUT THE CELEBRATION: On Wednesday, June 5 at 7 pm, Juliet Bernstein will be presented the Award by last year’s recipient Nancy Viall Shoemaker at Tales of Cape Cod, Olde Colonial Courthouse, 3046 Main Street, Barnstable Village. As part of the program, Caroline Smith, fifth grade, Bourne Middle School, will read her winning essay in the second annual Mercy Otis Warren Freedom of Expression Essay Contest. Matt Pitta will be the Master of Ceremonies. The Award is a bronze statuette sculpted by Marstons Mills artist David Lewis. It is a replica of the statue of Mercy Otis Warren located on the Superior Court House lawn in Barnstable Village. Juliet Bernstein will also be invited to participate in the Barnstable West Barnstable Parade at 9 am and at the Hyannis Independence Day Parade at 4 pm on July 4, 2019.
The Committee thanks our sponsors: Cape Cod Five Savings Bank, Barnstable County, Tales of Cape Cod, Barnstable Village Association, West Barnstable Civic Association, Cape Cod Media Group and the Cape Cod Writers Guild.

MEDIA CONTACT: Judy Walden Scarafile, Chair, 508-362-4467