You are here

White House Cabinet Spouses Join 'Women Build' Project

White House Cabinet Spouses Join ‘Women Build’ Project

WASHINGTON, Sept. 24, 2002–Spouses of White House senior staff members and Cabinet-level officials, including Stephanie Glakas-Tenet, Alma Powell, Kitty Martinez and Kathleene Card, will be responding to President Bush’s call to volunteer service by participating together in Habitat for Humanity International’s Women Building A Legacy program on Sept. 24 in Annapolis, Md. The spouses will be building two homes in Annapolis alongside Habitat for Humanity co-founder Linda Fuller and the two mothers whose families will live in the houses once they are completed.

“I’m happy to be among the volunteers answering the President’s USA Freedom Corps call to service,” said Alma Powell, wife of Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell. “Habitat for Humanity’s Women Building A Legacy program offers women the opportunity to take an active role in the important work of providing healthy homes for children by addressing the need for affordable housing in America’s communities.”

Habitat for Humanity invites people of all backgrounds, races and faiths to build homes in partnership with families in need. Habitat for Humanity’s Women Building A Legacy program empowers women from all walks of life to actively address the problem of children in poverty housing.

“Women Building A Legacy gives women the opportunity to learn construction in a supportive environment, enabling us to build a legacy of better housing for our nation’s children and a legacy of volunteer service for our own children,” said Stephanie Glakas-Tenet, wife of CIA Director George Tenet. “I encourage all community-minded individuals, businesses and houses of worship to join this effort.”

“I am proud to partner with Habitat for Humanity’s Women Building A Legacy program and help represent the spouses of this administration in response to the President’s call to expand homeownership opportunities for all Americans,” said Kitty Martinez, wife of Mel Martinez, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. “We must find creative ways to break down barriers to homeownership for millions of women-headed households, minority and lower-income families and other groups significantly lagging behind the average national homeownership rate.”

More than 60 percent of Habitat for Humanity homes in the United States are headed by single women. Julia Colwell and Sylvie Bazan, the Women Building A Legacy homeowners in Annapolis, Md., are single mothers who look forward to moving their children into brand-new Habitat houses. Julia Colwell’s small apartment, where she lives with her 11-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter, is so cramped that she must share a bedroom with her children. Her soon-to-be next-door neighbor, Sylvie Bazan, will be leaving behind a leaky, dilapidated trailer when her Habitat house is completed. Eager to have a home of their own, Bazan’s 15-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter began packing boxes for the move before their home’s foundation had even been poured.

Royal Neighbors of America is the Women Building A Legacy National Program Sponsor. General Motors- along with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, two of the charter members of the Homeownership Alliance-are the house sponsors for the two Annapolis homes that will be under construction on Sept. 24. Funding is still being sought to support Habitat for Humanity’s other Women Building A Legacy projects across the country.

For more information about Habitat for Humanity International, logon to our Web site at Visit the new Women Build Web site at to locate an upcoming Women Building A Legacy project or to make a donation.

Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Founded by Millard Fuller, along with his wife, Linda, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates in more than 3,000 communities in 83 nations have built and sold more than 125,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.