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Darton Dean provides advice at women's forum

Caroline Fielding, dean of the Darton College Cordele Center told attendees at a meeting of the Darton College Professional Women’s Forum “we can become anything we want to be.”

Caroline Fielding, dean of the Darton College Cordele Center told attendees at a meeting of the Darton College Professional Women’s Forum “we can become anything we want to be.”

ALBANY -- Caroline Fielding, dean of Darton College's Cordele Center, said women "create our own destinies and we can become anything we want to be" during the Darton College Professional Women's forum Wednesday.

"From Tear Gas To Sweet Tea, One Woman's Journey" was the title of an address to those attending.

"The overriding message I have for you today," Fielding began, "is that we create our own destinies and we can become anything we want to be."

In California, where she was raised, Fielding said she would probably not be thought of as a feminist, though in Georgia she probably would, if for no other reason than her "astonishment" the nation failed to pass the Equal Rights Amendment in 1972.

"The amendment stated that the equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on the account of sex. Isn't that radical?" Fielding said. "How can we live in a society that won't say it doesn't matter what sex you are?"

Fielding said women in the workplace earn only 77 cents for "every dollar a man earns."

Fielding offered bits of advice to women at the event, sharing with the group snippets of her life from her childhood and her days at the University of California, Berkeley, through her six years as a resident of the Caribbean and her move to Southwest Georgia to work with Darton College.

According to Fielding, education should be the top priority because of various opportunities it provides and the "doors" that can be opened.

"At Berkeley they taught me how to think," Fielding said. "and how to look at something not from just my point of view."

Fielding said it was also important to join a civic or professional organization for the networking opportunities and to become better as a leader and as a speaker.

Before coming to southwest Georgia, Fielding was invited to join the Rotary Club, she said, because a friend had told her "civic leaders are Rotarians." Fielding named several other groups, including Lions, Kiwanis and Junior League which would be "helpful" in advancing a professional life.