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If you think you have an interesting "Today's Woman" topic, you can contact Candice Madsen at The Utah Women's Alliance for Building Community honored two women Tuesday night who are making significant contributions to building community in Utah.

You probably haven't heard of Linda Hilton or Elaine Pace, but there is a good chance their work has impacted your community. The women lead two well-known non-profits in the state: the Girl Scouts of Utah and the Coalition of Religious Communities.

The Girl Scouts have been thriving in Utah since 1920. Obviously, times have changed. CEO Elaine Pace says the shift she sees occurring now is women realizing they don't have to act like men to be equal.

"I think the shift is women recognizing who they are and what they bring to the table, as opposed to 20 years ago when those of us in leadership believed we needed to behave like men," she said.

She sees compassion and collaboration as the key.

"We need to acknowledge our voice as women, that it is unique, that it is different from men. Not better, not worse, but different, and deserves to be raised equally," Pace said.

Pace worked in politics for years before deciding to go back to school to get a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard.

She grew up as a Girl Scout and says her work now is a tribute to her mother.

"My mom was my troop leader and an amazing woman. She died when I was 14. So the work that I do every day honors her," she said.

Linda Hilton is director of the Coalition of Religious Communities. Her goal is to bring together people of all faiths to advocate for social change.

"One city that I'll be visiting soon, it is a coalition meeting. It is LDS, Assembly of God and Methodist," she told us.

She says while there are many issues people argue over in the name of religion, there are just as many that people agree on.

"When it comes right down to it, everybody believes in people's right to have food, clothing, health care, affordable housing and just basic human dignity," Hilton said.

For their efforts, the UWABC presented Pace and Hilton with carved sandstones--a symbol that people of heart draw from where they are and use what's around them to bring together communities.

Ashley Bunk, with the UWABC, said, "They go above and beyond their duties to take time to build bridges or take time to network with other people in order to strengthen the community."

The UWABC also honored The Utah Society for Environmental Education for their work in building environmental consciousness.


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