February 2018
Buy reservations now for March 11 Women of Achievement awards 

2018 Women of Achievement honorees are (seated) Wanda Taylor and Kamilla Barton, (standing) Cherisse Scott, Miriam DeCosta Willis, Rachel Sumner Haaga and Tami Sawyer.

Lois DeBerry

Seven outstanding leaders, barrier-breakers and changemakers will be cheered and honored on March 11 at the 34th annual Women of Achievement awards.

Don't miss the celebration of National Women's History Month as we also pay tribute to the legacy of action and social justice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in this season of MLK50.

The celebration will be at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis with a 2 p.m. tea party reception and 3 p.m. awards.
Deadline for reservations is March 8. To make reservations   -- $35 per person -- go to this MAWC page to use Paypal or   mail checks to 2574 Sam Cooper Blvd., Memphis 38112. Make checks out to Memphis Area Women's Council and put "WA" on the memo line.  

Celebrate women who rescue victims of sex trafficking and domestic violence, who push for reproductive justice and an end to racism, racist systems and images.  

Kamilla Barton, domestic violence advocate

Rachel Sumner Haaga, sex trafficking activist

Tami Sawyer, civil rights activist

Lois DeBerry,   Speaker Pro Tempore
Tennessee  House of  Representatives  

Wanda Taylor, addiction and homelessness advocate

Miriam DeCosta Willis, civil rights activist

Cherisse Scott, reproductive justice activist

Nominations for awards come from across the community. Selections are made by a diverse coalition of women and women's groups. Since the first celebration in 1985, 240 individual women plus the Yellow Fever martyrs and local suffragists have been honored at events that draw up to 500 people. A three-volume book series captures the biographical essays and photographs of the WA honorees. And new this year - all essays and images are on the website www.womenofachievement.org .  
A $60 donation includes the awards event, membership for WA for 2019 and inclusion in selection of 2019 honorees and other WA gatherings.

Victims & Trauma: community conversation & training, enlightened law enforcement, counselors & citizenry

The traumatizing impact of violence and how our community can respond to victims - that was the subject in late January at a pair of events organized by the Women's Council and the Memphis Sexual Assault Kit Task Force.

Dr. Nancy Hardt, a founder of the Women's Council and professor emerita of the University of Florida College of Medicine, drew nearly 60 to a community conversation where she described the ways community partners in Gainesville, Fla., have addressed critical issues sparked by violence and other traumas.  

Hardt said women who have experienced four or more of the traumas known now as adverse childhood experiences are 900% more   likely to experience rape and 500% more likely to become victims of domestic violence.

Mayor Jim Strickland opened the gathering with an update on progress made to test inventoried rape kits and proceed to investigate and prosecute cases based on DNA findings. So far, 83% of the more than 13,000 stored kits that needed additional testing have been tested, he said, with 15% still at labs and only 2% still needing additional testing.
At a full-day training session the following day, more than 100 professionals from several area jurisdictions heard about the neuroscience of violent trauma and how to adapt investigation and victim advocacy with that understanding. Presenters were Kelly Taylor, a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner and trainer from Fort Bragg, N.C., and Detective Sgt. Jim Markey, retired from Phoenix Police Department and now with Investigative Lead LLC.
Organizers appreciated the support of the Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance national sexual assault kit initiative in bringing Markey and Taylor to Memphis and to Sorenson Forensics for financial support.

Dr. Nancy Hardt

Memphis SAK Task Force "Lessons Learned" panel: Flo Gibbs and Nathali Roberts, Shelby County Crime Victim and Rape Crisis Center; Donna Nelson, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation;  Assistant District Attorney Abby Wallace; Deborah Clubb, Memphis Area Women's Council; Lt. David Sloan and Deputy Chief Don Crowe, Memphis Police Dept. 

Issue: 34
In T his Issue

Reserve your seats for Women of Achievement

Victims and Trauma educational event

WOMENTALK returns 
April 9th

WA honorees create art at Ballet Memphis

About MAWC


We cannot do this work without your support. 

on April 9 --
Sexual Assault Awareness month

The April gathering of WomenTalk will highlight sexual assault awareness as we come together to share what we know about sexual harassment in Memphis, what is happening and what is needed to help victims/survivors.  
To be truly successful, the enormous national conversation and momentum - from #MeToo to #TimesUp and more - must generate awareness and help for local women and men who are hurt and hurting. It's up to us.
Please join the conversation, share a beverage and a snack - 5:30 to 7 p.m., 2574 Sam Cooper Blvd., 38112.

WA honorees create art this weekend 

Ballet Memphis, the creation of 1987 Woman of Achievement for Initiative Dorothy Gunther Pugh, presents a special weekend program. An official MLK50 event comprised of four short works created, as Dorothy says, "to give voice to the voiceless." 

Here's how BM describes 'I AM': 

"Four short works --
I Am a Child, I Am a Woman, I Am a Man  and  I Am -- commissioned by Ballet Memphis for our dancers in 2015 and performed together in one powerful show that  . . . elevates the idea that dignity and kindness must ultimately speak louder than the times around us. 

We will kick off the weekend with a free I Am pre-show conversation between visual artist and musician Lawrence Matthews and playwright/actress/author Ruby O'Gray (2017 Woman of Achievement for Vision). They will talk about the diverse methods artists use to create change in the community, and the differences in approach from activists during the Civil Rights era and today. University of Memphis Art Department Chair and artist Richard Lou will moderate and integrate how change agent creatives are a vital part to every movement.

This very special edition of our free spark! conversation series will take place after the opening night performance of our I Am show."

Tickets are just $15, all ages welcome. Cash bar available before and after the performance. 

Friday, Mar 2, 7:30p
Saturday, Mar 3, 7:30p
Sunday, Mar 4, 2p

About Memphis Area Women's Council 

The Memphis Area Women's Council is a non-profit dedicated to advocacy to assure equity and opportunity for local women and girls. Our goal is strategic changes in policy, procedure, law and regulations that remove barriers, eliminate sexism and assure equal access. 

For more information or to donate go to  memphiswomen.org
or contact Deborah Clubb at 
901-378-3866 or