Issue 54
March 2020
2020 Women of Achievement Postponed Due to Health Concerns
With concern for supporters and honorees, organizers of the Women of Achievement awards will postpone the reception on March 29 and reschedule as soon as possible later in the year.

We meanwhile wish many congratulations to the 2020 honorees and urge everyone to honor them and other great women during this National Women's History Month.

Read 35 years of WA essays honoring 257 women and two groups or tour the new Memphis Women's Legacy Trail from the safety of your personal car.

Most of all - stay safe and well.
Bus Ads Roll with New Memphis Says NO MORE Faces, Messages
As we note national NO MORE Week, a new series of bus signs featuring local champions, speaking particularly to men, teens and youth and our Spanish speaking residents, is rolling on Memphis streets.

The messages from Memphis Says NO MORE also will speak specifically against verbal abuse, a scourge that needs more attention and more action.

Our champions this time are teen leader Christian Fuentes, Rev. Keith Norman and county Magistrate Shayla Purifoy.

Our messaging includes phrases in Spanish as we continue to declare:

Memphis Says NO MORE Not My Problem

Memphis Says NO MORE Why Didn’t She Leave?

Memphis Says NO MORE She Asked for It

These buses will travel the city for at least five months – continuing the effort to change attitudes, break silence and connect survivors to help and resources.

The Memphis Says NO MORE website offers a complete resource list as well as videos and narratives by survivors and campaign champions. There also is a link to the new #NOMOREVerbalAbuse toolkit from the national NO MORE organization.

Sexual abuse survivor and activist Devin Dearmore spoke at the press conference announcing the new signage. Recounting frightening harassment and abuse she endured in a local high school, she said, “I am so proud to see this messaging presented in the hope that survivors and allies alike may see them and remember that it takes a village to tackle this issue…When I see these buses, I see words that I did not see for a long time: ‘we believe you’ and this is NOT normal."

MSNM coordinator Deborah Clubb said, “We are helping our community change attitudes and behavior toward these crimes, those who are hurt and those who batter and rape. “Silence perpetuates these crimes. It happens so often that violence becomes normal and accepted.”

Memphis Says NO MORE aims to help people recognize signs of abuse and feel comfortable discussing it openly so each of us can become equipped to help any who need help.

In June 2015 the Memphis Sexual Assault Kit Taskforce and the Memphis Area Women’s Council launched the local NO MORE campaign to unite our community in the effort to end domestic violence and sexual assault.

Four star players from the Memphis Grizzlies - Tony Allen, Mike Conley, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph - joined the effort in 2016 on MATA buses and on posters all around the city, in the airport, police stations, restaurants and more.

Contact us for posters, cards, buttons and stickers – all which guide users to the MSNM website.

Contact us also for presentations at schools or workplaces. We have trained hundreds of managers, supervisors and business owners how to respond when domestic violence impacts employees or colleagues. We have spoken out on consent and disclosure around sexual assault – to help our young people make better choices. We would love to train hundreds more!
WA 2020 celebrates 5
changemakers and the women who saved Overton Park
Five local women plus those who led Citizens to Preserve Overton Park will be celebrated as the 2020 Women of Achievement honorees.

This year’s awards celebrate women who stand up and speak out – to preserve precious parkland, to assist homeless women, to reduce pharmacy costs with new technology, to protect women’s rights, to engage youth as changemakers and to discover and tell women’s stories. They are:
Determination : Mahal Burr
BRIDGES community action coordinator, social change activist
Heritage : Citizens to Preserve Overton Park
Women who sustained the historic campaign to stop Interstate 40 from cutting thru the park   
Heroism : Sandra Ferrell
Lisieux Community founder, advocate for homeless women and prostitutes
Initiative : Ayile’ Arnett
Nonprofit entrepreneur and health care innovator
Steadfastness : Beverly Marrero
Former state senator, women’s advocate and reproductive rights warrior
Vision : Judy Card
Storyteller, librarian, community activist; co-founder and past president of Women of Achievement, organizer Women in the Community

The celebration will be held at a date to be determined.
Women, Whiskey and Chocolate—Networking and Fun!
More than 120 women and several “woke” men joined Memphis’ own master distiller and a powerful survivor of violence for a party in support of women’s advocacy at ANF Architects earlier this year.

Alex Castle, master distiller at Old Dominick, and her crew served whiskey at their station, one of four that greeted guests at the Women, Whiskey and Chocolate party on Jan. 30. Other tables featured George Dickel. Riverset Rye, Blue Note Bourbon and Buffalo Trace Bourbon. Chocolates included Dinstuhl’s Fine Candies and two flavors from Phillip Ashley Chocolates plus various international dark varieties.

An emotional highlight of the evening came during remarks by survivor of gender violence Lia Roemer (pictured above) who described her journey from abuse to finding her voice in partnership with the Women’s Council.

The Women’s Council is grateful to donors and sponsors including ANF Architects, Athens Distributing, David Wayne Brown, Old Dominick Distillery, Curt Parker, Spirits of Timber Creek, Catherine Turner and West Tennessee Crown Distributing, Special thanks to board members Bettye Boone, Carol Danehower, Erma Elzy, Cathy Meredith and Shayla Purifoy.

We are also grateful to all who attended the event and who support the Council financially.
Your support makes possible the ongoing work to connect women and girls to safety, to change community attitudes and break silence.

click here to support the Women's Council today