March 2014
Employer conference set for April 11: understand risks, learn best responses 

At a conference in April, local experts in risk, security, law, human resources and domestic violence will help local employers understand and prepare for the impact of domestic violence in the workplace.
Presenters include Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell; Dr. Carol Danehower, associate professor of management, Fogelman College of Business, University of Memphis;  attorney Bruce Kramer; First Horizon senior vice president and manager of corporate security Sheila Bramlitt; Candace Morgan of Verizon Wireless; Memphis Police Col. Mike Ryall; BCBST security and safety manager David Lafontaine; Hilton Hotels human resources manager Patricia Thompson and Susan Picart, Methodist Healthcare EAP counselor.

Registration is open now online for the April 11 conference:   "Violence at Home. Victims at Work. Employers Confront Domestic Violence." 
Organized by the Memphis Area Women's Council, the conference is designed for business owners and employers, human resource and security professionals.  The conference will be held downtown at the Urban Child Institute, 600 Jefferson, starting with breakfast at 7:30 and sessions from 8 a.m. to noon.

"Employers who tune in to this violence and its potential are worried about employee safety and protection, insurance costs, OSHA fines, liability, productivity, morale and cultural problems," said Deborah Clubb, executive director of the Women's Council.   "We equip employers to 'recognize, respond and refer' when colleagues and employees struggle with violent relationships. We demonstrate how to listen without judging, how to offer support and information appropriately and without pressure, and how to adjust your workplace culture to be pro-active around this issue whether your enterprise is four persons or 4,000."

Panelists will give real-life examples of how local companies have responded through human resource and security steps.
The conference "tool kit" will include awareness materials for use in the workplace and resource guide.
"Memphis and Shelby County employers can play a crucial part in helping people hurt by this intimate family violence," said Danehower, co-chair of the Women's Council board and co-creator of the "Violence at Home" campaign. "Take time to learn how. Be prepared to save a life."
Sponsors of the conference include Memphis Area Women's Council; Verizon Wireless; HRO Partners; University of Memphis Society of Human Resource Management student chapter; Splash Creative and United Way of the Mid-South. 


Local attorney, national organization join rape kit backlog effort

Encouraging steps in recent days bode well for our city's response to the 12,164 rape kits stored by the Memphis Police Department.  Former U.S. Atty. Veronica Coleman-Davis has taken charge of an assessment of the city's rape kit backlog situation, policies and procedures at the request of Mayor AC Wharton. The mayor also asked for advice and guidance from the Joyful Heart Foundation, a 10-year-old national non-profit that specializes in helping communities eliminate backlogs in a victim-centered approach that includes input from local advocates. Joyful Heart experts were here for two days of meetings with city officials and advocates.
As committed community advocates, the Memphis Area Women's Council is working every day to keep local women's voices heard as officials and political leaders look for ways to fix the backlog - sometimes with ideas that are too hasty and too focused on testing kits and "being done." Getting all kits to the lab is only one step, as Mayor Wharton and JHF's Sarah Tofte said in an op-ed in The Commercial Appeal. "The real work begins when results from testing come back," they wrote.
As we told the City Council in August when the backlog was first made public and in The Commercial Appeal article, the Women's Council will be steadfast in working with city officials, police, prosecutors and others to assure that adequate resources and advocacy are provided to help survivors engage during the process and to properly fund personnel to investigate and prosecute cases.
The mayor and Ms. Tofte wrote: "Only when every kit is tested, every lead examined, every victim notified and supported, and the last case tried will the backlog truly be ended." Amen.
The Memphis Area Women's Council participated in "Women's Day on the Hill" on Feb. 26, joining other women from across the state in Nashville to educate legislators on crucial bills including several related to rape kit backlogs and the statute of limitations on rape. Watch for our Action Alerts so that you can add your voice at strategic times this winter.

Clubb selected for Wharton Women's Rights Award  
Women's Council executive director, Deborah Clubb, was presented the 2014 Ruby Wharton award for Women's Rights recently by Memphis Mayor AC Wharton Jr.

Deborah Clubb, in lavendar, receives her award.
Photo copyright Commercial Appeal 2014
The mayor hosted his 12th annual celebration honoring local women who have made exceptional contributions to the Greater Memphis community with awards named in honor of his wife, attorney Ruby Wharton. Deborah was saluted for her leadership in founding and continuing to foster Women of Achievement, which has for 30 years honored local women for their community change work during March National Women's History Month, and for her activism for women with the Memphis Area Women's Council.
Other 2014 honorees were  Meri Armour, Henri Brooks, Rosalva King,  Carolyn Chism Hardy, TaJuan Stout Mitchell, Gale Jones Carson, Madison Dismuke, and Lindsey Dismuke.  The presentations were made in City Council Chambers during the mayor's Tea and Talk at the Top.

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
visit or contact Deborah Clubb at 901-378-3866 or

Donate to us:

Memphis Area Women's Council

2574 Sam Cooper Blvd.

Memphis, TN 38112


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Issue: 13
In This Issue
Employer Conference set for April 11
Encouraging steps in rape kit backlog effort
Clubb Receives Award
30th Women of Achievement Awards
March 13 WomenTalk
30th Women of Achievement Awards on March 30th 


Local women who speak out about the violence of rape and for immigration reform, who lead movements to protect our environment, promote the arts and grow businesses will be saluted on March 30 at the 2014 Women of Achievement awards celebration.
For the 30th time, Women of Achievement will host the community's singular celebration of National Women's History Month. The 30th anniversary will see the debut of the third volume of WA essays, adding to the compilation of stories documenting the lives of remarkable local women.  Women of Achievement has captured the history of 218 individual women and two groups since its founding in 1984.
Reservations for the event are $30 and can be made online.
It will be held at the Holiday Inn-University of Memphis. Guests are invited to a book-signing reception at 4 p.m., featuring honorees from past years, with 2014 awards to be presented at 5 p.m.

The 2014 honorees are:

Courage, for a woman who, facing active opposition, backed an unpopular cause in which she deeply believed - Cristina  Condori, Argentine immigrant and activist on immigrant rights and reform

Determination, for a woman who solved a glaring problem despite widespread inertia, apathy or ignorance around her - Margot McNeeley, founded Project Green Fork in 2008 to help homegrown restaurants reduce environmental impacts.

Heritage, for a woman of generations past whose achievements still enrich our lives - Bessie Vance Brooks, founder of the Brooks Museum of Art

Heroism, for a woman whose heroic spirit was tested and shown as a model to all in Shelby County and beyond - Meaghan Ybos, rape survivor and outspoken advocate for reforms in investigation, prosecution and services to rape victims

Initiative, for a woman who seized the opportunity to use her talents and created her own future - Gayle Rose, philanthropist, business founder, civic innovator

Steadfastness, for a lifetime of achievement - Martha Ellen Maxwell, promoter and director of fine arts agencies and longtime leader of Memphis in May International Festival

Vision, for a woman whose sensitivity to women's needs led her to tremendous achievements for women - Elaine Blanchard, storyteller, actor and writer who uses art to create community and connect people with a creative process. 

The awards program is organized by Women of Achievement Inc., a diverse coalition of community groups and individuals founded in 1984 to celebrate and document women's contributions to community change. Nominations for awards come from across the community.

For a complete list of honorees or further information about Women of Achievement, visit our website or contact Deborah Clubb, president, at or 901-378-3866.

Upcoming WomenTalk 


Thursday March 13 
 5:30 to 7 p.m.,
Memphis Area Women's Council
2574 Sam Cooper Blvd.
 (at corner of  Bingham inside
Splash Creative)
Women's voices are powerful when united. We make things happen. We change how things are done.

Bring whatever is on your mind - Drop by, share a beverage and WomenTalk!