We hope you will join us on

March 24, 2019

for our 35th Women of Achievement awards reception.

Standing, left to right: Cherisse Scott, Miriam DeCosta Willis, Rachel Sumner Haaga, Tami Sawyer. Seated, left to right: Wanda Taylor, Kamillia Barton
Lois DeBerry

Seven local women were celebrated on March 11, 2018 for change-making leadership across Memphis and Shelby County as Women of Achievement also pays tribute to all past honorees whose work emulated the issues and courage of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Here are this year’s awardees:

Courage – Kamillia Barton, domestic violence advocate
Determination – Rachel Sumner Haaga, sex trafficking activist
Heroism – Tami Sawyer, civil rights activist
Heritage – Lois DeBerry,  Speaker Pro Tem, Tennessee House of Representatives
Initiative – Wanda Taylor, addiction and homelessness advocate
Steadfastness – Miriam DeCosta Willis, civil rights activist
Vision – Cherisse Scott, reproductive justice activist

Eight local women were celebrated on March 26, 2017 for change-making leadership across Memphis and Shelby County. The celebration was at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis. Co-hosts were Adrienne Bailey, retired CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters and Emily Ballew Neff, director of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.

We celebrated women who broke barriers for female artists, who stage a festival showcasing women in theater, who fight for reproductive rights, who speak out about surviving violence, who house the homeless, who create services for Latina victims of partner violence and whose ongoing leadership sustains women’s organizations.

The Women of Achievement honorees for 2017 were:
Courage – Rev. Lisa Anderson
Determination – Ines Negrette
Heroism – Rebecca Terrell
Heritage – Mary Magdalene Solari
Initiative – Kamekio Lewis
Steadfastness – Joyce Springfield-Collins
Vision – Ruby O’Gray and Karen Moore

The 32nd annual award ceremony celebrating National Women’s History Month and honoring eight women from the Memphis area for community leadership and change-making was held at the Holiday Inn-University of Memphis on March 13, 2016.

The event was hosted by prior honorees Summer Owens and Africa Gonzalez-McCloy. Presenters were 1997 Heroism honoree Sheila White Parrish, retired Justice Janice Holder, boxer Teagan “Tiny Turbo” Reed, past WA president Pam Routh, Dr. Zandria Robinson of Rhodes College, Bridges USA teen leaders Becca Folkes-Lallo and Eritrea Temesghen and Nora Tucker, manager of the Blues Hall of Fame.

The Women of Achievement honorees for 2016 were:
Courage – Ashley Coffield
Determination – Claudia Haltom
Heroism – Leah Walton
Heritage – Lil Hardin Armstrong and Alberta Hunter
Initiative – Bennie Nelson West
Steadfastness – Dorothy Kirsch
Vision – Linda Sessoms

The 31st annual award event commemorating National Women’s History Month was held on March 22, 2015 at the Holiday Inn-University of Memphis.

Storyteller Elaine Blanchard, a 2014 WA honoree, and Beverly Robertson, recently retired president of the National Civil Rights Museum, served as hosts for the event.

The Women of Achievement honorees for 2015 were:
Courage — Amerah Shabazz-Bridges
Determination — Shelia Williams
Heritage — Emma Wilburn
Heroism — Dr. Owen Phillips
Initiative — Nadia Matthews
Steadfastness — Barbara C. King
Vision — Bettye Boone

The 30th annual award ceremony was held on Sunday, March 30, 2014.

The Women of Achievement honorees for 2014 were:
Courage — Cristina Condori
Determination — Margot McNeeley
Heritage — Bessie Vance Brooks*
Heroism — Meaghan Ybos
Initiative — Gayle Rose
Steadfastness — Martha Ellen Maxwell
Vision — Elaine Blanchard