2009 Award Winners
theme – promoting solutions to improve the lives of women, girls and people of color
Women of Achievement Awards are recognized nationally. They increase awareness and appreciation of the diverse contributions of women. YWCA Northern Rhode Island is pleased to announce the Women of Achievement award Winners for 2009, fourteen local women promoting solutions to improve the lives of women, girls and people of color.
ELIMINATING RACISM: Clarice L. Thompson is a musicologist, music educator, composer and entertainer. She is founder and executive/artistic director at RPM Voices RI; visiting lecturer of Africana Studies at Brown University; music director and artist at Rites and Reason Theatre; and artist-in-resident at the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School and the Providence Black Repertory Company.
EMPOWERING WOMEN: Shanna Wells is director of the Rhode Island Commission on Women and works toward parity for women. Most notable of her efforts have been in the areas of women and girls in non-traditional trades, pay equity, comparable worth and women’s financial planning.
EMPOWERING WOMEN: Margaret “Digit” Murphy is head women’s hockey coach at Brown University. Through two decades of coaching, she has impacted the lives of hundreds of young women. She is one of the winningest coaches in NCAA history (a career record of 313-200-49) and the first female to reach 300 wins.
INCREASING WOMEN’S INCOME: Donna Walsh is a State Representative and leading pay equity advocate in Rhode Island. She encourages women to run for public office – participating in state, national and local forums.
INCREASING WOMEN’S INCOME: Lisa Bergeron is president of Leading Women SENE. She conducts seminars and workshops to prepare women for the business world. Bergeron is a motivational speaker.
INCREASING ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE: Yvonne Freeman works at Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island as a medical management team lead. She educates young women on healthcare issues and advocates for prenatal care. Freeman empowers young women facilitating discussions on positive life decisions: goal setting, self esteem building, developing healthy relationships, safe sexual health, being responsible and exercising community leadership. ” . . . be the keeper of women’s issues.” – Yvonne Freeman.
SUPPORTING ANTI-VIOLENCE POLICIES/PROGRAMS: Paige Clausius-Parks is an advisor and teacher at The Met Center. She developed/executed staff training on interrupting oppression and also created a Response to Hate Crimes protocol.
SUPPORTING ANTI-VIOLENCE POLICIES/PROGRAMS: Kathleen A. Taylor is co-chair for the Healthy Families Initiative at the Rhode Island Council for Muslim Advancement. She is founder of this grassroots movement offering intervention/prevention services to Muslims experiencing domestic violence.
PROMOTING PEACE: Nancy Rafi is executive director of Rhode Island Crisis Assistance Center. She is founder/president at Rafi Productions and co-creator of the Silent Witness project in Rhode Island.
PROMOTING DIGNITY: Mary-Kim Arnold is the executive director of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities. She works to promote the public humanities so that all Rhode Islanders can explore and discuss respectfully how the past impacts current times in an effort to influence the future.
PROMOTING DIGNITY: Valerie Tutson is a storyteller and executive director of the Rhode Island Black Storytellers. She builds community through stories.
HELPING HANDS: A special presentation will be made to Karen Feldman, co-director of Young Voices. Feldman has more than 20 years of experience in the field of youth leadership development. She extends this expertise to YWCA Northern Rhode Islandâ€™s Parenting in Progress program, an alternative education program for parenting and pregnant young women.