Women of Achievement, Inc. was founded in 1984 by a group of women dedicated to honoring the extraordinary women who have made Memphis and Shelby County better through their lives and accomplishments. The coalition of diverse civic and professional groups and support agencies organizes events to recognize and celebrate these women.

For More Information, visit the Women of Achievement website.

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.

“As our community commemorates MLK50 and the legacy of Dr. King, Women of Achievement joins in celebrating with a special tribute to the scores of courageous and determined local women honored during our 34 years for their leadership in civil rights, social and economic justice and equal rights for all,” said Deborah M. Clubb.

Nominations for awards come from across the community. 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, womenofachievement.org.

Here are the 2018 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

Lois DeBerry

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