The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Metropolitan Nashville Chapter, and the Nashville Coalition of 100 Black Women Foundation recently hosted more than 200 participants for the annual Sister for Sister Conference. The conference concluded with the Women of Color Luncheon and the presentation of the prestigious Davis-Galloway Empowerment Award.
Dr. Cherae Farmer-Dixon, dean of the School of Dentistry at Meharry Medical College, was announced as this year’s Davis-Galloway Award recipient. The award, established in 2004, recognizes and honors women who ascend to leadership through outstanding advocacy, effective networking, and superlative community service. Farmer-Dixon has served in dental education for 23 years in various capacities of teaching and administration, and has mentored students to pursue careers in dentistry with a focus on minorities, women, and individuals from underserved areas.
The Women of Color Luncheon also featured a keynote address from Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, who on July 1 will become president of Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. She is currently dean and executive vice president of Morehouse School of Medicine, where she has served since 2011. Prior to joining Morehouse, she spent several years at Meharry Medical College where she was founder and director of the Center for Women’s Health Research.
“My role is to empower others,” said Montgomery Rice. “Elevating women begins with us lifting up one another.”
The Coalition also announced the Danita L. Marsh Scholarship winner during the luncheon. The scholarship, named in honor of a Metro police officer who was severely injured in the line of duty in 2006, recognizes an outstanding student who plans to pursue a career in the criminal justice field. This year’s award was presented to Aysha Ganaway, a junior at Tennessee State University.
The presenting sponsor for the conference was HCA-TriStar. The members of the Coalition also recognized the African American Women on Boards partnership with Belmont University, which prepares women for leadership positions on non-profit boards. Connie Lindsey, executive vice president and head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Northern Trust and president of the national board of directors of the Girl Scouts, USA, spoke at the Friday, Leadership Development Workshop, which culminated the boards project. Lindsey said: “It’s important to connect your role with your soul to be successful in your career and at peace.”
“The Metropolitan Nashville Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and we are honored to continue the legacy of empowering and celebrating women throughout our community,” said Veronica Marable Johnson, chapter president.
Marilyn Robinson, president of the Nashville Coalition of 100 Black Women Foundation, added: “We were able to build on the momentum from the conference March 24-25, as we joined other Coalition of 100 Black Women chapters from Memphis, Chattanooga and Knoxville to make our voices heard during Legislative Days on the Hill. We know that there is strength in numbers and we are committed to working together to make a difference.”